New Jersey, New York and Connecticut Reach Agreement on Federal Transit Relief Money

Long Island Railroad
The Long Island Railroad's West Side Yard in Manhattan. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

(The Center Square) – The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut reached an accord on splitting federal money for transit agencies doled out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday, $10.85 billion will go to New York, New Jersey will receive $2.66 billion, and Connecticut will take in $474 million.

The money will go to regional transit agencies, including NJ Transit, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. It will help them offset revenue losses suffered amid the pandemic, officials say.

New Jersey Republicans were less than enthusiastic about the deal. They said Gov. Phil Murphy caved to New York officials’ requests, ceding millions in tax dollars that should have been allocated to the Garden State.

“How did the Murphy administration get bowled over so badly by our neighbor across the Hudson?” state Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex, said in a statement.

“Instead of refusing the premise of an outrageous proposal, the Murphy administration folded and agreed to give New York everything it wanted and more,” Oroho, the Senate Republican Budget Officer and incoming Republican Leader, added. “NJ Transit farepayers and New Jersey taxpayers will suffer as a result.”

Congress allocated the funding as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

“The New York City and tristate region can’t fully recover from the pandemic without our transit agencies effectively and efficiently moving millions of people in and out of New York City each day,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said in an announcement.

In an announcement, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, said the agreement “ensures critical federal funding is now available to support the recovery of our states’ public transportation systems that suffered tremendous financial losses resulting from the pandemic.”

MTA officials previously indicated they expected to receive $10.5 billion in federal dollars from the two measures. Allocating the federal dollars was a sticking point for New Jersey lawmakers, who alleged New York officials wanted “to buck long-standing conventional fund-sharing standards to short change its neighboring states.”

“Nothing is more critical to our region’s economic recovery than our mass transportation system,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said in an announcement. “With this agreement, we ensure a reliable and safe commute as workers return to their offices.”

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