Two weeks to the day after New Jersey Transit submitted an application for federal funds to help recovery in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it received over $144 million in aid for the first steps of recovery, NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein said on Thursday night, March 14.
“Rebuilding in the aftermath of Sandy has truly been a team approach,” Weinstein said in a statement issued Thursday night. “I am grateful for the efforts of Senators Lautenberg and Menendez, our Congressional delegation, Administrator Rogoff and the FTA, as well as the leaders and staff at FEMA and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their assistance and support during this trying time. They have been true partners in the recovery effort.
“In particular, I want to specifically recognize Gov. Christie, for his continued leadership and his continued success in leading the rebuilding of our great state.”
The funding covers the cost of emergency transportation and repairs to facilities and infrastructure made over the first 90 days of the recovery, Weinstein said.
““Repairs and resilience both take funding,” Weinstein said. “Money invested in preventing future storm damage will limit the bill for future storm relief – as well as ensuring that our transit systems have a better chance of avoiding service interruptions. We are committed to rebuilding our system in a stronger, more resilient manner to withstand future storms on par with, or exceeding that of Sandy. Thanks to the efforts of our team at the federal and the state level, we are well on our way towards that important goal.”
As of this month, nearly 25 percent of NJ Transit rail service will be fully operational, and all bus and rail service has been restored, Weinstein said.
New Jersey Transit suffered $400 million in damages as a result of Sandy, including $100 million in damages to equipment, train cars and locomotives, according to a Bloomberg report from December of last year, less than two months after Sandy hit the region. Damage was done to 62 of NJ Transit’s 203 locomotives, and 261 of the 1,162 rail cars.
The amount allocated on Thursday was for the first phase of the recovery, Weinstein said.