Assembly Budget Committee Hears From Transportation Officials

By Dari Kotzker
NJ Today

Today New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson, NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein, and Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez testified before the Assembly Budget Committee.

When testifying, Simpson gave updates on DOT projects happening in New Jersey now and those that are planned, Weinstein reviewed how NJ Transit performed post-Sandy and preparations for the Super Bowl and Martinez talked about expanding many MVC facilities and the possible privatization of the emission/inspection program.

The legislators were mostly complimentary of the transportation leaders, but some had concerns regarding the potential privatization of the emissions/inspections program. The MVC renewed a three-year contract with the existing vendor, but hired a consultant to study the possibility of having small businesses and auto places run the program, rather than the state. MVC representatives say other states have made this change, so they want to study it.

Other legislators questioned toll hikes and where that money is going, especially since the ARC tunnel project was canceled. And one lawmaker applauded the further studying of the red-light camera program, rather than expanding it right now.

The transportation leaders said they’d continue to provide the legislators with any additional information they need when going through the budget process.