For immediate release
The Christie Administration has announced a plan to pay for NJ’s roads, bridges, rails, and buses by adding at least $800 million in debt and chopping the state’s transportation capital plan. The announcement shows a hiccup in the Governor’s efforts toward good government, and undermines his persistent emphasis on lowering NJ’s debt-burden. Attempting to solve the state’s transportation funding woes with financial gimmicks and new debt was the wrong move for Governor Corzine in 2006, and it’s the wrong move for Governor Christie today. The blame for our transportation funding crisis lays not with any single administration, but the responsibility for fixing it has fallen to Governor Christie and the current State Legislature.
New Jersey needs a strong leader to step up to the plate and do what’s right for wallets and our commutes – adopt a responsible, long-term funding strategy that includes new revenue, relies less on debt and makes it easier and safer for people and goods to get around. With transit riders already paying 22% higher fares and drivers paying $600 a year in car maintenance costs due to the poor conditions of our roads and bridges, a long term transportation funding package cannot come soon enough.
As the Governor has said, NJ’s debt has ballooned from about $3.5 billion 15 years ago to more than $33 billion today. We urge the Governor to put the credit card away, stop asking the next generation to pay for today’s investments, and come up with a longer term solution to the state’s transportation financing crisis.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a non-profit organization working toward a more balanced, transit-friendly and equitable transportation system in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. www.tstc.org