Issue Position: Transportation
New Jersey, being the most densely populated state in the union, suffers from massive congestion problems. From 1997 to 2006, Bill served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to modernize our region's roads, bridges, airports and mass transit systems. In his new role on the Ways and Means Committee, with jurisdiction over revenues to the federal Highway and Aviation Trust Funds, Bill has not given up that role.
Bill has secured millions in new funding for the Eighth Congressional District to reconstruct some of North Jersey's most dangerous intersections, including the infamous 23/46/80 interchange and upgrades at bridges along the Route 46 corridor. Most recently, Bill proudly supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to put Americans to work, while making needed improvements to our roads, bridges. ARRA has provided funding for improvements to Interstate 80, enhanced interchanges on Route 46 and Interstate 280, as well as repaving of our county roads throughout Passaic and Essex Counties, among other projects.
Public transportation serves as the linchpin for surface transportation in New Jersey. New Jersey Transit, with funding assistance through the federal government, is critical to congestion relief on our roadways and efficient transportation for commuters. Most recently, Bill has been advancing the prospects for a new Passaic-Bergen passenger rail service, connecting Paterson and Hackensack. Bill also fights for continued federal support for intercity passenger rail service in the form of AMTRAK, as well as the new planned passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River to expand Midtown direct service to more North Jersey communities. ARRA has provided tens of millions of dollars for the planned tunnel.
Bill has delivered additional federal dollars to provide communities throughout New Jersey with a "jitney" shuttle bus service and the funds to operate it. The Jitney provides towns and cities an innovative mass transit alternative to shuttle commuters to and from the train station, alleviating traffic and air pollution while easing the commute for hundreds each day. He has also advanced smart growth and alternate transportation initiatives district-wide by funding pedestrian friendly transportation options, local downtown streetscape improvement programs and bike paths.
Bill works toward ensuring a safe, secure, and efficient aviation system. He advocates strongly for the economic engine of Newark Liberty International Airport on such issues as security needs, infrastructure modernization, and air traffic control technology and staffing. With oversight over maritime transportation, Bill works with his colleagues to guarantee that Port Newark and Elizabeth remain competitive. New Jersey's economy is dependant upon the Port to move goods and provide jobs.
The government's role in transportation is more than just moving people and goods from point to point. Bill works to implement his vision for a system balanced between the dual goals of improving our quality of life and ensuring economic development, all while retaining community atmosphere in a safe and efficient manner.