PATERSON - New Jersey's transportation trust fund is running on fumes, and the problem may get worse next month if the federal transportation fund runs dry.

Surrounded by NJ Transit buses lined up for repairs, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9th District) tried to clear the air Thursday at a news conference about transportation funding in New Jersey.

"When I'm fighting for a trust fund in Washington, I don't have much leverage if my own state isn't taking care of its own trust fund," he said.

Joined by business leaders and the executive director of NJ Transit, Ronnie Hakim, Pascrell aimed to raise awareness about the funding shortage, which puts road projects in jeopardy.

"There are real consequences if Congress fails to pass a long-term federal transportation bill," Hakim warned.

Next week, Pascrell plans to introduce a bill with Republican support that seeks to create a committee to find a solution. Until a solution is found, he proposes raising the federal gas tax, which is currently 18.4 cents a gallon.

According to the governor's office, the state transportation fund is covered through the next fiscal year.