Take a new train to the plane? Group pushing for the Atlantic City Airport train station.

Next stop at Atlantic City Airport? The announcement could be heard on Atlantic City Line trains, depending on the results of a study on the construction of a station at the north end of the airport.

NJ Transit and South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Airport, have agreed to conduct a feasibility study for building a station on land proposed by a developer in Galloway Township.

And the Atlantic City Rail Line has its own advocacy group, which supports the proposed airport station and other upgrades to get more passengers onto trains and eventually to the airport.

A new station has been proposed as part of a larger conceptual redevelopment plan for land on Route 30 in Galloway on the northern border of the airport property. It is the last effort in several years to build a station to serve the airport. A shuttle now runs between the airport and Egg Harbor station and two NJ Transit bus lines at Richard Stockton University.

The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which manages the airport, and NJ Transit have agreed to study the airport terminal proposal.

“It has been a topic of discussion for many years. More recently, a redeveloper in the Township of Galloway wanted to include the station in their site plan, ”said Steve Mazur, chief engineer of SJTA. “NJ Transit has contacted SJTA to join the study.”

The idea of ​​an airport station is not new and was raised as part of a larger study of the Atlantic City Rail Line conducted by the agency about a decade ago, Nancy said. Snyder, spokesperson for NJ Transit.

The joint study will examine the physical and operational feasibility of constructing a station at a site on the north side of the railway right-of-way at a location east of the Pomona Road crossing which is adjacent to the redevelopment site of Pomona Commons, she mentioned.

The study will not examine other options such as bus service or rapid bus transportation to and from the airport, Snyder said.

“The first step is to determine the feasibility, and that’s what we would do,” she said. “Subsequent tasks would explore design, operations and services. “

The study has a budget of $ 400,000, which will be split between NJ Transit and the Authority, Mazur said. The only other option being considered at the moment is the feasibility of a rail branch line within the Atlantic City International Airport property, he said.

The next steps are the finalization of the deal, the hiring of the consultant, which will be carried out by the SJTA and the start of the feasibility assessment, Snyder said. The study completion date has not yet been determined, but is expected to take around 10 months from a set start date, she said.

This station is offered as part of a mixed-use development concept planned on the site of a former Catholic church. The conceptual redevelopment plan for the 97,000 square foot development known as Pomona Commons was added to the township master plan by Galloway council in June, the Atlantic City Press reported. It was proposed by ARK Innovation.

The new station would rely on a bus to transport passengers on the last leg of the journey between the rail line and the airport terminal.

The construction of an airport station has been studied intermittently and was recently the subject of a bill introduced in May 2016 by two members of the North Jersey Assembly, Tim Eutace, D-Bergen and John Wisniewski , D-Middlesex. The state Department of Transportation would have had to build an airport station, but this legislation was never put to a vote.

A proposed station also received support from the Atlantic City Rail Line Coalition, formed in May by businesses, nonprofits and public advocacy groups promoting improvements to the line to increase ridership, encourage tourism and future development focused on public transport in line stations. between Atlantic City and Philadelphia.

“Our regional airport does not have a train station. The shuttle goes to Egg Harbor City for miles, ”said Lauren Moore, executive member of the Atlantic City Rail Coalition. “We would like a train station directly at the airport. We feel very strongly and very united. “

He called an airport station “a great opportunity to take our international airport to the next level” and hoped this would encourage airlines to add services to and from the airport.

“Travelers aren’t interested in shuttles, it sounds complicated,” Moore said. “When we can say that there is a station on the site of the airport, that’s another story. We are delighted to see SJTA partnering with NJ Transit to conduct a study ”

The coalition is interested in promoting transit-focused development, a concept of building residential housing for commuters within walking distance of stations to eliminate traffic, shops and offices, at other stations on the way. railway, in collaboration with the municipal authorities.

“This is why we have partnered with the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic County Economic Alliance to work with all municipalities along the (rail) line to generate support,” he said. he declared. “We would like to work with NJ Transit to discuss alternatives to increase service.”

Currently, Pleasantville is the only Atlantic County municipality in the DOT Transit Village program where two transit-oriented developments have been proposed and the villages of St. Peters have been constructed. Pleasantville is served by the SJTA airport shuttle. There are 33 municipalities participating in the transit villages program.

Other municipalities on the Atlantic City rail line are part of NJ Transit’s transit-friendly planning program, including Galloway and Cherry Hill.

“This is a top-down regional effort,” Moore said. “We contacted other railway coalitions and each municipality that hosts a station. The response has been universally on board. We want to maximize the potential of rail.

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Larry Higgs can be reached at [email protected].

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