On Friday, I rode Amtrak to the Metropark Station in Iselin, New Jersey, where I was pleased to present $298,703,208 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to NJ Transit. Joining me were NJ Governor Jon Corzine and both of New Jersey's Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez. It was a good day for me, a good day for the state of New Jersey, and a good day for creating more jobs in America.
A good day for me because I had a chance to let the people of New Jersey know what dedicated advocates they have in their elected leadership. Governor Corzine has been working tirelessly to secure funding for transportation projects. Senator Lautenberg is a man I respect as both a leader and a friend. And Senator Menendez is well-known as a long-time champion of his constituents. All three are leaders who know how to do it right.
A good day for New Jersey because a portion of this award supports a major effort to build a second commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River into New York. This project will make life easier for the hundreds of thousands of NJ residents traveling into New York City for work each day.
A good day for NJ, as well, because of the 12 other shovel-ready NJ Transit projects this money will support. Buying new bus shelters; connecting commuter rail lines for easier transfers; attending to long-deferred bridgework, signal upgrades and track maintenance--these measures will make it easier and safer for residents of New Jersey to access jobs, stores, medical centers, and recreational facilities
And a good day for employment in America because the 12 NJ Transit projects are expected to create 2,000 new jobs, and the 2nd Hudson River tunnel--also called Access to the Region's Core (ARC) Mass Transit Tunnel--is expected to create an additional 6,000 jobs.
Senator Menendez summed it up perfectly:
"This is a day to focus on renewal and hope, a day when New Jersey stands proudly at the center of America's economic recovery. As the centerpiece of this investment, the new mass transit tunnel will create thousands of jobs now and into the future while saving commuters time and money and cleaning the air we breathe."
Folks, this is what the Recovery Act is all about--putting people to work on projects that will help jump-start our economy and modernize our public transportation systems at the same time.