Atlantic City, NJ wants to boost travel with rail station near airport
GALLOWAY TWP. — There is no NJ Transit rail station on the Atlantic City Line between Egg Harbor City and Absecon, but in the municipality flanked by both of those towns, momentum is starting to build for a stop specifically serving Atlantic City International Airport.
As recently reported by NJ.com, NJT is partnering with the South Jersey Transportation Authority on a feasibility study and potential design of a station at the airport's north end.
Lauren Moore, president of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, said the proposed station is only one piece of the South Jersey public transportation puzzle.
Moore also serves on the new Atlantic City Rail Line Coalition, which plans to increase its visibility in the region throughout the coming fall.
"The proposed rail station in Galloway is great and we're supportive of it, but our focus is on ridership," Moore said. "By increasing ridership, we're going to be able to work with NJ Transit to increase service along the line, and we really would like to see service increase. More predictable, more reliable service."
The way Moore puts it, infrastructure improvements, while effective, cost money. Making efforts to boost ridership doesn't.
And the Coalition's intention to have the ear of NJ Transit isn't meant as a nuisance, according to Moore.
"We want to be your partner in increasing ridership," he said. "We're not going to be a critic and just sit back and snipe. We want to be a part of the solution."
The Coalition, which has enlisted the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce as a main partner, believes that mass transit-oriented development helps the economy but also the environment, by taking cars off the road.
If it gets people in the air more easily, Moore said, that's a positive too.
"We've been keeping our eye on a rail station to serve the Atlantic City airport for quite some time, and the good news is that we have a developer that's prepared to move forward," he said.
Keeping cognizant of flight departures and arrivals could also better regulate, and possibly expand, the entire Atlantic City Line schedule.
"The last train leaves the station to go back to Philly at 10:50, 11:00 (p.m.)," Moore said. "It doesn't run after 11. Atlantic City's a 24/7 town."
The South Jersey Transportation Authority did not respond to a message left by New Jersey 101.5 last week seeking comment for this story.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email email@example.com.