In New Jersey Cities, More Transportation Options Can Aid Equitable Growth

Photo: Blake Bolinger | Flickr

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced special New Jersey Assembly hearings to create legislation to combat poverty on January 27. The Transportation Committee will discuss how new investments in transit can directly impact residents living in poverty.

New Jersey’s cities are in particular need of assistance. The City of Camden, for instance, has a median household income of just $26,201–much lower than the statewide median of $72,062–while the city’s traffic fatality rate is much higher than the state as a whole.

Sample Statistics from Selected New Jersey Cities
Camden Newark East Orange Trenton Statewide
Population 77,294 278,750 64,538 84,459  8,874,374
Median Household Income $26,201 $34,012 $36,978 $35,647  $72,062
% Below Poverty 39% 30% 21% 28%  10.7%
% Unemployed 13% 12% 14% 11%  6.4%
% Walk/Bike/Transit to Work 20% 35% 29% 17%  14.2%
% Households W/O a Vehicle 34% 40% 33% 30%  11.7%
Traffic Fatalities Per 100,000 (2012-2014) 10.4 10.8 6.2 5.9  5.6

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

In South Jersey, projects such as the Glassboro-Camden Line and the South Jersey Bus Rapid Transit System could connect residents to jobs centers within the region–like in Philadelphia or Trenton–and local–like at Camden’s Subaru Headquarters. In a city like Camden, where more than one-in-three households do not have access to a vehicle, projects like these would open up new opportunities that are difficult to reach using existing transit routes.

New Jersey’s elected leaders can’t expect everybody to drive. It is absolutely critical that Garden State cities are service by reliable and affordable transportation options.

1 Comment on "In New Jersey Cities, More Transportation Options Can Aid Equitable Growth"

  1. Agreed. Job sprawl is a huge contributor to our poverty, and disconnecting low income residents from potential jobs is a huge part of it. I wrote about this last year at https://southjerseyist.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/how-job-sprawl-keeps-new-jerseyans-impoverished-and-how-we-might-be-able-to-fix-it/.

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