New Jersey needs a transportation system that will:
Grow the Economy. New Jersey is a densely populated, trade-based state. As such our economic health will depend on planning and constructing an integrated and efficient air, rail, road, bus, and maritime network that keeps people and products moving safely, smoothly, and efficiently.
Reduce Travel Times. New Jersey residents have one of the longest average commutes in the country. In order to enhance the quality of life for all New Jerseyans, we must better coordinate and implement transportation and land use solutions so that residents can enjoy more time with their families, more productive time at work and service time to their communities.
- Goal 3: Reduce resident commute times on all modes.
Be Safer to Travel. Traveling on all modes of transportation must be safe. New Jersey has reduced traffic fatalities from more than 700 ten years ago to 400 in 2009 with twenty-seven percent of these fatalities while walking.
- Goal 4: Reduce the number of fatalities to zero.
Protect the Environment. Transportation accounts for approximately 35 percent of carbon emissions. We must link transportation investments to smart land-use decisions that reduce sprawl and the resulting unnecessary travel.
- Goal 5: Reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions related to vehicular transportation.
Get the Most for our Money. In these tight economic times, we cannot waste the public’s money. We must ensure that we get the most value for our investments and provide effective services at the lowest possible cost. That means maintaining and fixing what we have; planning and building only what we need, and making sure that every possible dollar goes to these solutions.
- Goal 6: Maintain a predominantly “fix-it-first” approach.
- Goal 7: Reduce the state’s reliance on debt to pay for transportation expenses.
Be Accountable to the Public. New Jersey residents will be more likely to support more revenue for transportation if they know where the money is going, what it’s buying, and how spending priorities are set. We must also judge performance on the basis of outcomes that are important to New Jersey residents, rather than just equating success with high spending.
- Goal 8: Report progress toward goals and communicate with the public in an accessible and open process.
What We Need to Do Today
Raise new reliable revenue and dedicate it to the Transportation Trust Fund. New Jersey does not have a stable source of revenue large enough to meet
its transportation needs. In order to effectively fund transportation and reduce our reliance on debt, the state must generate and constitutionally dedicate new revenues to the TTF at a level high enough to meet New Jersey’s 21st-century needs and ambitions.
Delineate between capital and operations funding. New Jersey needs to end the practice of paying for New Jersey Transit and Department of Transportation operations with capital funds, instead establishing a separate, dedicated revenue stream for operations.
Set goals for reducing traffic fatalities and provide adequate funding for safety. Prioritizing funding for safety improvements will save lives. New Jersey needs to set a goal within the legislation reauthorizing the Transportation Trust Fund to reduce traffic fatalities to zero, and use that goal to prioritize funding.
Leverage transportation funding to support growth in the right places. Good planning and targeted transportation investments will help New Jersey grow its economy, save money, increase mobility options and meet greenhouse gas reduction and environmental preservation goals. New Jersey needs to dedicate a portion of its transportation funds to comprehensive land-use planning that will guide multi-modal transportation spending.