Commentary

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 gainsââ?¬â??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 an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.