This is a very big deal.

The Atlantic City, New Jersey destination resort has long been a drive market … with a desire to provide better access for those who arrive by air travel.

A New Jersey law has been passed and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy that will improve transportation from the Atlantic City International Airport to the Atlantic City Tourism District.

This has long been a goal of New Jersey Senator Vince Polistina, R-2, who sponsored the New Jersey State Senate legislation.

Three Southern New Jersey members of the New Jersey General Assembly, Don Guardian, R-2, Claire Swift, R-2 and Antwan McClellan, R-1 sponsored the sweeping legislation in the lower chamber.

I have no idea why Erik Simonsen, R-1 passed on the opportunity to be a co-sponsor.

There is a major need for transportation from Atlantic City International Airport and an even greater need for improved and creative transportation from Philadelphia International Airport to Atlantic City.

This crucial piece of the puzzle must be addressed next.

Atlantic City boasts an efficient public transportation system and our tourism district is built with bike lanes and pedestrian walkways, but we are an island and getting here from the mainland has room for improvement. This law promotes robust, reliable and safe access from the airport to Atlantic City, which will support the CRDA's tourism efforts and provide a better experience for visitors, said Guardian, who is a former Mayor of Atlantic City.

This particular law will allow the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority “to enter into contracts with state transportation agencies to increase access from the airport in Egg Harbor Township to the island,” according to the New Jersey Assembly Republicans.

Atlantic City's world-class entertainment and attractions drive significant tourism numbers in New Jersey. Making it easier for tourists to get here from the airport will support economic growth that benefits everyone, said Swift. This new law is the first step in expanding transportation options for travelers to this area.

The tourism district is comprised of the boardwalk and marina area and also includes the casinos, hotels and Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Ensuring our infrastructure makes it easy for tourists to stay and play is critical to New Jersey's economy. Funding more convenient and more direct access to Atlantic City from the airport that sits 12 miles away is a smart investment. New Jersey wins when Atlantic City succeeds, said McClellan.

Before this new law, the CRDA had limits regarding funding projects in the tourism district. They were also prevented from supporting community development in Atlantic City.

The CRDA can now finance highway projects or public transportation projects that will increase and improve access from the airport to the Atlantic City tourism district.

The CRDA can now enter into contracts directly with the state Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, or the Transportation Trust Fund Authority and directly fund necessary projects.

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