New Jersey is in possession of a valuable resource: one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the country, an artifact of a transportation past that pre-dates the Interstate Highway System and the omnipresence of the automobile. The legacy bequeathed by this resource is a rate of transit commuting that is second highest among the 50 states. Transit ridership creates many societal, economic, and personal benefits: for example, reducing congestion on the state’s roads; alleviating the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases; reducing the need for vehicle ownership; and freeing up commuters’ time for other uses (reading, sleeping, etc.) rather than having to pay attention to the road. In general, transit creates efficiencies and reduces the per-capita impact of the transportation system by allowing multiple travelers to share the ride.
If increasing transit ridership is a desirable goal, then an intermediate goal must be to improve access to…
During the last 30 years, due to the flexibility of light rail transit (LRT), new systems have been implemented, some of which include line segments that share tracks with freight operations regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). To operate on the general railroad system, these LRT systems have obtained waivers from FRA safety regulations by operating with temporal separation. The aim of this research study was to further develop concepts for temporal separation to enable shared use operations in additional locations with more frequent and more flexible operations of FRA-compliant and non-compliant services. Based on the operating concepts and technology that facilitate temporal separation on the NJ TRANSIT River LINE, this project prepared a design for expanding freight and passenger operations while maintaining separation of modes in a configuration that is very similar to designs that have already been accepted by FRA.
The states of California, New Jersey, and Western Australia encourage smart growth through the employment of transit-oriented development (TOD). This article documents each state’s approach and highlights the importance of interagency cooperation at the state-level and intergovernmental cooperation between state and local governments. This article discusses the importance of state government participation in the planning and creation of policy to facilitate TOD and recommends elements for a model state TOD program.
The New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) Governmental Research Foundation (GRF) has released a report conducted by the Bloustein School's Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center revealing an association between designated Transit Village areas and higher residential property values. The study, An Evaluation of Property Values in New Jersey Transit Villages, is available online.
According to GRF President Bill Hanley, “The study was undertaken to determine whether the Transit Village Initiative, and its corresponding redevelopment, leads to increased property values for home and business owners within the designated area.”
Researchers performed an in-depth examination of six of the state’s 20 Transit Villages: Bound Brook (Somerset County), Belmar (Monmouth County), Burlington City (Burlington County), Journal Square in Jersey City (Hudson County), Metuchen (Middlesex County) and Pleasantville (Atlantic County). The various site analyses were…
A statistical analysis of the effect of three recent improvements to NJ TRANSIT’s rail system on home values predicts that ARC – a new commuter rail tunnel to Midtown Manhattan – could add a cumulative $18 billion to home values within two miles of NJ TRANSIT and Metro-North Port Jervis and Pascack Valley train stations. This, of course, is just one of ARC’s several long-term economic benefits, which also include an overall increase in the region’s economy, new jobs on both sides of the Hudson, higher personal incomes, higher commercial property values, and reductions in driving and air pollution.
Hedonic price modeling of 45,000 home sales within two miles of train stations shows that three improvements to the NJ TRANSIT rail system – Midtown Direct Service on the Morris & Essex Line, the Montclair Connection for the Montclair-Boonton Line and Secaucus Junction for the Pascack Valley and Main/ Bergen/Port Jervis Lines – increased the value of…
The Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line saved New Jersey and New York commuters more than 3.4 million gallons of gasoline last year - the equivalent fuel consumed by 6,000 cars annually. Transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of our nation’s oil consumption and nearly a third of our carbon dioxide emissions. To make us more energy independent and reduce pollution, we need to build a transportation system that uses less oil, takes advantage of alternative fuels, and shifts as much of our travel as possible from transportation modes that consume a lot of energy to those that consume less.
The State of Transportation
Benchmarks for Sustainable Transportation in New Jersey
How are New Jersey's transportation systems serving the state's residents today? Is transportation in New Jersey helping the state achieve the general goals of improving the environment and quality of life, bolstering the economies of its cities and towns and containing sprawl development? Is the state's current mix of roads, mass transit service, and freight corridors optimal, or heading in the right direction needed to meet these goals?
These important questions have been difficult for policy makers, planners, academics, advocates and citizens to answer because the necessary data is infrequently compiled and rarely presented in a format useful for year-to-year comparison. It is recorded and kept by dozens of state and federal agencies, from the U.S. Census Bureau to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
This report attempts to fill that information gap. The Tri-State…
More than a year-and-a-half ago, the most recent phase of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line was completed. Opened in 2000, this 20.6-mile long, 23-station route was developed in multiple phases through a creative design/build/operate and maintain (DBOM) contract. A product of intensive planning, public participation and political cooperation, the HBLR is a testament to the value of investment in new transportation infrastructure. Not only has ridership been growing, but land development has been
intensifying at stations along the line at a scale beyond that which road network alone could have borne. Acres and acres of old, abandoned rail yards, piers, and industrial sites along the route have been transformed into compact residential, office and retail developments in pedestrian, transit-friendly environments. The project has become a showcase of “smart growth.”
New transportation options have been opened for thousands of people in northern New Jersey through…
The New Jersey Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) demonstrates that the bene.ts of transit-oriented development are wide-ranging:
Large quantities of underutilized land along the rail line are being reclaimed for productive use. As a result, property values and ratables have grown exponentially.
Two areas, the Essex Street-Jersey Avenue Station corridor and the 9th Street Station in Hoboken, stand out as magnets for new residential development. Since the year 2000, nearly 4,500 units of housing within walking distance to these stations have been built or are under construction, with many more units approved.
Ridership as of April, 2006 (24,487 average weekday trips), is up almost 50% over the 2003 level. Hoboken, Pavonia-Newport, and Exchange Place (all PATH locations) are the top three stations in ridership activity.
This last statement highlights one of the most important outcomes of the HBLR: The quality of travel for Hudson County…