Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) and Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) called on Governor Corzine to make as strong a commitment to completing much-needed mass transit projects that are located in suburban communities as he does to urban communities.
“The Governor’s Global Warming Response Act Recommendation Report calls for development to occur in areas served by cost-effective and convenient mass transit, for the creation of alternative forms of transportation and a reduction in commuting by people in single occupant vehicles,” said Bateman. “Despite these admirable goals, the Corzine Administration is promoting incoherent COAH policies that will only exacerbate sprawl, congestion and overdevelopment, while at the same time failing to push suburban mass transit projects that their report says are needed. The gap between the administration’s policies and their actions is big enough to drive a train through.”
Bateman and Oroho called for the administration to speed construction on two rail expansion projects. The proposed West Trenton line would restore commuter rail service on a 27-mile right-of-way running between the West Trenton Station in Ewing, Mercer County and NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line in Bridgewater Township, which would provide commuters with a rail connection between Ewing and Newark Penn Station. The Lackawanna Cut-off project would re-institute passenger rail service in Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey and provide service from Scranton to Hoboken or to New York Penn Station.
“Traffic conditions in Somerset and Mercer counties will continue to degrade unless the people in the region are given an alternative to using their cars,” said Bateman. Reactivation of the West Trenton line could help alleviate congestion and promote the very transit-oriented development that the administration says we should pursue. As long as the Governor is talking up urban infrastructure repairs as a way of fixing the economy, he should add this important suburban project to his list of talking points.”
“Completion of the Lackawanna Cut-off will provide regional rail service to under-served communities in northwestern New Jersey and remove thousands of cars from Route 80,” said Oroho. We need more than the seven miles of track that this administration is committed to building. This project is just as important as any in Hudson or Essex counties and it should be put on the fast-track.
“The Governor talks about getting started on infrastructure projects as a way to stimulate our flagging economy, ” continued Oroho. “The Lackawanna Cut-off has been studied for decades, and it’s time to put down the pencils and pick up the shovels.”