A key element of the
long-range Regional Transportation Plan is the Regional Capital Investment Strategy. Originally adopted by the NJTPA Board of Trustees in 2005 and carried forward into Plan 2035, it seeks to create a balanced, realistic approach to regional transportation spending.
Help The Region Grow Wisely Transportation investments should encourage economic growth while protecting the environment and minimizing sprawl in accordance with the state’s Smart Growth plan, Energy master plan, and Greenhouse Gas plan.
Make Travel Safer Improving safety and security should be explicitly incorporated in the planning, design and implementation of all investments.
Fix it First The existing transportation system requires large expenditures for maintenance, preservation and repair, and its stewardship should be the region’s highest priority.
Expand Public Transit Investment to improve the region’s extensive transit network should be a high priority, including strategic expansions to serve new markets.
Improve Roads but Add Few Road investments should focus on making the existing system work better, and road expansion should be very limited.
Move Freight More Efficiently Investments should be made to improve the efficiency of goods movement because of its importance to the region's economy and quality of life.
Manage Incidents and Apply Transportation Technology Investments should be made to improve information flow, operational coordination and other technological advances that can make the transportation system work smarter and more efficiently.
Support Walking and Bicycling All transportation projects should promote walking and bicycling wherever possible.
The RCIS includes eight broad investment principles and more specific investment guidelines in several categories. The eight principles are listed at right. At the bottom of this page are the funding guidelines, contained in the RCIS, that will used as benchmarks for future investments. The full principles and guidelines are listed here.
The RCIS arises from a recognition that transportation needs will continue to outstrip available resources for the foreseeable future. These needs are the result of a variety of transportation challenges, among them: growing population and travel demand, aging infrastructure and requirements to protect the environment and preserve open space. Meeting these challenges makes it crucial that the $2 billion available each year is spent according to clearly identified priorities.
The RCIS sets these priorities. It allocates the majority of funding to maintain and preserve the existing transportation network. Nevertheless, it sustains and builds upon the region’s commitment to expanding transit, improving safety, enhancing transportation efficiency, optimizing the system, improving freight facilities, augmenting bicycle and pedestrian travel and encouraging Smart Growth.
The following funding guidelines, contained in the RCIS, will be used as benchmarks for future investments. They represent a continuation, with minor modifications, of funding allocation patterns in recent years. The percentages are approximate:
- Maintain or modestly increase maintenance and preservation, which now averages 60 percent of spending -- 35 percent going to transit, 15 percent to bridges, and 10 percent to roads.
- Maintain current total allocations at around 21 percent of spending for enhancing and expanding public transportation -- 5 percent for enhancing the system (projects such as station and operational improvements) and 16 percent for expansion (new bus routes, new or extended rail lines, etc.)
- Maintain the 10 percent of spending for enhancing roadways (such as renovating intersections or adding turning lanes)
- Limit expanding roadway capacity (new roads or widening) to slightly below the current 2.5 percent of funding.
- Continue providing 0.5 percent of funds for demand management including the programs of Transportation Management Association programs.
- Modestly increase the current allocation or dedicated freight improvements (such as freight rail facilities and intermodal infrastructure) from 0.8 percent of spending to 1.0 percent.
- Increase current allocations for direct safety improvements from 2 percent to 2.5 percent
- Maintain or increase slightly allocations for incident/emergency management projects and intelligent transportation systems from 1.2 percent of funds to 1.5 percent.
- Increase spending from about 1 percent of funding to 1.25 percent for walking and biking facilities.