NJ Transit gets additional $13.3M in CARES Act money to help sustain efforts in rural areas

New Jersey Transit was awarded a $13.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration to help the agency sustain existing local transportation in the rural areas in New Jersey — particularly those used by senior citizens, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged.

NJ Transit, in a statement, said it will distribute the grant funds for operating, planning, capital and administrative expenses for the existing rural transit providers throughout the state — think of small busing for seniors and the disabled.

Fourteen of the state’s 21 counties are the subrecipients of these funds, which provide transportation services throughout their areas:  Atlantic, Burlington, SCUCS (a nonprofit) for service in Camden County, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren.

A portion of the CARES Act funds are designated as intercity funds for an existing intercity project where Academy Lines provides transportation linking rural area in Ocean County to New York City.  A portion of the funds also will be used by NJ Transit to administer this grant.

Gov. Phil Murphy said he was thrilled to get the additional funds.

“We are grateful that the U.S. Department of Transportation recognizes the economic impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey’s local transportation providers and their ability to provide essential services to remote and vulnerable populations,” he said.

“By providing the vast majority of these funds to counties and municipalities, we can ensure that transit services remain accessible and available to our rural communities who depend upon them.”

NJ Transit CEO Kevin Corbett said the money will help fill transportation gaps for the state’s transit-dependent residents.

“Residents in rural areas who most depend on these essential services can be confident that the transportation they desperately need will be sustained thanks to this funding,” he said in a statement.

The grant is part of the CARES Act and is in addition to the $1.4 billion NJ Transit was previously awarded.