ASSEMBLY SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 4934
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: JUNE 15, 2023
The Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 4934 (1R).
As amended and reported, this bill establishes the Mobility and Transportation Innovation Pilot Program (program) in the Department of Transportation (department) and appropriates $2 million from the General Fund to support the program.
Specifically, the program provides grants to local government units and transit agencies to fund public transportation projects within Mercer County that utilize innovative technologies and strategies to enhance passenger mobility, increase access to public transportation among disadvantaged communities, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the bill, program grants may be used to support the provision of new transportation services, the expansion of existing transportation services, or the matching requirements for an otherwise eligible project that receives federal funding. However, to qualify for a program grant, the transportation project undertaken by the local government unit or transit agency is required to: (1) enable low-income persons, including persons without access to smartphone technology, to access any transportation services made available through the project; (2) include accessibility features to accommodate the mobility needs of persons with disabilities; (3) utilize innovative technologies or strategies that have already demonstrated success in similar transportation projects; and (4) meet any other eligibility criteria established by the department.
Under the bill, local government units and transit agencies may submit applications to the Commissioner of Transportation. At a minimum, the application is required to describe the transportation project, including the total anticipated project costs, all other sources of funding, and the requested grant amount, and demonstrate that the project qualifies for the program. Thereafter, the commissioner is to award grants, on a competitive basis, in such amounts as the commissioner deems appropriate.
The bill also requires the department to submit a written report detailing the operations of the program within one year of the bill’s effective date. At a minimum, the report is required to describe each project for which a program grant was awarded, specify the amount of each grant award, and assess the performance of the program.
The committee amended the bill to:
(1) update the bill’s title and synopsis;
(2) rename the “Mobility and Transportation Innovation Program” as the “Mobility and Transportation Innovation Pilot Program” to clarify that the program is established as a pilot program;
(3) update the definition of “program” to reflect the program’s updated title;
(4) require that eligible projects be within Mercer County;
(5) change the amount appropriated from $10 million to $2 million; and
(6) make a technical change to the bill.