For Immediate Release: February 25, 2010
Poll Shows Over 70% of NJ Residents Concerned About the State of the Transportation Trust Fund
A Monmouth University Poll released today finds that 95 percent of New Jersey residents think it is important that we pay to maintain and improve our transportation system. Yet almost half of the state’s residents don’t know that the Transportation Trust Fund is going broke.
The Transportation Trust Fund is the primary source of money paying for road, bridge and transit repairs, as well as new transportation projects in the state. When informed about this impending financial situation, 72 percent of the respondents were somewhat or greatly concerned—though, not surprisingly, they are divided on whether to charge ourselves more to solve the problem.
“The disintegration of our transportation funding system in New Jersey will have widespread impacts on our economy, how we develop and redevelop our state and how goods and people get around,” said Peter Kasabach, executive director of New Jersey Future. “The people of New Jersey know this, they are concerned, and they deserve answers.”
Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, noted, “New Jersey residents recognize the importance of a safe and reliable transportation system, and the role the Transportation Trust Fund plays in maintaining that system. The question now is: Will our leaders in Trenton get the message by passing a financially sustainable, long-term reauthorization of the trust fund, or simply pass the buck to future generations by taking out more unfunded bonds to pay for transportation projects?”
Tom Wright, executive director of Regional Plan Association, said, “New Jersey residents are waking up to the fact that the state has virtually no funding in place for transportation projects starting next year. The state’s transportation systems are looking into the abyss of disrepair, just as the New York City transit system did when shortsighted politicians failed to maintain mass transit in the 1970s. New Jersey cannot go down this road.”
“It’s no wonder people are concerned to learn that New Jersey’s transportation funding source has run dry,” commented Rebecca Alper, NJPIRG Program Associate. “Over 700 New Jersey bridges are in need of repair, our roads are at capacity with stand still traffic, and cuts to public transit will only add to these problems. Everyone, drivers and transit riders alike, will experience a drop in the quality and safety of their commute if the TTF is not rescued and put on the right track.”
A full version of the poll can be found at http://www.tstc.org/reports/MonmouthU_TTF_NJPoll_final_2009.pdf.
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The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a nonprofit advocacy organization working toward a more environmentally sustainable, fiscally sound, and socially just transportation network in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. www.tstc.org
New Jersey Future is a nonprofit research and policy group advocating smart growth, environmental preservation, neighborhood revitalization and transportation choice. www.njfuture.org.
Regional Plan Association (RPA) is the nation’s oldest independent, not-for-profit regional planning organization that improves the quality of life, economic competitiveness and sustainability of the 31-county New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region through research, planning, and advocacy. www.rpa.org
NJPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters responsive, democratic government. www.njpirg.org