Pascrell, New Jersey Transit Announce Winning Towns for Second Round of Statewide "Community Shuttle Program"
Congressman secured $3.5 million in federal dollars to fund Jitney
shuttle service to train and bus stations across the Garden State
West Orange, Montclair, and 18 other N.J. commnuities to receive jitney buses
WEST ORANGE - Saying it was "essential that we continue to create and foster innovative mass transit solutions in New Jersey," U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J., 8th) was joined today by New Jersey Transit Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh in announcing the second round of recipients of jitney shuttle buses for the federally-funded "Community Shuttle Program."
The Community Shuttle Program is a creative initiative that enables communities throughout New Jersey to offer jitney bus service to their residents who use New Jersey Transit trains and buses. The use of shuttles improves access to local train and bus stations for commuters while easing traffic congestion, alleviating the need for the construction of new parking facilities and helping to cut air pollution.
West Orange and Montclair were among the twenty New Jersey communities that will receive new jitney buses.
"I have said repeatedly that our transportation system is first and foremost about improving the quality of life for the people of New Jersey," said Pascrell, who wrote the federal provision funding the program. "We cannot simply continue to add lane upon lane to our highways. We must have innovative mass transit solutions for communities large and small, and that is what the Community Shuttle Grant Program is all about."
"The federal dollars that fund this program are the right kind of transportation investment for the future."
Pascrell, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, worked to secure $3.5 million in federal funding for the Community Shuttle Program through TEA-21, the federal
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. Specifically, Pascrell ensured that $1.75 million was appropriated each for fiscal year 1999 and for fiscal year 2000.
Pascrell has been instrumental in fighting for new dollars for shuttle bus service. Soon
after helping the Township of Maplewood secure new vehicles for its existing jitney service in 1998, he began the effort in Washington to include funding in TEA-21, the successor to ISTEA, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act. He also worked with New Jersey Transit to provide Maplewood and West Orange with the first awards under the New Jersey Transit's "Challenge Grant" program.
"The Community Shuttle program works, plain and simple. It is a creative, cost-effective way to make our communities more livable by easing traffic congestion, reducing air pollution, and improving the daily commute for so many across our state," stated Pascrell.
"Having a Jitney shuttle bus in town enhances the value of homes and allows families to spend more time with each other at the dinner table and less time stuck in traffic on the highway," Pascrell added.
In addition to West Orange and Montclair, sixteen Garden State municipalities and two county entities will be receiving shuttle buses. The communities all applied to the program through New Jersey Transit and were selected as part of a competitive process.
The additional recipients are: Carlstadt, Fairlawn, Hoboken, North Arlington, Cranford, Edison, Fanwood/Scotch Plains, Fort Lee, Franklin Township, Hamilton, Middletown, Old Tappan, Red Bank, Roselle Park, Weehawken, Westfield, Burlington County(2), and Ocean County(2).