From the South Jersey Desk
From the South Jersey Desk: Real Money Committed to PATCO Extension
This spring, the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) chose an alignment for the proposed extension of the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) high-speed line into Gloucester County. The chosen route follows an existing rail line through the downtowns of many of Gloucester County’s traditional centers, rather than the highway median of Route 55 or Route 42.
New Jersey Future has publicly supported this choice because it will help create walkable communities, provide transportation choices and revitalize older towns and cities.
Now comes news that the DRPA will spend nearly $9 million to conduct an environmental impact study of the proposed route. While the environmental study will most likely be a formality—as the article points out, the route is already an active freight rail line—the commitment of these funds, which will be provided by the state Department of Transportation, represents a major milestone for this project. While verbal support for the project has been expressed by many of the state’s political leaders, including Gov. Jon Corzine and state Senate Majority Leader Stephen M. Sweeney, this announcement represents the first major commitment of state funds to the project: $500 million, contingent on reauthorization of the Transportation Trust Fund.