Metuchen Becomes 8th Designated Transit Village
Governor James E. McGreevey and Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox announced that the Borough of Metuchen has been accepted for inclusion in the State’s Transit Village program, which partners the borough with ten state agencies to help implement redevelopment goals around the Metuchen train station.
"We are proud to accept Metuchen into the Transit Village program," said Governor James E. McGreevey. "Mayor O’Brien and the borough officials have not only made a strong commitment to the betterment of their community, but also to relieving congestion on our roads through the encouragement of public transportation."
"The continued expansion of the Transit Village program clearly demonstrates that mass transit can be the focal point of successful downtown revitalization," Commissioner Fox said. "By encouraging growth in our already developed areas, we not only provide a boost to the economy, but also prevent sprawl in our farmland and open space areas."
The Transit Village program is designed to spur economic development, urban revitalization and private-sector investment around passenger rail stations. A designated Transit Village is a community with a bus, train, light rail or ferry station that has developed a plan to achieve its goals.
"As a resident of Metuchen for over 20 years, I have witnessed the increasingly vital role that our rail station has played within the borough," said State Senator Barbara Buono. "I am glad to see that a long-term commitment has been made to mass transit and that the station will be a focal point of future economic growth and prosperity."
"This is another reason why Metuchen is such an outstanding place to live. Mayor O'Brien and the Metuchen Council are to be complimented on their innovative approach to government," said Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan.
To be designated, a municipality must demonstrate a commitment to smart growth planning and transit-oriented development, including mixed-use development within a quarter- to half-mile of the transportation facility, as well as an additional commitment to maintain the architectural history of the area, create housing, cultural and commercial opportunities within walking distance of the facility.
Metuchen is the eighth municipality to win a Transit Village designation. The other municipalities are Morristown, Pleasantville, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside and Rahway.
The Transit Village initiative seeks to provide much-needed congestion relief on New Jersey roadways through the promotion of public transit expansion and partnerships with the private sector. Municipalities designated as Transit Villages will be given priority consideration for funding and technical assistance by the participating agencies.
Other participating agencies include, the NJ Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, NJ Department of Community Affairs, NJ Redevelopment Authority, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, NJ State Council on the Arts, NJ Economic Development Authority, NJ Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the NJ Office of Smart Growth.