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Lopez, Benson and Egan Jones Bill Establishing NJT Office of Real Estate Economic Development Now Law

(TRENTON) – Discovering ways to improve and expand New Jersey Transit, legislation sponsored by Assembly Members Yvonne Lopez, Daniel Benson and Patricia Egan Jones requiring the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT) to establish an office of real estate economic development and transit-oriented development was signed into law Thursday.

“NJ Transit is the second largest landholder in the state, and there has never been a listing of all their properties,” said Lopez (D-Middlesex). “This will help us moving forward in determining how to allocate funding to ensure that there are no wasted dollars.”

Under the new law (A-3654), the Office will assess and develop recommendations for economic development and transit-oriented development opportunities for parcels of real estate property in which NJT holds a property interest in order to increase their non-fare revenue sources.

“Exploring ways to increase NJ Transit revenue without hiking fares on riders is absolutely critical to reforming the agency,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Increased revenue for NJ Transit means better, safer and more efficient service for all New Jersey Transit customers.”

NJT will report annually to the governor and legislature on an inventory of each parcel of real estate property in which the NJT holds a property interest, as well as any revenue NJT receives from that property interest.

“This will add transparency to NJ Transit and allow us to greater understand what funding is necessary,” said Jones (D-Camden/Gloucester). “It will help both us in the legislature, as well as those in NJ Transit, serve our residents better.”

The bill was approved by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on May 10 and the Assembly Appropriations Committee on June 4. The Assembly passed the measure June 21, 74-2.