The New Jersey transit line is very interesting to study. Every stop from Trenton to the Big Apple has a budding mini-city community. After looking at cities such as Trenton and Newark, City Mayors who are looking to build more transportation infrastructure through federal government funding are inclined to quickly mention the boost in the economy due to the NJ Transit line.
In reality one must look at the big picture to truly understand why cities like Newark and Trenton have much more surrounding them that can affect the local economy. Each city has a business sector with areas in high demand and each city also has severely blighted areas in need of nurture. Jersey city for example has seen incredible demand for waterfront properties which is a boost for the economy because it at least is bringing people that are able to spend back into its local economy. Taking a look at Trenton’s business sector one can also see it is alive and kicking while its immediate surrounding has been negatively afflicted by different variables such as suburban flight and shifting of jobs towards bigger cities. Trenton was once home to vibrant Hungarian, Italian and Jewish communities. After the great rush to the suburbs in the 1950’s, it left cities like Trenton, Newark and Jersey City devastated with the driving force of the economy leaving.
City Planners must now start to take the initiative of planning to bring back the strong upper middle class to drive the economy in these local cities. It is important that city planners coordinate with city officials on not only building better transportation infrastructure but to also attack this problem on other fronts. Transportation is not the solution but only a small piece to the puzzle on solving this problem. City Officials must also look into tax breaks to attract businesses. They must take into account the risks of the city and how to reduce crime by working with local law enforcement.
If we are to compete in a global economy, cities must not quarrel with each other on stealing the brightest of citizens but instead must coordinate with one another to beat the competition. Therefore transportation of people and information is vital to continue to thrive and move forward in a global economy but is only a small piece of the puzzle.