Out of Control Policy Blog

The glass is 1/3 full?

When a 1996 study projected that a South Jersey light rail line would provide 11,200 daily trips, critics cried that such ridership would be too low to justify the project. Naturally, the project moved ahead anyhow. Now 8 years and over a billion dollars later, the line gets less than a third of 1996's projections.

But maybe should look on the bright side. Eventually, NJ Transit expects big ridership gains–after all, says a spokeswoman, the line's only been running for a month. And some already see economic gains. Apparently, pastry sales are up:

Dolly DeFreitas, who works at a Riverton pastry shop, said breakfast business is steady on weekday mornings. She and a neighbor are now hoping to open a farmers' market nearby.

How many croissants and organic cucumbers will have to be sold to equal the $1.1 billion in capital costs?

Ted Balaker is Producer


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