The cost, capacity and speed of transportation that is available to the people have a significant impact on the economic vitality of the area. Towards the end of the 19th century the railway system emerged and dominated passenger and goods transportation. When the automobile industry started picking up, the use of public transportation decreased. But now, especially in urban areas, mass transit is becoming more efficient than driving. When toll and gas prices rose, it was clear that people had started using buses and trains to reach their destination rather than driving themselves. Within the last few years alone, the use of all four public and private rail transit systems in New Jersey were increasing.  John Rink, general manager of the PATCO system between Jersey and Philadelphia, said “More young folks are using public transportation, and they’re using it for social purposes: to go out in the city for nightlife and attractions. When you consider the cost of driving, paying the bridge toll and parking, they’re finding public transportation to have more value.”  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development even gave a $5 million grant to 13 of the New Jersey’s northern counties to help sustain the communities which include necessities for new and improved train stations, light rail stops, and bus facilities.

It’s more than just rising toll and gas prices, mass transit is efficient when trying to get around. The state of New Jersey is covered with rail and bus lines that stop in populated areas where commute and mass transportation is essential. Nowadays, more people are starting to live in areas where transit can help them reach where they work or where their leisure activities/hobbies are.  These locations are called transit-oriented developments (TODs). These are communities that have places to live, work, shop, and relax. They are used way to maximize access to and encourage the use of public transportation. I feel that the development of these communities would be very beneficial. A lot of people believe that growing up, that kids nowadays want to live in cities, but that’s not always the case. A lot of people my age may want to work in major cities and possibly even live there after they graduate, but there are people who would rather not raise their family and have their kids grow up in major cities. In a Monmouth University poll, researchers found that two-thirds of New Jerseyans support these communities and almost three-quarters say they would want to live in one. TOD communities allow residents to have housing and transportation choices and to live conveniently and affordably. It gives the people who live there a place for kids to grow up and parents to grow old.

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