I am pleased to announce that Governor James E. McGreevey signed the FY 2005 budget for the State of New Jersey on June 30, 2004, finalizing the $2.58 billion capital program for NJDOT and NJ TRANSIT. The Governor's budget provides historic levels of property tax relief, while making unprecedented investments in children and health care.
To keep property taxes under control, this budget provides more direct aid to school districts than ever before in New Jersey's history. It continues the investments that have helped our state lead the economic recovery in the region, and fills in the gaps where the federal government failed to live up to its responsibility.
This fiscally responsible and robust investment in New Jersey's transportation network will support jobs and encourage Smart Growth development through targeted capital investments. Virtually half the funding will be provided for public transportation while new highway expansion is limited to just four percent of spending. This substantial investment in our transportation network will facilitate the movement of over $7 billion worth of goods and services and directly support more than 100,000 jobs.
The FY 2005 Capital Program fulfills Governor McGreevey's commitment to improving safety, easing congestion by using Smart Growth and Fix-It-First strategies and providing needed property tax relief to New Jersey's counties and municipalities. Of the capital program, $1.4 billion is for use by the NJODT and $1.2 billion for NJ TRANSIT.
This capital program will provide nearly $550 million in new construction contracts. In addition, it will allow for $100 million in new design and engineering contracts. The ability to deliver this capital program in an expedited time frame is a priority for the Department.
NJDOT's Local Aid program will provide significant property tax relief to New Jersey counties and municipalities by making direct investments in local communities. The $260 million investment in Local Aid will help rebuild and revitalize communities, improve safety and enhance the quality of life in New Jersey's downtowns.
The FY 2005 Capital Program allows NJDOT to repair and rehabilitate over 15,000 lane miles of state highways, 32,000 miles of county and municipal roadways and 5,000 state and local bridges. This program will also put record amounts of work on the street. In FY 2005 alone, NJDOT will award more than $740 million worth of engineering and construction contracts.
Improving safety is the NJDOT's top priority. For this purpose, $100 million will be spent on engineering, education and enforcement initiatives designed to increase safety on state highways and bridges. The FY 2005 Capital Program invests $8.3 million for the Emergency Service Patrol Program; $4 million for the Safe Corridors Program; $1 million for improvements at intersections with especially high accident rates and $4 million for the Safe Streets to School Program.
At NJ TRANSIT, investments will be targeted to preserving and upgrading a public transportation system that covers more than 5,000 square miles and facilitates more than 222 million annual passenger trips. It provides for a $257 million investment in rail state-of-good repair needs such as basic track, signal, bridge and yard improvements; $16 million in bus and light rail facility needs and the replacement of more than 270 outdated buses.
In addition, $59 million will provide system-wide investments, including $9 million for technology upgrades to improve efficiency and reduce annual operating costs and $15 million to improve the on board announcement system, a frequent customer complaint. Finally, $7.5 million will be applied towards fulfilling Governor McGreevey's commitment to creating 20,000 new park and ride spaces statewide.
The Fiscal Year 2005 Capital Program is available on NJDOT's Web site and is broken down by projects, counties and routes.