The candidates for governor in this year's election cycle in New Jersey have a wide array of ideas about how to improve transit in the Garden State, according to reporting by Claude Brodesser-Akner in the Star-Ledger (May 22).

There are five Republican candidates:

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno promised to conduct an audit of the state's transportation fund, to end what she called the "mayhem" at NJ Transit. She said what the state needs is an "evidence-based" transportation funding formula, saying that present policy is "the worst public policy to come out of Trenton in a generation." She'd like a new Penn Station and bus terminal in Manhattan; complete the Gateway trans-Hudson tunnel; added ferry service; and new express trains.

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli  said the state should immediately target a "significant portion" of revenues from the recent gas tax increase to "address the NJ Transit crisis," and vowed to stop raiding NJT's capital budget to cover operating expenses. He also focused on cutting expenses by combining state agencies and, like Guadagno, wants to build Gateway, saying as she did, it should be done with federal funding. Ciattarelli also wants to renegotiate income tax rules with New York State, so that New Jersey residents who work in New York would pay income taxes to New Jersey, not New York.

Nutley town commissioner Steve Rogers promised a management study of NJ Transit, and to hold NJT supervisors responsible for the system's performance. He also would like to see innovative options like monorails, light rail, waterways, and air transport.

Hirsch Singh, also running for the Republican nomination, says his engineering background qualifies him to address inefficiencies in the state's transportation fund; but he'd also repeal the recently-passed gas tax hike and focus on legalized marijuana as a new source of infrastructure funding.

Six Democratic candidates also weighed in:

Phil Murphy, the Democratic front-runner, said the state needs a mutli-hundred-million-dollar proposal to fix NJT, and didn't rule out new taxes to accomplish this.  He called for an emergency manager, and an audit, and said that until Penn Station's problems get fixed there should be "indefinite" cross-honoring of tickets with PATH, ferries, and buses. Murphy too supports the federally-funded Gateway project.

Former US Treasury undersecretary Jim Johnson wants to end political appointees at NJT and says he has  "unified vision" for NJT.  He advocates better maintenance programs, including "predictive maintenance," and better data sharing among state agencies, and rail service to Glassboro in South Jersey.

Activist Bill Brennan called for new taxes to support transit, including taxes on marijuana sales and on high-salaried executives. He wants to focus on "green" infrastructure, and converting Madison Square Garden to an inegrated bus and train terminal.

Assemblyman John Wiesniewski, chair of the Assembly's transportation committee, emphasized the need to eliminate patronage appointments at NJT and at the Port Authority, and to focus the Port Authority on transportation.  He wants better transit for working-class people, saying the state should improve transit from affordable housing to employment hubs for a population sector that disproportionately depends on transit.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak advocates more citizen participation and public control over NJT, saying riders deserve a direct voice in NJT operations.

Tenafly Councilman Mark Zinna vowed to "reinvigorate" NJT with a unified fare system, ending raiding capital funds for operations, and infrastructure improvements including extending the No. 7 subway line from Manhattan to New Jersey, and the A Train subway line over the George Washington Bridge and as far as Paterson He said he would hold President Trump to his infrastructure campaign promises, and would include Amtrak's Gateway in the package.

The primary election on June 6 will, presumably, reduce the race to single candidates for each party, and thereafter the debate about transit will no doubt become a bit sharper.