Timeline

 

The Past:

 

  • 1909 - Electric passenger train service between Camden and Millville begins

  • 1926 - The Delaware River Joint Commission begins rapid transit service accross the Ben Franklin Bridge. 

  • 1949 - Electric passenger train service between Camden and Millville ends, replaced by diesel powered trains.

  • 1963 - The Delaware River Port Authority authorizes the initial segment of a proposed three-branch PATCO system.

  • 1969 - PATCO service begins between Philadelphia and Lindenwold.

  • 1970 - Passenger rail service between Camden and Millville ends.

  • 1975 & onward - Multiple PATCO expansion studies are conducted by the Delaware River Port Authority and NJ Transit.

  • 1993 - NJ Transit releases a study entitled "Burlington-Gloucester Corridor Assesment".

  • 1996 - NJ Transit releases the Burlington-Gloucester Major Investment Study.

  • 1996 - Local and regional poltical leaders in Gloucester County capitulate to anti-passenger rail NIMBY's (Not In My Back Yard).

  • 1996 - NJ Transit moves the proposed passenger rail project from Gloucester County to Burlington County

  • 2004 - The RiverLine begins service between Camden and Trenton.

  • 2009 - The corridor Alternatives Analysis indicates Diesel Light Rail Transit, similar to that currently operating on the NJ Transit RiverLine, is the preferred system technology

  • 2010 - DRPA announced that it would not build or operate the proposed Diesel Light Rail system in the Glassboro-Camden corridor.

  • 2012 -  DRPA Board Finance Committee approves the contract for an Environmental Impact Study of the Glassboro-Camden Line

On November 2nd, 2020, DRPA released the Glassboro-Camden Line Draft Environmental Impact Statement.  There is still no lead agency associated with the project at this time. 

 

The Present:

 

Gloucester County is the only county within the jurisdiction of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission that is not served by a passenger rail system.  As a result, transit use (as a percentage of all trips) is the lowest among all counties in the Delaware Valley region.

Gloucester County has experienced high population growth rates since 1990 due to the availability of undeveloped land.  Cumberland County and Salem County, located south of Gloucester County, have also experienced population growth.

Starting in the mid-1990's, road congestion on the limited access highways leading to Philadelphia has increased substantially, despite a major capacity improvement project completed in 1998 along NJ State Highway Route 42.  Major congestion exists on NJ State Highway 55 northbound during much of the day. Any new road capacity enhancements would be prohibitively expensive.

 

The Future:

 

The population in the counties of Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem will continue to increase.  If no action is taken, the population growth will result in greater traffic congestion, increasing pollution, more time wasted and a reduction in quality of life. 

The solution to address the issue of reduced mobility is a passenger rail system.  A PATCO Light Rail system can provide the most attractive service through the cost-efficient use of capital resources. 

Header graphic courtesy of Alsthom