Northern New Jersey (Hawthorne Warwick Corridor)
Northern New Jersey/New York
The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) has proposed the restoration of commuter rail service on the New York, Susquehanna & Western (NYS&W) rail line as far as Sparta, New Jersey. The service would connect to NJ Transit's Main Line at Hawthorne, New Jersey, where trains would serve the Secaucus Transfer Station and Hoboken. The project would include track and signal improvements, new stations and parking facilities, equipment acquisition and rehabilitation of the Paterson (N.J.) Station on the NJ Transit Main Line.
Section 3035(a) of ISTEA directed FTA to negotiate and sign a multiyear grant agreement with NJ Transit for not less than $46.9 million. The agreement would cover the construction of this project. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $46.8 million in Section 5309 New Start funds, of which $17.1 million was rescinded in FY 1995.
A $1.5 million planning study was completed. This study includes conceptual design of the NYS&W line, an environmental assessment, capital cost estimates and preliminary design and engineering of the Paterson station upgrade project. In August of 1996 a final Environmental Assessment Study for the project was completed, and in September of 1996, FTA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact.
This project was awarded $1.51 million in Section 5309 New Start funds in FY 1993, $6.66 million in FY 1995, and an additional $21.56 in FY 1996, which brings the total Federal funding up to $29.73 million. These funds will support the initiation of signal and communication system planning, and preliminary engineering and design for the Patterson station upgrade, and for land acquisition and partial construction.
Mobility Improvements - The NYS&W project was shaped in the context of several other improvements, including the Secaucus Transfer, the widening of Route 23, the Kearny Connection and the Montclair Connection. The project will expand rail service to currently under-served markets. It will enhance NJ Transit's system coordination, efficiency and intermodal connectivity and relieve capacity constraints elsewhere on the NJ Transit network.
Cost Effectiveness - The cost effectiveness of this project is $59 per new transit trip (1996 dollars).
Environmental Benefits - Northern New Jersey is a ''severe" nonattainment area for ozone and a "moderate" nonattainment area for carbon monoxide. By increasing ridership and reducing automobile travel, the project would produce a net reduction in emissions of ozone precursors pollutants (NO2 and VOCs) in the project area. The overall effects on the project upon emissions were included in the regional emissions analysis conducted as part of the 1996-2000 TIP Transportation Conformity Determination by the New Jersey Transportation Planning Agency.
Operating Efficiencies - FTA does not have information on how the project would affect NJ Transit operating cost per passenger.
A financial plan has not been completed. The plan is expected to involve a combination of FTA and state funds, with the exact mix to be determined in the course of the environmental impact process. As provided in Section 3031(b) of ISTEA, NJ Transit may use New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway projects as local match for all its capital projects.
NJ Transit has programmed $48.21 million in the outyears of its Five Year Capital Plan (1997-2001) for this project. In addition, Bergen County has pledged $1.0 million towards station work.