U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced that buses will begin arriving in New Jersey today to supplement New Jersey Transit as it repairs its infrastructure and resumes full operation. The buses are being dispatched by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), which has contracted with private operators to provide 350 buses to New Jersey. The first 70 buses are expected to arrive in New Jersey today, with additional buses dispatched this week.
"Getting our transportation system back up and running is a critical part of New Jersey's recovery from Superstorm Sandy. The buses being dispatched to New Jersey by the federal government will add much needed capacity so that residents can go to work, reach their families, buy groceries, and resume their daily lives. As we continue working to make gas accessible, these buses will give residents another transportation option," said Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Chairman of the Commerce Surface Transportation Subcommittee. "The federal government is working vigorously to provide the resources necessary to get New Jersey moving again. We will continue to ensure the federal government is responding swiftly and thoroughly to the needs of our state."
"As a new work week begins, it's absolutely critical to provide New Jerseyans with more options to get to school and their jobs," said Menendez. "I thank the Department of Transportation for providing these buses which will help New Jersayans get back on the road as our transportation system struggles to get back on line. I hope this effort, combined with our efforts to increase access to fuel supply and power, will soon enable our residents to reach some semblance of normalcy in this difficult recovery process."
Last week, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez called for the speedy release of aid from the U.S. DOT to help get all modes of transportation in New Jersey up and running as quickly as possible.
In response, President Obama and the U.S. DOT released $10 million in emergency highway funding to help get New Jersey's highways and roads back in working condition. The funding is being distributed to the New Jersey Department of Transportation to help restore traffic services, establish detours, and perform emergency roadway repairs on federal-aid roads and bridges that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
In addition, the Senators called on President Obama to dispatch supplies of gasoline and fuel, and to ramp up federal efforts to restore power to gas stations and provide federal assistance with the investigation of gas price gouging claims.