N.J. Assembly approves $400 million in spending from the renewed transportation fund

 (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

(Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

The New Jersey Assembly has given final legislative approval to a bill that provides $400 million from the Transportation Trust Fund to expedite needed improvements. 

Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto decided to post the bill for a vote after getting clarification that the $260 million that would be provided to the New Jersey Transportation Department would be used for  road and bridge repairs in all 21 of the state’s counties. 

“It’s somewhat proportional, but it’s on what emergency basis, whatever the list the DOT has. As long as it’s spent that way and it’s distributed throughout the whole state, I was okay with it and I wanted to get it moving.”

Prieto said another $140 million will go to New Jersey Transit for technology and safety improvements. 

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“They told me about cameras in buses and all that. So I’m all good with that because in my area mass transit is a key thing, and anything that enhances safety for any issues New Jersey Transit has, I’m all for it.”

Martin Robins is director emeritus of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers.

He said the measure will accelerate the use of gas tax revenues for unspecified improvements.

“That’s one of the things that makes it hard to talk about is that I don’t believe the governor and his people have ever told the public or the legislature where the money is exactly going, but there plenty of things that need to be done, that’s for sure.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney said the funding increase will help create jobs and provide a boost to the state’s economy.

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