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Wisniewski Remains Skeptical on Capital Plan as Transportation Committee Awaits Port Authority Testimony

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, remains skeptical of the Port Authority’s 10-year capital plan prior to receiving testimony from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John J. Degnan, who is scheduled to testify before the committee Wednesday.

“We look forward to hearing directly from Chairman Degnan on the Port Authority’s capital plan,” said Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). “This plan spends billions of dollars to help a few Wall Streeters get to Newark Airport a few minutes quicker rather than prioritizing a long-overdue bus terminal for the quarter-million working women and men who commute through the terminal every day. We need to hear how this plan will help the middle class residents of New Jersey get to work on time and at a reasonable cost.”

The Port Authority’s draft 2017-2026 capital plan prioritizes new and unnecessary multi-billion dollar train lines to Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports over the critically-needed bus terminal for commuters. These billion dollar train lines are expected to run at a deficit while bus service is a more cost-effective return on investment, Wisniewski noted.

Despite having a 10-year capital plan, the Port Authority says it cannot complete the bus terminal during the plan’s duration.

“In addition to the billions of dollars that would be wasted on building ‘ghost trains’ to Newark and LaGuardia, it is unfathomable that it would take more than 10 years to build a bus terminal,” said Wisniewski. “I favor prioritizing investments that would help the majority of people now, not spending billions based on empty economic projections. I look forward to hearing from the chairman on how the agency’s priorities will benefit all New Jersey residents.”