Train line data to be reviewed

Don’t expect to board a passenger train in Lakewood, Freehold or Manalapan anytime soon.

According to a press release from state Assemblyman Michael J. Panter (D-Monmouth and Mercer), NJ Transit has reopened its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) study to re-examine the data previously gathered regarding the three MOM (Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex) passenger rail line proposals.

NJ Transit’s new study is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

The MOM proposals include lines from Lakehurst to Matawan, Lakehurst to Red Bank, and Lakehurst to Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick. NJ Transit’s previous numbers indicated a preference for the selection of the Lakehurst to Matawan alternative based on ridership, cost and travel time, according to the press release.

NJ Transit has indicated that researchers will continue work on the draft study and look further into those factors to ensure an accurate result when the final study is released.

“It’s gratifying to know that NJ Transit took the concerns of 12th District residents seriously,” Panter said. “I think it is everyone’s ultimate goal to provide adequate public transportation for central New Jersey, while creating as little inconvenience as possible for residents. I look forward to seeing the new numbers when they are available.”

Panter and former assemblyman Robert L. Morgan brought 12th District residents together in a series of meetings last year to discuss the MOM rail line alternatives.

Following their work with those constituents, they publicly announced their opposition to reactivation of the Lakehurst to Matawan line, which would infringe on private property in the 12th District, and their support for the Lakehurst to Monmouth Junction line.

Panter remains committed to those positions and is continuing to work with constituents on the issue, according to the press release from the assemblyman’s office.