NJ TRANSIT and the Middlesex County Improvement Authority (MCIA) will enter into a unique partnership to design and build a new train station at the heart of the North Brunswick Main Street Transit Village, a mixed-use, transit-friendly community.
Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin joined a number of state, county and municipal officials to announce a memorandum of understanding that will allow the MCIA to take the lead on the project. Originally conceived in 2006 and located on the site of a former Johnson & Johnson facility, the $50 million project will be funded through the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund.
“A more connected New Jersey – with thriving, transit-rich communities – is a cornerstone of the stronger and fairer New Jersey that we are working to build,” Murphy said at a press conference announcing the MOU. “I am proud of the partnership between NJ TRANSIT and Middlesex County to identify a pathway that gets us to constructing Main Street North Brunswick’s long-planned commuter train station.”
“In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, it is important that we encourage the use of public transportation,” said NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Projects such as Main Street North Brunswick can revitalize communities and improve the quality of life for residents – making them an attractive place to live and work, and ensuring that New Jerseyans spend less time commuting and more time with their families and loved ones.”
Transit villages are seen as a way reduce roadway congestion and air pollution by concentrating the residences and retail stores near transit stations, reducing the need for long drives to either work or the train station. They are also seen as sound economic development vehicles.
“We identified the North Brunswick Train Station as a priority with the renewed Transportation Trust Fund because we recognized the need for expanded transportation services and the opportunity for immediate and long-term economic growth,” Sweeney said.
“As the most densely populated state in the U.S., it’s incredibly important that we have the infrastructure and transportation systems in place to get people where they need to go,” added Coughlin.
“Middlesex County is well positioned to lead this project and eager to collaborate with NJ TRANSIT to provide our residents with better access to public transportation,” said Freeholder Director Ronald Rios. “My colleagues on the Board of Chosen Freeholders and I recognize that the county is a major transportation center within the State of New Jersey, and this station will become a significant piece of infrastructure within an already vital transportation system.”