NJDOT designates Burlington City as New Jersey's 19th Transit Village
(Burlington City) –New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced the designation of Burlington City’s Towne Center RiverLine Station area as the state’s 19th Transit Village.
Burlington City has been awarded $100,000 in state funding as a part of its designation.
“Land-use and transportation are intrinsically linked, and better coordination and planning can improve congestion and commuting,” said Commissioner Kolluri. “Transit Villages give NJDOT the opportunity to help communities improve their development by taking advantage of existing transportation assets. I commend Burlington City for applying these ideals to their future development.”
The Transit Village initiative strives to help redevelop and revitalize communities around mass transit stations to make them an appealing choice for people to live and work, thereby reducing reliance on the automobile and strengthening local economies.
The Transit Village initiative designates municipalities with a bus, train, light rail station or a ferry terminal that have embraced a Smart Growth vision. That vision includes opportunities for growth and economic revitalization; a commitment to compact, mixed-use development; a strong residential component including affordable housing; and jobs, restaurants, arts and entertainment and preservation of a rich architectural character within walking distance of a passenger transportation facility.
The benefits of Transit Village designation include the state’s commitment to municipal redevelopment, eligibility for NJDOT Transit Village grants, priority status for state funding, technical planning assistance, and coordination among state agencies as part of the state's inter-agency Transit Village Task Force.
"I would very much like to thank the Department of Transportation and the Department of Community Affairs for designating the City of Burlington as a Transit Village,” said Burlington City Mayor Darlene Scocca. “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!"
Applications for Transit Village designation are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the Transit Village Task Force. The task force reviews applications and makes recommendations to the NJDOT Commissioner, who has final approval of Transit Village designations. In addition to NJDOT, NJ TRANSIT, the Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, the Council on the Arts, the Department of Community Affairs, 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 Redevelopment Authority serve on the Transit Village Task Force.
"Transit villages incorporate smart growth principles to help revitalize New Jersey's communities," said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin. "Today, Burlington City moves forward in protecting open space and reducing automobile dependency while at the same time rebuilding their community."
The Transit Village initiative encourages growth in New Jersey towns where infrastructure and public transit already exist. Studies have shown that an increase in residential housing options within walking distance of a mass transit station increases transit ridership to a greater degree than any other type of development. The Transit Village initiative seeks to bring more housing, businesses and people into communities with mass transit stations.
The Transit Village initiative began designating municipalities in 1999. Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City and Netcong were designated in previous years, and Elizabeth City was designated earlier in 2007.