28 January 2009

Tracks Are Clear, Destination is Fuzzy

The Federal Transit Administration has released their "record of decision" on the proposed New Jersey-Manhattan rail tunnel project. This will allow the project to receive matching funds from the federal government.

Why do we care about this in Hillsborough? A second rail tunnel into Manhattan is a prerequisite for potential re-activation of passenger train service on the West Trenton Line - from Trenton, through Hopewell, Montgomery, and Hillsborough. The thought has been that before train service and ridership on NJ Transit could be expanded, there will need to be a route for all of those trains to get into Manhattan. A second rail tunnel will conceivably double train service into the city.

While I agree that a second rail tunnel is needed, and has been for a long time, I am confused about the notion that ALL of New Jersey needs desperately to get to Manhattan. Why is that?

Governor Corzine, in his State of the State address earlier this month, was quite vocal in his support of the project - a project where half of the $10 billion price will be paid for by our state.

I don't think that it has to be a given that so much of our workforce has to travel to Manhattan, that so much of our commerce has to take place in Manhattan.

Imagine if $5 billion were to be spent to once again make Newark a place where people would want to work and conduct business. That's the kind of thing that our governor should be championing - instead of pushing for the conduit that ensures Manhattan's continued dominance.

No comments:

Post a Comment