The Trenton Train Station is the sixth busiest train station on the East Coast and is surrounded by a significant amount of vacant and underutilized land. New Jersey Transit is completing a $73 million reconstruction of the Trenton Train Station that has significantly changed the face and operation of the station. The Trenton Train Station presents a unique inter-modal system that handles Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) and NJ Transit regional lines, as well as the River Line light rail service connecting Trenton with the Camden Waterfront.
The City of Trenton is actively working to redevelop its centrally located train station area into a bustling, mixed-use and walkable center that will host new offices, housing and shops. The City of Trenton is seeking to use the concept of transit-oriented development (TOD) to better position itself to take advantage of this transportation resource and to revitalize this gateway in a smarter, more energy-efficient manner. TOD relies on using transit as the focal point for redevelopment, and then building enough housing, offices and retail opportunities to support increased ridership to and from the new revitalized hub.
Since 1984 the City of Trenton has had a Redevelopment Plan in place for the Train Station area. That plan was most recently updated in 2006. The plan’s overall objective is “to promote the concepts of Smart Growth and transit oriented development around the Trenton Train Station”. It also addresses the topics of historic preservation, the provision of open space, design and street connections, among others. A full copy of the plan can be seen here. A map of the Train Station Redevelopment Area can be seen here. The City of Trenton also plans to revive its original application to NJ Transit for its Transit Village program, which creates incentives for municipalities to redevelop or revitalize the areas around transit stations using design standards of transit oriented development (TOD).
In 2008 the City of Trenton hired the consulting firm Basile Baumann Prost Cole & Associates to conduct an analysis of market opportunities, urban design requirements and implementation strategies for the redevelopment of the Train Station Area. Their full report can be seen here. In July of last year Mayor Palmer formed a Citizen’s Advisory Committeeto provide advice to the City on the planning of the Train Station area, as well as to disseminate information to the larger community on the redevelopment process.