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Regional Roundup

A roundup of transportation news from daily, weekly and online outlets.

Coach USA vows to keep its commuter buses rolling, despite bankruptcy filing NJ.com, 6/15/2024 (PAYWALL) - Coach USA, which operates the low-cost interstate MegaBus service and commuter buses in New Jersey, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but officials assured riders it’s business as usual for the Paramus based company.
When will Route 15 reopen? New state website tracks repairs, detours NorthJersey.com, 6/15/2024 - Travelers and residents dealing with the headaches of the Route 15 South shutdown can now get updates on the emergency repairs and local traffic changes
Troublesome Jersey Shore bridge could be closed for weeks for emergency repairs NJ.com, 6/15/2024 - An oft-shuttered bridge that connects two Jersey Shore towns in Monmouth County could be closed for several weeks for repair work, county officials announced Friday.
Dover will open new Morris Canal trail on Saturday. Take a hike into history Daily Record, 6/14/2024 - The NJTPA, in partnership with the Canal Society and the Morris Canal Working Group have presented a plan for a continuous trail that closely follows the historic canal route. The greenway would begin in Phillipsburg, end in Jersey City and in between run through Morris, Sussex, Warren, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties.
Murphy's corporate transit fee proposal to pay for NJ Transit may be getting complicated NorthJersey.com, 6/14/2024 -During his budget address in February, Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a new corporate transit fee to serve as a “dedicated funding stream for NJ Transit” but now, just weeks away from the budget deadline, the fate of the fee and what it will fund is less clear.
New Proposal to Spur Transit-Oriented Development and Bolster NJ TRANSIT NJ Business Magazine, 6/14/2024 - The Murphy Administration unveiled a legislative proposal that would direct the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to purchase up to $100 million in property from NJ TRANSIT to help expand commuter hubs across the state and meet a variety of critical needs.
State pitches $100M plan to develop NJ Transit properties New Jersey Monitor, 6/14/2024 - Under the proposal, whose details are still being negotiated, the state Economic Development Authority would be required to remit a portion of its proceeds back to NJ Transit if the sale or lease of a transit property exceeds the authority’s purchasing costs.
Carteret awards contracts for in-water & uplands construction of ferry terminal ROI-NJ, 6/13/2024 - Howell-based George Harms Construction Co. was awarded nearly $7.95 million for in-water construction work, while Old Bridge-based Black Rock Enterprises was awarded more than $6.4 million for uplands construction. Construction is expected to begin in July and be completed by spring 2025.
A new emphasis on electrifying NJ’s school bus fleet NJ Spotlight News, 6/13/2024 - A bill (A-1677) advanced out of the Assembly Education Committee last week would extend terms for lease and purchase contracts for electric school buses to last the service life of the bus. The New Jersey School Boards Association would also help local districts obtain electric school buses by working as a government aggregator.
Local activists, mayors urge passage of new business tax to fund NJ Transit New Jersey Monitor, 6/13/2024 - Activists said they would prefer to bring back the business tax surcharge that expired last year, which affected 3,000 businesses (the proposed transit tax will only hit 300 businesses). They also stressed that NJ Transit faces a budget gap next year that exceeds $700 million.
After widow’s request, work begins to install suicide prevention fence on Bayonne Bridge NJ.com, 6/13/2024 (PAYWALL) - Workers will begin installing suicide prevention fencing Thursday morning on the western, vehicle-only side of the Bayonne Bridge after the Port Authority agreed to take the step in response to community requests.
Low Seawalls On Hoboken Streets Will Be Topic Of Public DEP Meeting Tuesday Patch.com, 6/13/2024 - Construction is set to start later this month on "resist structures," which would act as low walls on city streets to resist flooding. Residents can find out more about the plans at a meeting Tuesday involving the City of Hoboken and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Coach USA files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy NJBIZ, 6/12/2024 -  Coach USA said it has initiated court-supervised sales for its businesses, adding the move aims to “preserve jobs, ensure continued service and maximize the value of our businesses.” The company has 2,700 employees throughout the U.S. and Canada. The company "is operating as normal and remains focused on operating safely and serving customers."
History-making $6.8B federal grant for Gateway tunnel is approved, lawmaker says NJ.com, 6/12/2024 (PAYWALL) - The largest federal transit grant in history, $6.8 billion to build the $16 billion Gateway Tunnel project between New Jersey and New York, has been approved by a federal agency, officials said.
NJ Transit Board awards contracts for Brick Church station modernization, Brielle Drawbridge replacement Mass Transit Magazine, 6/12/2024 - The New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) Board of Directors have approved contracts for the modernization of NJ Transit’s historic Brick Church station and for the replacement of the Brielle Drawbridge. 
NYC congestion pricing advocates plan lawsuit to keep Hochul from halting toll NorthJersey.com, 6/12/2024 - If congestion pricing wasn’t already synonymous with litigation, it is now. Another deluge of lawsuits could be coming in the next few weeks, this time from the advocates of congestion pricing who have formed a new coalition, led by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, in the aftermath of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s abrupt decision last week to pause the Manhattan tolling program she loudly supported until recently.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will impact the NJ economy. But will it benefit from it? NorthJersey.com, 6/12/2024 - Almost two years to the day before the 2026 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off, the Assembly Tourism Committee met Monday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to hear testimony about how New Jersey stands to benefit from the tournament.
NJ Transit, Amtrak meet to avoid summer of commuting hell NJ.com, 6/11/2024 (PAYWALL) - Veteran commuters recall the 2010s had several summers of commuting "hell" prompted by failing old infrastructure on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line, and the agency doing critical repair work to fix it.
Here’s how N.J. bridges are protected from the kind of ship that brought down a famous Baltimore bridge NJ.com, 6/10/2024 (PAYWALL) - Container ships continue to grow in size, so much that harbor channels are being deepened again and decks on spans like the Bayonne Bridge have been raised to accommodate them.
Hudson Tunnel Project unlocks $25M in grant funding NJBIZ.com, 6/10/2024 - Officials last week signed a $25 million grant agreement to fund a key early component of the Hudson Tunnel Project and broader Gateway Program The funding comes via the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Raise (RAISE) grant program. The June 2023 award covers the Tonnelle Avenue Bridge and Utility Relocation Project. That work is already underway in North Bergen.
DOT promises temporary Route 15 bridge by mid-July as North Jersey town reels from traffic NJ.com, 6/9/2024 - State Department of Transportation officials will install a temporary bridge on Route 15 south over the Rockaway River after the loss of all southbound lanes on a 124-year old bridge that was being replaced, detouring tens of thousands of cars onto local Jefferson Township streets for the past four days.

