TRENTON –Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham, D-Hudson and lead questioner during today’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee’s hearing on the proposed FY09 budget for the New Jersey Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), made the following statement after the hearing:
“Access to transportation, whether it be via mass transit or the State’s highways and local roads, is of critical importance to the residents of New Jersey. Most residents can’t get to work, send their kids to school or go to the store without relying on our roads, trains and buses.
“I am glad to hear that NJ Transit is taking seriously the transportation needs of those living in our urban centers. For many families living in our cities, public transportation is their primary means of getting around. NJ Transit must make sure that urban bus routes at least maintain the level of service available today.
“At the same time, our rails and roads continue to fall behind in meeting the capacity needs of our state. The second trans-Hudson rail tunnel is a project that is long overdue and New Jersey cannot afford to lose out on federal funds for this project by not getting our own house in order.
“Along those same lines, the continued deterioration of the Pulaski Skyway and Casciano Bridge endangers the daily commute of tens of thousands of residents. While the cost to repair these bridges is considerable, the cost of shutting them down would be even greater. Its clear we need to develop a plan to rehabilitate them both sooner rather than later.”