Carlos Bortos uses a jack to raise the tracks at a light rail construction site in Camden.
The South Jersey light rail line, recently renamed the
River Line, is scheduled to commence running along a 34-mile
route from Camden to Trenton Sunday Mar. 14.
Riders can board at any of its 20 stops and ride to any
other on the line for $1.10, a rate well below bus service for
The bargain rate is intended to attract riders to a line
that has been controversial from its inception in the summer
The line is expected to carry less than 6,000 fares on an
average weekday, an amount, that combined with the lower fare,
will make it the poorest performing rail line in the nation in
terms of the fare box.
Fares generated will cover less than five percent of the
line's operating cost.
The 34-mile line, which cost more than $1 billion to build,
will run every half hour from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days, with
extended service to midnight on Saturdays when it does not
have to relinquish the tracks to freight service after 10
Transit officials see it as an important link to other rail
service. Riders can debark at Camden and get on the PATCO
high-speed line to Philadelphia or get off in Trenton to take
NJTransit or Amtrak trains to North Jersey and New York.
State and local officials hope the line will stimulate
economic growth in addition to providing transportation.
A trip from the E-center in Camden to the Amtrak station in
Trenton will take 73 minutes.