As a result of the Alternatives Analysis, the DRPA has initiated the next phase of project development, the environmental review culminating in an Environmental Impact Statement. The first step in this EIS process is a public involvement phase with DRPA CEO and PATCO President John J. Matheussen announcing the scheduling of three public comment meetings.
The EIS will assess the possible social, economic and environmental benefits and impacts of the proposed Glassboro to Camden line.
DRPA Chairman John Estey
said, "The Glassboro to Camden Line, as well as the proposed Philadelphia
Waterfront Transit Expansion Alternatives Analysis Study, shows the Authority's
commitment to improve public transit for those who live, work and enjoy all the
activities the region has to offer.
Authority Vice Chair Jeff Nash pointed out that "this is the largest transit project ever planned to serve Camden and Gloucester Counties and something that has been needed and anticipated by South Jersey residents for a long time The project will be an economic stimulus for the region and will also be a spark for the redevelopment of towns along the 18 mile line."
The two-hour public comment meetings will be held in Camden and Glassboro. An information session explaining the proposed project will occur one hour before the public comment meeting. After the information session, a presentation will be given by the project team followed by the opportunity for the public to provide their comments. Those who wish to speak are required to register at the location on the day of the meeting.
According to Matheussen, "these public comment meetings will provide an opportunity for direct communication between the Glassboro to Camden study team and the public. We want to make sure members of the public are given the opportunity to make their comments and have them transcribed for the public record."
Matheussen added, "The end result is the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement that is in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. A Draft EIS is then issued for public review before the final Environmental Impact Statement is prepared."
PATCO General Manager Bob Box said, "The GCL will connect with PATCO and New Jersey Transit at Camden's Broadway Station, creating a major transportation hub. This will provide a direct connection for commuters who need to go to Trenton to the north, Lindenwold to the east, Glassboro to the south and, of course, Philadelphia to the west."
The public comment meetings will be held May 6 and day and evening sessions May 11.