A just-released study by the U.S. Treasury Department finds traffic jams wasted $1.9 billion dollars of fuel last year , which works out to about 7 billion dollars paid by drivers nationwide.

Janna Chernetz, the New Jersey Advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign says "more time in traffic wastes money for families all around - they waste money on gas, and more importantly, it costs time for commuters - the more time they spend in traffic the less time they spend at work - which decreases productivity and the less time commuters get to spend with their families."

She says "failing to invest in road maintenance costs commuters money in otherwise unnecessary repairs to their vehicle- money that would otherwise be spent to stimulate our economy…but it's important to remember we can't build our way out of congestion - as widening roads will soon fill up with traffic and lead us back to the very same problem that it was intended to fix…what we need to do is invest in more public transportation - but unfortunately there's been a shrinking commitment to transit over the years."

Chernetz points out "in 2004 New Jersey dedicated half of the New Jersey Department of Transportation's capital program dollars to transit - then in 2012, that number was only a third…we really need to be thinking about a better way to invest our transit dollars and our New Jersey taxpayer dollars…we need to spend them in a smart way, and that smart way is spending more money to keep our roads and bridges in a state of good repair and investing more in transit to give people options to get around."