M E M O R A N D U M


TO:                    Members of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee

Members of the Senate Transportation Committee


FROM:               Christina M. Renna, Vice President

RE:                     New Jersey Transit Rail Service

DATE:                August 16, 2018

 

The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) would like to voice our concerns with New Jersey Transit’s recent decision to suspend the Atlantic City Rail Line effective September 5, 2018 through early 2019.

The Atlantic City Rail Line (ACL) operates from Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station along the White Horse Pike corridor with stops in Pennsauken, Cherry Hill, Lindenwold, Atco, Hammonton, Egg Harbor City and Absecon, ending in Atlantic City.  The rail line’s impact in South Jersey cannot be understated; it serves communities of South Jersey with critically necessary mass transit that is otherwise nonexistent in this region of the state.  The ACL is the only New Jersey Transit operated rail line in the southern portion of New Jersey, and the only rail line in New Jersey that serves Atlantic City.

Of primary concern is the impact the suspension will have on casino industry employees.  According to the most current data available from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (see attached map), there are approximately 544 casino employees that live in Camden County, where four of the ACLs stops are located.  If you count the number of casino employees in the surrounding counties of Burlington (118) and Gloucester (322) Counties, just under 1,000 casino employees live near ACL lines and potentially use the ACL to get to and from work.  These statistics do not take into account the tourists who utilize this line, nor the other businesspeople who use the rail line for their daily commute.

The CCSNJ fully understands the need for important safety improvements on the ACL.  However, as explained by New Jersey Transit, the months long shutdown of the rail line is due not only to making required safety improvements, but also to fill to personnel shortages in other areas of the State.  This means South Jersey commuters are going to be negatively impacted by ACL’s longer than necessary service suspension due to circumstances that could have been avoided.

Compared to its northern brethren, South Jersey is public transportation deprived. The suspension of the ACL will undoubtedly cause a major disturbance to South Jersey commuters, create hardships for hardworking casino employees – thousands of which live throughout the South Jersey region and impact upon the ability of tourists to visit the Atlantic City region.

Thank you for allowing the CCSNJ to express our concerns with the suspension of the Atlantic City Rail Line next month.