Fix Transportation Funding and Control Costs

 

ISSUE

The state spends three-to-five times what peer states (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island) spend to build and maintain state roads.

 

SOLUTION

To improve transportation and lower costs (as recommended by the Reason Foundation):

  • Prioritize State of Good Repair: New Jersey’s roadways are in poor condition. The state should prioritize improving the condition of its roadways before spending money on new construction, either roadway or transit.

  • Right-size Staffing: The NJDOT by itself (not counting the Turnpike or other road agencies) employs 3,443 employees. This is too many for system the size of ours. Most 21st century DOTs need fewer employees.

  • Employ a Merit-Based Project Selection Process: Use technical criteria, such as population growth, congestion, and road safety, to focus transportation spending on the most critical parts of the system. This forces the DOT to make tough decisions between necessary and nice-to-have projects. This merit-based process has proven the best way to eliminate political influence in selecting transportation projects.

  • Reduce Diversions: Stop diverting money from the transportation fund to the General budget. To ensure the gas tax remains user-pays/user-benefits, all gas tax money should be spent on roadways; none on rail transit. Also, move the State Police out of the gas tax and into the General budget.

SAVINGS

Use the savings from these fixes to reduce the state gas tax burden.