The Passaic Main Avenue Bus Terminal Project will be fully funded and completed ahead of schedule, thanks to an infusion of $15 million in federal funding approved by the NJTPA Board of Trustees.
NJTPA Chair W. John Bartlett, a Passaic County Commissioner, joined Congressman William Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-9) and Passaic Mayor Hector Lora at City Hall Friday to announce the funding.
“This funding was made available through the Federal Highway Administration’s August redistribution process, allowing New Jersey to take advantage of money that other states haven’t spent in time,” Chair Bartlett said.
Unanticipated utility issues had increased the cost of the bus terminal project, causing it to face significant delays. Those delays would have also affected Passaic County’s plans to improve Main Street.
“The bus terminal project that we’re talking about today is part of a much bigger story about the revitalization of the City of Passaic downtown business district,” he said.
The county, with funding from the NJTPA, completed a study last year that explored options for improving safety and access to transit. The county will use $28 million in federal funding to replace the dangerous mid-avenue parking with green space. Angled parking will be installed adjacent to the businesses, and there will be bicycle lanes and other pedestrian safety improvements, Bartlett said. This project is in the preliminary engineering phase.
This is just another example of state and federally funded projects underway in the city
Earlier this year, the NJTPA and New Jersey Department of Transportation awarded $454,000 for improvements to Hamilton Avenue and State Street.
"All this work will make this city, and Passaic County overall, a greener, safer and better place to live, work and visit,” Bartlett said.
Congressman Pascrell noted that the $15 million is in addition to funding the Federal Transit Administration awarded NJ TRANSIT for the bus terminal project. This new funding will allow NJ TRANSIT to complete the project two years ahead of schedule, he said.
“This is an exciting day. Everybody in Passaic should be excited about this,” Congressman Pascrell said. “This is the crown jewel of economic development. I’m telling you, it will not only bring people, it will bring businesses so our people can work.”
Mayor Lora said this is a significant project for a city where more than 40 percent of households have one car or less and residents rely on public transit to get around. He noted that the new state-of-the-art bus terminal would provide real-time updates so riders know exactly when their bus will arrive. He said if riders know there could be a short delay, they may patronize a nearby business while they wait.
He noted that Congressman Pascrell also helped the city secure $4 million in federal funding for a new parking deck one block from the bus terminal site.
“It’s amazing that we’re going to have this shiny brand-new bus terminal. It’s remarkable that we’re going to have a parking deck,” he said. “The Main Avenue redevelopment, as you can see, continues with record investments of over $200 million in our East Side alone.”
He thanked the county, state and federal partners for making all these projects possible.
“You cannot accomplish great things alone,” Mayor Lora said.
to view video of the entire news conference.