Stalled road and bridge repairs are getting a lot of attention, but most of the work delayed over a dispute on replenishing the Transportation Trust Fund is for New Jersey Transit rail and bus projects.
About $3.5 billion worth of transportation projects are suspended because of the funding stalemate.
Veronica Vanterpool, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said $2.7 billion of that is for New Jersey Transit.
“The people who are relying on NJ Transit are in flux wondering, what’s going to happen to their system,” she said Tuesday. “It’s already a system plagued with delays and underinvestment and I’m sure the average commuter, the everyday commuter, is wondering how much worse can it get.”
An extended shutdown of those projects could pose safety concerns, according to Martin Robins, director emeritus of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers.
“All of these things should not be stopped,” he said. “Hopefully, New Jersey Transit will tell the governor those are the things that are going to be restored.”
Trans Hudson planning is among the items on the shutdown list, but New Jersey Transit officials say that’s for general planning efforts with ferries and working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on a new bus terminal.
An environmental analysis for a new train tunnel between New Jersey and New York is not being delayed because Amtrak is paying for that study.
New Jersey Transit officials say halting construction work will not compromise the safety or reliability of its system and it will continue to provide regular service for commuters.