For years NJ Transit has been transferring money to New Jersey’s operating budget. Now that financial wave is about reverse course.
A new funding agreement would have a total of $2 billion being injected in the NJ Transit coffers from the NJ Turnpike Authority. The agreement could be approved on April 27.
The money NJ Transit is handing over to the state is on the decline as well. The transit agency was transferring as much as $460 million at one point, but the FY 2022 budget calls for a $100 million payment. Assembly Transportation Committee chairman Dan Benson says the number should go down to zero, but it will take time to reach.
Currently, the Turnpike gives NJ Transit $129 million a year, but that agreement is expiring.
This year, Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget will give NJ Transit $350 million, and next year the payment will be $746 million. The annual payments will then be $465 million before rising to $525 million. In the end, NJ Transit will have $2 billion, which should help the agency make a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. NJ Transit officials say ridership could return to 60% of pre-COVID levels by June 2022, and that percentage could get to 75% the next year.
The Turnpike also is providing $25 million annually for the replacement of the 110-year-old Portal Bridge that carries the Northeast Corridor rail line across the Hackensack River.