For immediate release: August 5, 2009
New Report Finds New Jerseyans Flocking to Transit
Transit use growing twice as fast as driving
A new report from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign finds that the number of miles New Jersey residents traveled by bus and rail has grown by nearly 45 percent from 1997 to 2007, more than twice the growth rate for miles driven.
" New Jersey residents are embracing mass transit," said Kate Slevin, Tri-State Transportation Campaign executive director. "The facts in this report should guide the next Governor's transportation policies. New Jerseyans clearly need and want more public transportation."
The report's release was timed to inform future debate on the nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). Lagging state gas tax receipts mean that the TTF will not have adequate funds to meet 2011 transportation needs unless lawmakers can find additional revenue. The Campaign hopes that as lawmakers work to fill the TTF gap, they will make transportation choices that provide more travel options for New Jerseyans.
The report, "The State of Transportation: Benchmarks for Sustainable Transportation in New Jersey," examines trends in 25 different measures of transportation in New Jersey, including infrastructure, service, travel choices, congestion and crowding, reliability, and impacts on the state's economy and environment. The report is illustrated with more than 50 graphs, tables and maps, and is intended to set clear measures of the state's progress toward a more balanced, environment-friendly and reliable transportation system. Preliminary data from 2008 show that current economic conditions are accelerating the trend toward mass transit use and away from driving.
The report is an update to the 2006 report, and includes three additional years of data. Tri-State staff spent more than nine months compiling and analyzing the data from state and federal sources.
"With statistics like these - increasing transit ridership, increasing transit service - the state's land use policy should be clear," said Peter Kasabach, Executive Director for New Jersey Future. "Direct residential and job growth into walkable, transit-rich locations."
Among the report's key findings:
The full report can be found here.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.