With a deadline looming for Congress to pass a long-term federal Highway and Mass transit bill, a Republican amendment could cost New Jersey $50 million, funding lawmakers say will be a body blow to the region's economy.
Senator Robert Menendez discussed the importance of the Gateway trans-Hudson tunnel project and how to help solve the foreclosure crisis. New Jersey has the highest rate of foreclosure in the nation and he says principle reduction can help to eliminate more from happening.
Sponsors of the bill say a driver’s license could enhance the lives of more than 450,000 undocumented people who live and work in New Jersey. About a dozen states already already offer the privilege, including California which has a printed restriction: "Federal Limits May Apply."
The federal government will split the projected $20 billion cost for two new commuter tunnels under the Hudson River 50-50 with New York and New Jersey. The tunnels would help avert a commuter catastrophe if one of the existing tunnels needs to be closed for repairs.
Lawmakers and transportation advocates say 20,000 a day would ride the Bergen light rail, property values would increase by 20 percent in a short time , businesses would boom and highways such as Route 4 would have less traffic.
NJ Transit was hoping to receive $50 million from a federal transportation bill that would provide funding to improve train stations, such as Elizabeth. However, a House version of the bill includes an amendment that kills transit programs and would affect future projects.
Today, a group of elected officials from Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties announced the formation of the North Jersey Rail Coalition, which will advocate for the creation of service through Passaic and Bergen counties, ultimately connecting to Hudson.
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