How do you keep people moving when you have the highest population density and the highest volume of traffic on highways? Transit. Without investments in transit, the region’s highways would be parking lots -- costing commuters precious hours each day, wasting fuel, producing more harmful emissions, and slowing the movement of goods coming from the port.

On June 8th, New Jersey Transit broke ground on an unprecedented mass transit tunnel under the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York. The new tunnel with $9 billion in Federal, State, and local funds will more than double rail capacity into New York City, as well as take more than 20,000 cars off crowded roads.

With high unemployment rates -- especially in the construction industry -- the groundbreaking of the nation’s largest transit project could not come at a better time. The ARC Mass Transit Tunnel will create more than 6,000 jobs a year during the construction phase and tens of thousands of additional jobs when completed.

Importantly, the tunnel will also ensure long-term economic and environmental benefits. As we have seen in the past, the expansion of transit increases workforce mobility, attracts new businesses, and revitalizes neighborhoods. Once the tunnel is completed, there will be additional capacity available to expand other transit lines throughout the state -- increasing mobility and decreasing harmful environmental effects from congestion.

Given the benefits provided by the development of the ARC Mass Transit Tunnel to New Jersey and the region, I am proud to have advocated for this worthwhile project -- and will continue to do so. The ARC Mass Transit Tunnel will benefit transit riders, our communities, and our economy for generations.