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Issues & Insights

A list of links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research.

China Is Testing More Driverless Cars Than Any Other Country The New York Times, June 13, 2024 - The world’s largest experiment in driverless cars is underway on the busy streets of Wuhan, a city in central China with 11 million people, 4.5 million cars, eight-lane expressways and towering bridges over the muddy waters of the Yangtze River. A fleet of 500 taxis navigated by computers, often with no safety drivers in them for backup, buzz around.
Colorado’s Bold New Approach to Highways — Not Building Them The New York Times, May 31, 2024 - When I-25 was constructed through Denver, highway engineers moved a river. It was the 1950s and nothing was going to get in the way of building a national highway system. Colorado’s governor and other dignitaries, including the chief engineer of the state highway department, acknowledged the moment by posing for a photo standing on bulldozer tracks, next to the trench that would become I-25.
When driving on the wrong side of the road is the right way to speed up traffic NPR, May 28, 2024 - Left turns are a big problem everywhere. They have a lot of what traffic engineers call "conflict points," with pedestrians as well as other cars. The diverging diamond design eliminates some of those conflicts, lowering the risk of side impact or T-bone crashes, which tend to be especially deadly.
Most Americans are in support of public transit, but 3% use it to commute. USA Today, May 28, 2024 - The COVID-19 pandemic took a massive toll on public transit, as commuter buses and trains were nearly empty during the early months of the pandemic. Passenger fares and other transit agency revenue dropped by 30% between 2020 and 2021. The federal government intervened, spending more than $69 billion in relief funds – five times the amount spent on public transportation in 2019, according to the Congressional Research Service
Some Cities Are Actually Cutting Transportation Emissions. Here’s How. Governing.com, May 24, 2024 - Our nation’s climate-changing carbon emissions have declined overall since 1990, but one sector — transportation — is headed in the opposite direction. Transportation remains the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for 29 percent of the country’s total. After a brief, pandemic-related drop of 13 percent in 2020, transportation emissions accelerated in 2021, increasing by 12 percent.

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