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Transit Village Update

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April 2007
Volume 3, Number 1
Elizabeth Designated a New Jersey Transit Village

In February 2007, Elizabeth joined an elite group of New Jersey municipalities when it became the 18th designated Transit Village. This qualified the city for a $100,000 planning grant from the NJ Department of Transportation to begin transforming the area around the station. Elizabeth is a major transit hub for rail and bus: NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains make frequent stops and numerous bus lines serve the station area. This valuable transportation asset will allow Elizabeth not only to attract housing and retail development, but will provide the basis for the creation of a major employment center.

The 2003 estimated population of Elizabeth was 123,215, up 2.2 percent from the 2000 Census. This growth rate stems largely from immigration; about half of the city’s residents claim Hispanic ancestry. Elizabeth has made major strides in revitalization over the last 15 years — reclaiming a sizable landfill for reuse as retail and entertainment venues, developing an impressive HOPE VI project along the waterfront, and hosting numerous private rehabilitations of older housing stock. However, the downtown station area has yet to see similar levels of activity.

“In recent years, the city of Elizabeth has experienced a renaissance through the incorporation of booming economic development, new market-rate and affordable housing and the revitalization of our neighborhoods,” said Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage. “Building upon a vision and the implementation of a focused redevelopment plan, the Transit Village designation will complement and contribute to the City’s ongoing efforts to renew its historic midtown area, while continuing the new energy that is evident throughout our city.”

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Courtesy of the North Jersey
Transportation Planning Authority

Burlington City is the State’s Latest Transit Village

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In March 2007, New Jersey named its 19th Transit Village, Burlington City. The Transit Village district encompasses the area in the half-mile circle around NJ TRANSIT’s RiverLine Burlington Towne Centre Station. The RiverLine connects the community to Trenton, (with transfer to the Northeast Corridor line or Amtrak) and Camden (with connection to Philadelphia on the PATCO line at the Walter Rand Transportation Center). The station has been open since March 2004. This Transit Village is the second named in Burlington County; Riverside was named in 2001.

With this designation, Burlington City received $100,000 in state funding and planning assistance to help the community redevelop properties near its downtown station. As a Transit Village, Burlington City will have direct access to the 11 state agencies that are represented on the Transit Village Task Force, as well as priority consideration in applications for state funding.

“Becoming a Transit Village offers us a great opportunity to obtain technical planning assistance and funding to assist the City in carrying out our plans to improve the area around our train station. We are quite thrilled to have been selected!" said Mayor Darlene Scocca.

This small town of nearly 10,000 residents is ready for growth. Scocca said there are several housing developments planned for Burlington City, which should bring hundreds of new residents to the downtown area. Having these projects in the works, Scocca  noted, is one reason the city was successful in its bid to gain the designation.

 
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