Northern New Jersey/Newark Rail Link (MOS-1)
Newark Rail Link (MOS-1)
Northern New Jersey
The New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT) will construct a one-mile, five station initial Minimum Operable Segment (MOS-1) of a proposed 8.8-mile, 16-station light rail transit (LRT) system between downtown Newark and downtown Elizabeth, New Jersey. MOS-1 will function as an extension of the existing 4.3-mile Newark City Subway light rail line, running from Broad Street in Newark to Newark Penn Station. NJ TRANSIT estimates that the one-mile MOS will cost $207.7 million (escalated dollars), including associated stations, and will serve 13,300 average weekday boardings in 2015. NJ TRANSIT estimates that the entire 8.8-mile project will have a total capital cost of $694 million (1995 dollars) and will carry 24,900 average weekday boardings in the year 2015.
The Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link is being advanced in three stages: MOS-1, a one-mile connection between the Broad Street Station and Newark Penn Station; the second segment, a one-mile LRT line from Newark Penn Station to Camp Street in downtown Newark; and the third segment, a seven mile LRT line from downtown Newark to the City of Elizabeth, including a station serving Newark International Airport. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) covering all three stages of the full build alternative was completed in January 1997. A Final EIS addressed only the initial MOS and was completed in October 1998. FTA signed the Record of Decision for MOS-1 in November 1998. In August 2000, FTA and NJ TRANSIT executed a Full Funding Grant Agreement for NERL MOS-1, committing $141.95 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds to construct the project. Environmental work on the other segments of the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link awaits completion of ongoing planning efforts.
TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(57) authorizes the New Jersey Urban Core Project, which consists of eight separate elements, including the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link, for final design and construction. TEA-21 continued Section 3031(b) of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, which stated:
[F]or the purposes of calculating non-Federal contributions to the net cost of the New Jersey Urban Core Project, the [Secretary of Transportation] shall include all non-Federal contributions made on or after January 1, 1987 for construction of any element of the project. Non-Federal funds committed to one element of the project may be used to meet the non-Federal share requirement for any other element of the project.
Through FY 2001, Congress has appropriated $36.63 million in Section 5309 new starts funds for the Newark Rail Link MOS-1 project. An additional $2.97 million in Section 5309 new starts funds was provided to the project in the FY 2001 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act.