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Friday, November 16, 2012    

Hurricane Sandy update: Feds speed up $25 million in funding to help New Jersey Transit restore train service


New Jersey Transit will receive $25 million in expedited funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help the agency restore more commuter-rail service that was shut down by Hurricane Sandy, U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) announced yesterday.

The funding, from the Surface Transportation Program, normally would have taken up to 30 days to get to the state. But, by "fast tracking it," the funds arrived in four days, the senators said in a prepared statement issued by Lautenberg's office.

The $25 million in surface transportation funding was already owed to NJ Transit, but by expediting it, the agency will have access to it a month earlier, the senators said. The Surface Transportation Program provides flexible funding that may be used by states and local communities for transit, highway or bridge projects.

The $25 million is "only the beginning" of the resources that New Jersey will need to rebuild its transportation system, they said. They and other federal officials "remain committed to cutting any red tape necessary to speed our recovery," the statement said.

"NJ Transit is suffering from enormous new costs to restore service, while at the same time seeing decreases in revenues, so this funding is critical in helping them get through this cash crunch," said Menendez.

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