TRENTON, NJ (WCBS 880) – The New Jersey State Assembly is holding a budget hearing today and transportation is on the agenda.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: Relief For Drivers’ Wallets

Bridge, highway, and road repairs are featured in the New Jersey state Department of Transportation’s budget proposal “by reducing debt, by prioritizing projects, and doing the projects that really matter,” says DOT commissioner Jim Simpson.

He says they are aiming to use less borrowed money.

But as for generating revenue by adding tolled ‘hot lanes’ to interstates 78 and 80, he says, “It’s going to create too much havoc on the free lane.”

He says it may help drivers for a stretch, but says those hot lanes would also back up in areas where lanes merge.

Hot lanes have been established in several states and they are special lanes you have to pay to use, the idea being that since only some people would pay to be able to use them, it would be faster.

“Even if we made it work in certain areas, there are too many bottlenecks. So… people… will pay to save some time, which is really the right thing to do, but then you got all the bottlenecks at all the tunnels and all the bridges in the big centers. There’s just not enough capacity,” says Simpson. “That’s not to say that maybe in certain areas way down the road we may want to do something as a pilot program. But it’s not in the cards for New Jersey. The hot lanes are just not there.”

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