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NJ Transit's answers still leave questions for those losing Atlantic City Rail Line

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Ashlie Jefferson and her husband moved to Absecon three years ago because it was the perfect location for the couple's jobs. Jefferson's husband is a carpenter with deep connections in Atlantic County. She is a clinical research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Their new home was close to the train station, making it easy for her to get to work in Philadelphia five days a week. But NJ Transit's upcoming months-long closure of the line starting Sept. 5 looks to add $100 a week to the family's expenses for her to drive to work. She said they may have to move as the cost will be too much and the only other alternative would be to add hours to her day, which would take her away from her toddler, with a baby on the way. NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett was at the Atlantic City Rail Terminal on Monday morning to answer questions about the closure that starts Sept. 5 and will run to the end of the year — or so commuters have been promised. "This is not a bait-and-switch," Corbett insisted. But some were not so sure. Atlantic City Council passed a resolution last week urging NJ Transit to restore the line after maintenance. "It's extra safety enhancement," Corbett said of the work. "The only way to get it done is suspend the service. But installation and testing of Positive Train Control didn't shut down any other lines that had the work done, insisted SNJ Today's Nor'easter Nick Pittman, as he handed Corbett
a petition he started with more than 5,000 signatures. Corbett insisted the move is necessary to meet a last-chance deadline, and that it's not about moving rail cars and engineers up north. It wouldn't surprise the Rev. David McGettigan, who says the Atlantic City line already gets the short of the stick. It's basically where they sent retiring trains, he said. His wife will be affected by the shutdown. She goes to 30th Street three times a week for work. While NJ Transit is giving a 25 percent discount on bus tickets, McGettigan is wondering about the numbers they didn't think of: additional passengers and limited buses. Sara Chamberlain is wondering how she'll get to her doctor's appointment in Philadelphia in October. It will add two transfers and three buses to her trip. And there are still issues of walking, which she can't handle.

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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