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Atlantic City is now the 35th municipality to receive the state’s Transit Village designation, making it eligible for funding and technical assistance for initiatives that promote mixed-use development and safe accommodations for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders.

NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said Thursday that to receive a Transit Village designation, a municipality must develop a plan for redevelopment that promotes economic activity and public transportation.

“Atlantic City’s plan to create a mixed-use neighborhood near the Atlantic City rail station will transform one of New Jersey’s premier destinations in a way that will enhance the quality of life for the residents, as well as visitors, through enhanced bike and pedestrian facilities near public transportation, shops and restaurants,” Gutierrez-Scaccetti said.

Atlantic City’s primary objective in the Transit Village District is to promote compact, mixed-use development, and a walkable, bikeable and transit friendly environment around the Atlantic City rail station, which is the focal point of the Transit Village.

The plan is to increase housing opportunities within walking distance of shops, restaurants, offices, entertainment, and cultural centers by increasing opportunities for pedestrian activity and reducing reliance on automobiles. The goal is to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, boost the local economy, and improve safety and security.

The state’s Transit Village Initiative connects designated municipalities with a task force comprised of 10 state agencies that help implement mixed-use development and Complete Streets accommodations near transit facilities. The Complete Streets initiative requires future roadway improvement projects to include safe accommodations for all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and individuals whose mobility is impaired.

The Atlantic City Rail Terminal train station, located inside the Atlantic City Convention Center, serves as the terminus of the Atlantic City rail line, operated by NJ TRANSIT, that runs from the Philadelphia 30th Street Station to Atlantic City. In addition, the Atlantic City Bus Terminal, a regional bus station and major stop for NJ TRANSIT buses, is located two city blocks from the rail terminal.

NJ TRANSIT also operates local bus routes within Atlantic County, which are centered on Atlantic City. In addition, the Atlantic City Jitney Association (ACJA) operates a minibus service in the city, providing 24-hour service on three fixed routes, daytime service on a fourth fixed route, and fare-free bus-to-rail connections to Atlantic City Line trains.

The Atlantic City Transit Village District falls within the jurisdiction of both the city and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The two entities have formed a partnership that will enhance development in the Transit Village District through CRDA financing capabilities to facilitate residential and commercial projects.

New Jersey’s first Transit Village was designated in 1999. The roster now includes Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City, Netcong, Elizabeth, Burlington City, Orange, Somerville, Montclair, Linden, West Windsor, East Orange, Dunellen, Summit, Plainfield, Park Ridge, Irvington, Hackensack, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Newark, and Atlantic City.

NJDOT has programmed $1 million in the Fiscal Year 2024 Capital Program to provide funding on a competitive basis to the 35 municipalities designated as Transit Villages.