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M-O-M RAIL STUDY MOVING TO NEXT PHASE

Public Outreach Effort Planned in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex Counties

NEWARK, NJ, October 22, 2002 -- NJ TRANSIT is preparing to advance the next phase of the Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (M-O-M) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), hosting three public scoping meetings in the three county area.

The outreach process will provide the public with an opportunity to offer comments and suggestions on any aspects of the technical work to be undertaken, including comments on three rail corridors currently included in the DEIS:

  • Monmouth Junction to Lakehurst.
  • Matawan to Lakehurst.
  • Red Bank to Lakehurst.

In addition, any other alternatives suggested during the public outreach effort will be considered.

The public scoping meetings – where several detailed presentations on the M-O-M project will be made – will be held on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, December 3, 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, 390 Forsgate Drive, Monroe.
  • Wednesday, December 4, 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Ramada Inn of Toms River, 2373 Route 9, Toms River.
  • Monday, December 9, 1:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Freehold Gardens, 50 Gibson Place, Freehold Township.

During the public scoping meetings, NJ TRANSIT will receive public comment at all three meeting locations. Written comments will also be accepted through January 31, 2003. E-mail correspondence should be directed to momcomments@njtransit.com. Correspondence by regular mail should be addressed to James Schwarzwalder, Project Manager, NJ TRANSIT, One Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ, 07105-2246.

The three commuter rail alignments currently included in the DEIS are:

  • A 40.1-mile freight alignment between Lakehurst and Monmouth Junction, where M-O-M trains would then travel on the Northeast Corridor to Newark. Passengers traveling south of Monmouth Junction or to New York on the Northeast Corridor would transfer to another NJ TRANSIT train.
  • A 27.7-mile freight alignment between Lakehurst and Red Bank, where trains would then operate north on the North Jersey Coast Line and Northeast Corridor to Newark. Passengers traveling south of Rahway or to New York on the Northeast Corridor would be required to transfer to another NJ TRANSIT train.
  • A 35.8-mile freight alignment between Lakehurst and Matawan, where trains would then operate north on the North Jersey Coast Line and Northeast Corridor to Newark. Passengers traveling south of Rahway or to New York on the Northeast Corridor would be required to transfer to another NJ TRANSIT train.

The DEIS process – which is scheduled to last between 18-24 months – includes the development of ridership projections, potential station and train storage locations, equipment requirements, capital and operating costs, infrastructure improvements, environmental impacts and train scheduling for each of the three alignments. The number of alignments under consideration in the DEIS may be reduced following a technical review of project data gathered on each alignment and input received during the public outreach effort.

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