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NJ TRANSIT HOSTS MEETINGS ON WEST SHORE REGION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDIES

Three Rail Alignments Being Considered for Commuter Rail and Light Rail Service in Bergen, Passaic and Rockland Counties

CONTACT: Ken Miller (973-491-7078)

NEWARK, NJ, July 3, 2001 -- NJ TRANSIT will host a series of public scooping meetings in Bergen, Passaic and Rockland counties during the month of July to gather public input on several transit projects that have the potential to create a regional transportation network in the three counties.

The West Shore Region Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) study is preparing environmental documentation for a network of rail projects to serve the region:

  • Commuter rail service on the West Shore Corridor that would operate for 31 miles between West Nyack and Hoboken via the Secaucus Transfer and the Meadowlands Sports Complex. West Shore commuter rail could also connect with Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NJ TRANSIT commuter rail, PATH and ferry services. An extension of this route from West Nyack to West Haverstraw, NY is also being considered.
  • Light rail service on the Bergen-Passaic Cross County Corridor (NYS&W Line), which would operate for 17 miles between Hawthorne/Paterson and Ridgefield, where it would link with Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service. This service could also connect with the proposed Northern Branch light rail, West Shore Corridor commuter rail, other NJ TRANSIT commuter rail, PATH and ferry services.
  • Light rail service on the Northern Branch Corridor, which would operate for 16 miles between Tenafly or Englewood and North Bergen, linking to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service. The Northern Branch could also connect with Bergen-Passaic light rail, West Shore commuter rail, other NJ TRANSIT commuter rail, PATH and ferry services.

Commuter rail service ran on all three of these corridors until they were abandoned by private railroad operators in the 1950s and 1960s. They are now partially or entirely used for rail freight operations. Increasing population and employment opportunities -- combined with associated traffic congestion along each of the three corridors -- led to the MIS/DEIS effort. A transportation network that would advance all three rail options would serve an estimated 24,400 average weekday passengers by 2020.

The MIS/DEIS work includes research on capital and operating costs of each system, possible station and parking locations, rail vehicle equipment needs, rail storage needs, examination of upgrades to the existing rail infrastructure, transportation feeder services, community and environmental impacts (including aesthetics, traffic, noise and air quality) and transit friendly planning around train stations. This material will conform with federal requirements so that the projects will be eligible for federal funding.

The following schedule has been released for the public scoping sessions:

West Shore Corridor

  • Thursday, July 12, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Orangetown Town Hall Courtroom, 26 Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY.
  • Wednesday, July 18, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Teaneck Recreation Center, 2nd floor, 250 Colonial Court, Teaneck, NJ.

Northern Branch Corridor

  • Wednesday, July 11, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the John Harms Center for the Arts, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ.

Bergen-Passaic Corridor

  • Tuesday, July 10, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bergen County Freeholders' Meeting Room, 5th Floor, 1 Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack, NJ.
  • Tuesday, July 17, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Passaic County Freeholders Meeting Room #223, 401 Grand Street, Paterson, NJ.

At each of the public scoping sessions, NJ TRANSIT will provide project overviews, offer one-on-one and small group briefings and solicit comments from the public. The comments will be incorporated into the final scoping documents that will be forwarded to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for review, requesting approval to proceed with preparation of the DEIS for each of the three proposed projects.

In addition to comments solicited during the public scoping sessions, members of the public are invited to offer written comments to NJ TRANSIT by August 15. Written comments on the West Shore and Northern Branch corridors should be directed to Joseph Lombardi, Project Manager, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ, 07105-2246. Bergen-Passaic written comments should be directed to Steve Jurow, Project Manager, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ, 07105-2246.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 383,900 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

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