NJ Transit gets $600K from feds to improve bus service between Paterson and Passaic

New Jersey Transit will receive $600,000 in funding to conduct a study and network redesign of bus service between Paterson and Passaic, the Federal Transit Administration announced Thursday.

The project will assess existing services and lay the foundation for an update to the bus system between these two communities to improve access and reduce wait times, the FTA said.

The project was one of the 47 that were awarded Thursday, when the FTA announced it was spending $20 million in an effort to help improve public transportation options in areas experiencing long-term economic distress.

The projects were aimed at what the FTA calls “Areas of Persistent Poverty” — and seen as a way to provide support to state and local governments, transit agencies and nonprofit organizations to create better transit for residents with limited or no transportation options.

The grant to NJ Transit was the 12th-largest of the 47 awards. The FTA said it received applications totaling close to $36 million in funding requests.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the impact of these grants can go far beyond the dollar value.

“Across the country, people who live in low-income rural, urban and Tribal communities are less likely to own a car and more likely to rely on public transit,” he said. “Through this program, we are bringing affordable, accessible public transit to the very communities that need it the most, making it possible for more people to access jobs, resources and opportunity.”

Investments from the Areas of Persistent Poverty program can be used to support efforts to initiate transit service as well as improve service and modernize fleets, from procuring low- and no-emission buses, to launching scheduling apps and improving bus stops. They also deliver on our commitments to invest in projects that provide benefits to communities with environmental justice concerns.