Regional Plan Association’s New Jersey Committee hosted Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg on October 30th at a special meeting of the committee held at the State Theater in New Brunswick.
Senator Sweeney emphasized the importance of New Jersey Transit to the state’s economy, how critical it is to turn around its performance, and of a new comprehensive plan of action to guide a turnaround at NJ Transit.
In remarks he made repeatedly, having a detailed transportation plan is critical to generating public support, raising needed funds, guiding investment, and measuring performance and progress.
Senator Weinberg highlighted improvements in the last two years in the relationship between the states at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She said that the improved tone there is resulting in more progress on projects of importance to the region and New Jersey, including on the Port Authority Bus Terminal and on projects like Terminal 1 construction, Terminal 2 rebuilding, reinvestment in the AirTrain, and in planning for an extension of PATH rail to Newark Airport.
Together, the Senators repeated their commitment to using upcoming hearings on New Jersey Transit to build support for the planning needed to get transit on the right track.
Audience members asked a number of questions during the hour-long conversation, including about:
- Quality of bus service in the State’s cities;
- Potential for technology to accelerate and reduce costs of transit investment;
- Role of infrastructure investment at Newark Airport to support economic uplift in Newark;
- Use of business and inter-agency partnerships to speed project development and bring new resources to the table; and
- Potential for more effective asset utilization to grow ridership and generate new funding
RPA is grateful to the State Theater for providing such a hospitable setting for the committee’s meeting, to Maraziti-Falcon for its support for putting on this special meeting, and to Senators Sweeney and Weinberg for taking time to address RPA’s New Jersey committee members.