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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Marc La Vorgna
609-530-4280

RELEASE: February 15, 2005

 

Lettiere, Levin, Warrington announce two new
Transit Villages

(New Brunswick) - Today, New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Jack Lettiere, Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Susan Bass Levin and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington announced Jersey City and New Brunswick City are the two newest additions to the State's Transit Village program. Each city was awarded $100,000 in State funding as a part of being named a Transit Village.

 

The Transit Village program strives to help redevelop and revitalize communities around mass transit stations to make them an appealing choice for people to live, work and play, thereby reducing reliance on the automobile. With today's two new additions, there are now 16 Transit Villages across the state.

 

"These Transit Village designations are investments in our communities. By concentrating development in areas where people can walk to work, we are building neighborhoods where people want to raise families and build businesses," stated DCA Commissioner Levin. "By giving our residents more time at home and less time on the road, we are easing traffic congestion, improving air quality and strengthening communities. This is, simply, the right thing to do."

 

The Transit Village program is a model for Smart Growth, as it encourages growth in New Jersey where infrastructure and public transit already exist.

 

"Transit Villages are very much about creating the right frame of mind for future development," noted NJDOT Commissioner Jack Lettiere. "Land-use and transportation are intrinsically linked, a fact has been ignored for too long in New Jersey, which has caused unnecessary congestion and commuting delays. Transit Villages are about helping communities develop in the right way by utilizing existing transportation assets."

 

The Transit Village program began designating municipalities in 1999. Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford and Matawan were all named Transit Villages in previous years.

 

"The Transit Village Initiative makes good business sense not only for communities, but also for NJ TRANSIT," said Executive Director George D. Warrington. "It will attract riders to our system by encouraging the development of housing around transit while providing much-needed congestion relief on New Jersey roadways through the promotion of public transit use."

 

Studies have shown that an increase in residential housing options within walking distance of a mass transit station does more to increase transit ridership than any other type of development. Therefore, it is a goal of the Transit Village program to bring more housing, more businesses and more people into communities with mass transit stations.

 

To be designated a Transit Village, a municipality must meet stringent criteria. A designated Transit Village must: have an existing transit facility, this can be a rail or light rail station, ferry terminal, a bus hub or bus transfer station; have vacant land and/or underutilized or deteriorated buildings within walking distance of transit where redevelopment can take place; have an adopted land-use strategy for achieving compact, transit-supportive, mixed-use development within walking distance of transit; and have a strong residential component.

 

Applications for Transit Village status are reviewed by the State's inter-agency Transit Village Task Force. The task force is comprised of professional staff from NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, DCA, Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, the Council on the Arts, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Economic Development Authority, the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the Office of Smart Growth, Main Street New Jersey and the NJ Redevelopment Authority.

 

The task force reviews and works with municipalities to improve their applications. Once the task force has completed its review of all applications, it makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Transportation, who has final approval of Transit Village designations.

 

Municipalities that have applied but not yet received the Transit Village designation will be given detailed guidance to meet the selection criterion. All towns are encouraged to continue to improve their applications and apply again.

 

Being designated a Transit Village provides a municipality with the following benefits:

  • State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality's vision for redevelopment.
  • Coordination among the State agencies that make up the Transit Village task force.
  • Priority funding from some State agencies.
  • Technical assistance from some State agencies.
  • Eligibility for grants from NJDOT's dedicated Transit Village funding.
 
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  January 13, 2012