House Passes MOM Funds
$1M for Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex Rail Line Approved
The House of Representatives passed funding for the Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex (MOM) Passenger Rail Line late last night, said Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Jim Saxton (NJ-03) today.The House of Representatives passed funding for the Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex (MOM) Passenger Rail Line late last night, said Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Jim Saxton (NJ-03) today.
The MOM Alternatives Analysis will receive $1 million in the 2008 U.S. Department of Transportation budget, which passed the House 268-153. The House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee approved funds July 12.
State and local planners intend the MOM Passenger Rail Line to relieve traffic congestion in the region, the fastest growing area in central New Jersey. The MOM Line would extend passenger rail service from New York City, Newark, and other urban areas of North Jersey into Central New Jersey.
“New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, and anyone who has driven to work or to a store today probably experienced the effects of that density firsthand,” Saxton said. “Public transportation like passenger rail lines can improve transportation systems, which are the lifeblood to tourism and commuting. The MOM study examines a proposal that would create rail service between North and South Jersey. Ultimately, the MOM rail line could take cars off the road while providing our residents with travel options to work, school, recreation, shopping, hospitals and other locations.”
“The MOM line is critical to relieving congestion and its related health problems in the three-county region of Central New Jersey. I am committed to seeing this project through from start to finish. Winning the federal funding for the required state-conducted study continues our partnership on this project and brings us one step closer to making the MOM line a reality,” said Smith.
Smith and Saxton helped authorize the project in 2004 legislation which authorized MOM and other federal transportation projects across the country. The bill allowed them to seek appropriations over six years.
“Ocean County is extremely pleased the transportation budget has been approved with funds for continuing the MOM study,” said Ocean County Freeholder James F. Lacey, who serves as Freeholder liaison on transportation issues. “It’s imperative this rail line be built to service some of the fastest growing areas of the state. It’s apparent our Congressional leaders recognize the need, and we appreciate their ongoing efforts in securing the continued funding.”
The final potential stop of the MOM Line would be Lakehurst Borough, which is home to a U.S. Navy base, the Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station (NAES), the largest employer in Ocean County. Lakehurst Navy base is situated adjacent to an Army base, Fort Dix, and Air Force facility, McGuire Air Force Base.