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New Jersey seeks $885 million for Northeast Corridor improvements

(Bloomberg News circulated the following story by Stacie Servetah on August 13, 2010.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New Jersey, the most densely populated U.S. state, is seeking $885 million of federal funds for improvements on the Northeast Corridor train line between Trenton and New York City.

Planned upgrades include the replacement of Amtrak’s Portal Bridge, which carries trains over the Hackensack River between Newark and New York Penn Station. The 100-year-old bridge needs frequent repairs and often causes commuter delays, according to a statement from New Jersey Transit today.

New Jersey applied for fiscal 2010 funding from President Barack Obama’s high-speed intercity rail program. The Obama administration in January awarded $8 billion in economic- stimulus money to jump-start the building of fast passenger- train service. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, which runs from Boston through New York to Washington, got $112 million of that money.

New Jersey Transit’s 165 rail stations and 60 light-rail stations make it the third-largest U.S. commuter-rail system, its statement said. It provides 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light-rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines.

In May, New Jersey Transit raised its system-wide average fare 22 percent to help close a $300 million budget gap. One-way commuter-rail tickets increased by 25 percent.

Monday, August 16, 2010

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