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NJ Politics Digest: Bus Terminal Battles Demonstrates Political Dysfunction at PA

Ridgewood bus terminal

By Steve Cronin • 12/07/16 9:05pm

It’s Thursday, and the political battle over building a new Port Authority Bus Terminal is calling harsh public scrutiny over the dysfunctional operations of the scandal-plagued bi-state agency.
The harsh spotlight is also continuing to shine on Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure in New Jersey, with Vanity Fair now weighing in on his dwindling political fortunes. With cabinet positions closing and his bid to head the Republican National Committee still in doubt, the governor is giving some indication of how he’d like to spend his time after leaving Trenton if he must leave the national stage. In Atlantic City, where the administration has stepped in because it contends the city can’t control spending, critics are complaining about the hundreds of thousands of dollars the state is paying out to the departing head of the Casino Redevelopment Investment Authority.

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Where does Transportation Trust Fund money go?

Ridgewood -bus-station-theridgewoodblog

By Larry Higgs | NJ Advance Media for
on July 14, 2016 at 11:14 AM, updated July 14, 2016 at 12:12 PM

We asked, and you responded with some pretty insightful questions about the state’s road and transit construction shutdown.

While lawmakers and the governor try to hammer out a solution to replenish the state’s cash strapped Transportation Trust Fund and end the shutdown, readers asked questions about the billions of dollars that could be raised and how it will be used.

Q: Is the 23 cent gas tax increase for bridge and road construction, or (is it) funding New Jersey Transit? The seven costliest projects will buy buses and locomotives for NJT (example: $712.7 million for 772 buses). Not one cent goes towards our crumbling bridges and roads. Something is wrong here.

A: Let’s take those in order.

The TTF, which would be supported by a proposed 23 cent increase in the gas tax,  funds both the Department of Transportation and NJ Transit, said Stephen Schapiro, a DOT spokesman. How much each agency receives is determined in the annual capital budget. The DOT will receive $1.017 billion from the trust fund and NJ Transit receives $582 million in fiscal year 2017.