WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today issued the following statement regarding the need for reforms at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey:

"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has the critical mission of delivering regional transportation choices and driving economic development. Unfortunately, this mission has been compromised by a lack of transparency that has allowed the agency to become a regional piggy bank-funding projects far outside its core mission and balancing its books on the backs of New Jersey commuters through unjustified toll hikes and fare increases.

"This is one reason I have long been calling for a full and independent audit of the Port Authority, which would be a strong first step towards restoring the public trust. I will continue to advocate for increased transparency and accountability, working with local and State stakeholders to ensure that the Port Authority focuses on its original mission in a way that best serves New Jerseyans and our region. Some of these reforms may be able to be resolved by the Port Authority itself; but changes to the agency's federal compact are also an option to ensure an efficient and transparent system.

"I believe that it is well past time for the Port Authority to refocus on providing a strong regional infrastructure network and earning back the public's trust."