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FEDERAL FUNDS SECURED FOR MOM RAIL LINE;
WILL HELP ENSURE PROJECT ADVANCEMENT

Press Release - 7-29-05

TOMS RIVER – A $1.25 million federal earmark for the proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line will assure the project studies will move forward, said Ocean County Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as Board liaison to the rail line project.

“This is outstanding news,” Lacey said. “We want to thank the hard work and the continuing effort of Congressmen Jim Saxton and Chris Smith in securing this earmark for the MOM passenger rail line.”

Saxton’s office announced today that he and Smith joined a bi-partisan majority to pass H.R. 3 – The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. Smith and Saxton worked together to request and secure a $1.25 million earmark for the MOM Passenger Rail Line.

“It is important that the federal government remain a partner in this critical transit project for Monmouth and Ocean residents,” said Smith, a member of the Passenger Rail Caucus. “The congestion in our community demands that the local, state and federal government work together to provide commuters the most efficient and productive routes of travel. By reducing congestion and connecting communities to urbanized areas, we will continue to create jobs and improve the economy.”

“The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has long supported this important transportation project, which we feel is necessary to alleviate traffic congestion on our local roads,” Freeholder Theodore J. Narozanick said. "We are pleased it continues to be recognized at the federal level, and to know that the next phase of the plan will be funded."

New Jersey Transit currently is studying different alternatives to the proposed MOM Rail Line that would originate in Lakehurst. The first alternative would connect with the Jersey Coast Line in Red Bank; the second in Matawan. Ocean and Monmouth counties support the Lakehurst-to-Monmouth Junction MOM alternative.

The Monmouth Junction route, Ocean and Monmouth officials say, will provide greater congestion relief for over-crowded roads like Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway while providing public transportation alternatives to the fast growing areas of Western Monmouth and Southern Middlesex counties.

The federal earmark will help advance the project from the Draft Environmental Impact Study that currently is under way to the final environmental impact statement.

Saxton said the study is needed to advance the project by examining alternate routes in order to select the option that best suits the region’s overall needs.

“Chris and I agree that the study should move us forward with MOM,” Saxton said. “We’re pleased it was included in the Transportation bill.”

Lacey noted that it was imperative that transit investments are made in Monmouth and Ocean counties so residents can reach jobs and other critical services in other portions of the state.

“MOM would provide a critical link to statewide services including medical facilities, job opportunities, and educational facilities,” Lacey said. “This project needs to advance and it needs to move forward now.”

Lacey also noted that in addition to the support of Congressmen Smith and Saxton the proposal has the ongoing support of Ocean County municipalities, the Central Jersey Rail Coalition, the Ocean County Transportation Board and a host of other individuals and agencies working to keep the proposal alive and moving forward.

“This passenger rail line would positively impact local economies and encourage tourism and recreational travel within New Jersey,” Saxton said. ”Rail service to northern New Jersey rail stations would also allow our residents to access other job markets, academic institutions, military bases and medical centers. Funding this study is a good step forward.”

 


 
           
  More detailed information is available on the NJ TRANSIT M-O-M website.
 

For more information:
     

Ocean County Planning Board
129 Hooper Ave.
PO Box 2191
Toms River, NJ 08754-2191

Ocean County Department of Transportation and Vehicle Services
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