As we reported last week, NJDOT’s proposed fiscal year 2012 Capital Plan currently eliminates all funding for New Jersey’s Transit Village program; however, there may be a glimmer of hope that the money for this program will be reinstated.
Prompted by NJ Future during an April 7 roundtable discussion at TransAction, a statewide transportation conference, NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson began by echoing his previous justification for doing away with all financial backing for Transit Villages—essentially, that the program hadn’t been funded properly to begin with. However, Commissioner Simpson was quick to reaffirm the state’s commitment to transit and smart growth-related projects, and admitted that by failing to provide any money for the Transit Village program, NJDOT had “made a mistake” and was clearly “sending the wrong message.” When asked whether this meant that funding for the program would be restored, he responded with “no comment.”
What does this mean? It would appear that NJDOT has not ruled out reinstating funding for the Transit Village program. NJDOT’s position may become clearer after Commissioner Simpson testifies before the Senate Budget Committee on Wednesday. In anticipation of the hearing, TSTC has reached out to each member of the committee; six have designated Transit Villages in their districts.