FAQ

GLASSBORO-CAMDEN LINE

 

What is an EIS?

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a formal document that records the potential social, economic, and environmental benefits and impacts of the proposed project, and proposes measures to mitigate any adverse impacts. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that any transportation project seeking Federal funding complete an environmental review; the Project Team is preparing an EIS for the GCL project to follow these requirements.

How is the EIS study being funded?

NJ TRANSIT is providing the funding for the $8.1 million environmental study.

What is the role of each Agency on the Project Team?

NJ TRANSIT – Providing the funding for the EIS project
FTA – Lead Federal Agency
DRPA/PATCO – Project Manager

What is scoping?

Scoping is an early and open process to determine the scope (breadth) of issues to be addressed and to identify the most significant issues related to a proposed project. It is an important part of the NEPA process and serves as an opportunity for the public and government agencies to provide timely input at the outset of the EIS phase.

Where is the Glassboro-Camden Line (GCL) corridor?

The 18-mile corridor stretches from Glassboro to Camden along the existing railroad right-of-way currently used by Conrail for freight service. The restoration of rail passenger service using Light Rail technology was the Recommended Alternative selected at the end of the Southern New Jersey to Philadelphia Mass Transit Expansion Alternatives Analysis study completed in 2009. The new line would traverse the communities of Glassboro, Pitman, Sewell, Mantua Township, Deptford Township, Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, Woodbury, Westville, Brooklawn, Gloucester City, and Camden.

What is Light Rail technology?

Light rail technology refers to trains that are smaller and quieter than conventional commuter rail trains such as those operated on the Atlantic City Line by NJ TRANSIT. The type of trains anticipated to be used on the GCL corridor will be similar to those used on the NJ TRANSIT River LINE. Key characteristics of light rail include level boarding and the ability to operate on both a railroad right-of-way and an in-street alignment.

Where will the stations be located?

Fourteen potential stations were identified during the AA study: in the communities of Glassboro (2), Pitman, Sewell, Mantua Twp., Wenonah, Woodbury Heights, Woodbury (2), Westville, Gloucester City, and Camden (3). Station locations will be refined during the EIS phase.

How will the stations be designed?

Station types will vary between small, walk-up stations in the center of existing communities and larger, park-and-ride facilities built near major roadways. The Project Team will work with each community in planning the configurations of stations during the EIS phase. 

Will I be able to get to Center City Philadelphia? Atlantic CIty? Other places?

Travelers would be able to make transfers at Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden to reach nearby and distant destinations. A transfer to the PATCO Speedline would provide connections to Center City Philadelphia and Camden County, as well as to Atlantic City via NJ TRANSIT. A transfer to the NJ TRANSIT River LINE would provide connections to Trenton and to New York City via the Northeast Corridor.

How many tracks are needed for the new line? Will more be built?

The conceptual plans developed during the Alternatives Analysis call for two tracks for light rail service along the full length of the alignment from Glassboro to Camden. Two new tracks may be built along the length of the line, or one new track may be built and the GCL would share the single freight track for a portion of the line.

Will my property be affected by the space needed for the new line?

Preliminary reviews of the corridor for continuity and minimum width requirements conducted during the AA study show that there is enough space to accommodate the proposed track configuration. Potential property impacts will be evaluated in detail during the EIS phase.

How much will the line cost to build?

The AA study estimated that approximately $1.6 billion will be needed to implement the project. Cost estimates will be further refined during the EIS phase.

How often will the trains come?

Trains would operate as frequently as every 7.5 minutes in each direction during the peak periods (morning and evening rush hours) and every 15 minutes during the off-peak. The operating plan will be reviewed and refined during the EIS phase to account for new information on demand and ridership.

How late will trains run?

Trains would operate until around midnight every night. The operating plan will be developed further during the EIS phase.

How long will it take to get to Camden? To Philadelphia?

The following table shows estimated travel times between select locations.
 

How many people will ride the new line?

During the Alternatives Analysis, the Light Rail Alternative was estimated to carry 18,000 riders daily by 2030. A large portion of these represent new transit trips: trips that would otherwise be made by car. Further ridership analysis will be conducted during the EIS phase.

What type of vehicle will be used for the GCL? 

The GCL technology would be similar to the technology used on the NJ TRANSIT River LINE, which is a light rail vehicle that generates its own electric power via an on-board diesel engine.

Who will operate the new service?

At this time, a determination has not been made on the operator for the GCL. Discussions related to this will occur between the involved agencies during the EIS phase.

How fast will the trains move?

The specific speed configurations of the line have not yet been determined; this will be analyzed during the EIS phase. The estimated average speed of a train between Glassboro and Camden is 30 mph, with slower speeds near station areas and when operating on city streets. Light Rail is capable of operating at speeds of up to 65 mph in more isolated areas of the alignment, where conditions allow.

How much noise will the new trains make?

A full study of the noise impacts of the new line will be conducted during the EIS phase. This will include identifying potential mitigation measures, including quiet zones and other techniques, for locations heavily impacted by noise.

How will traffic be affected in my town? Will the gate closings cause traffic jams during the morning rush? 

A traffic analysis will be performed during the EIS phase that will evaluate the traffic delay at grade crossings along the line and assess the level of impact. The short period of time it takes for the train to cross a road would be no longer than the duration of a red traffic light cycle, and will occur less frequently, even during the peak period.

Will the gate closings get in the way of emergency responders?

The Traffic Analysis and the Safety and Security Analysis of the DEIS will address the effects to existing emergency routes due to gate closings. The proximity of the crossings to hospitals, police and fire stations, and other emergency-oriented facilities will be considered. Maintenance of these emergency routes or designation of alternative routes within the approved management plan will be discussed with emergency services providers and the public as these plans are developed.

What stage is the project in now?

The GCL project is currently in the environmental review phase. An EIS is being prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and consists of a full survey and study of potential environmental impacts due to the project and the mitigation measures that could be employed. The Project Team is working with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as joint lead agencies to complete the EIS process according to federal guidelines.

When will construction start?

Construction is anticipated to begin as early as 2016.

When will trains begin running?

The start of operations is anticipated to begin as early as 2019, approximately 2-3 years after the start of construction.

Will I have an opportunity to offer an opinion on the project?

Yes, the EIS process explicitly calls for periods of public commenting to make sure all opinions are heard and considered in the development of a major project. The first opportunity was during the Scoping Period when the range of topics to be considered in the Draft EIS is determined. There will be additional opportunities to comment on the project during a 45-day commenting period after the publication of the Draft EIS. More informative can be found on our Public Involvement page.