Trenton Transit District Plans

Trenton Transit District Development Project

Trenton’s transportation infrastructure has grown and evolved over the city’s long history, leaving the Trenton of today with a robust transportation system that can accommodate the City’s growth well into the future.  

As the only city in New Jersey to serve three major railway systems (Amtrak, NJ Transit, and SEPTA), with service to New York and Philadelphia, Trenton has untapped potential to support dense, walkable, and mixed-use development near the City’s transit stations. As transit ridership continues to rise to pre-pandemic levels, now is the time to plan for improved pedestrian connections, amenities, housing, and mixed-use development – all within walking distance of our transit stations.

What is Transit Oriented Development?

New Jersey Future defines transit-oriented development, or TOD, as simply mixed-use residential and commercial development designed to take advantage of access to public transportation. TOD is an important component of “smart growth” because it allows people to live, work, shop, and play without having to rely on a car. TOD is designed to take advantage of existing infrastructure – like roads and rail lines, allowing the conservation of open space and farmland and furthering investment in our cities and towns.


Elements of good transit-oriented development include pedestrian-friendly design, a mix of compatible uses, connectivity to the surrounding community, and a mix of housing options. New Jersey Future supports the expansion of TOD near New Jersey’s transit stations, and encourages municipalities to enact zoning that allows such development to occur.


What areas are part of the Trenton Transit District Project? 

As a whole, the City of Trenton has over 40 Redevelopment Area Plans (RDAs) of which seven existing Redevelopment Areas, are located within the Trenton Transit District and are need of an update. This planning process includes an update to each of the seven plans, and includes the identification of catalyst sites and early action projects. Generally, transit accessibility and TOD areas include areas that are within a 10-minute walk, or a ½ mile, from transit stations.  The three transit stations that are part of this planning process are Trenton Transit Center, Hamilton Avenue Station, and Cass Street Station.

2023_0113_aerial TOD area boundaries-01

Updates to include:  

  • Trenton Station, last revised 2008

  • Ewing-Carroll-Southard, last revised 2007

  • Central East, last revised 2009

  • Roebling Gateway, last revised 2006

  • Roebling Complex, last revised 1997

  • Lamberton, last revised 2009

  • Cass Street, last revised 2007

What are the Opportunities & Benefits of TOD?

  • Increased connections for walking and biking!

  • Reduced air pollution, vehicle miles traveled, and energy use. Studies have shown that people who live or work in TOD areas tend to drive 20-40% less, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by up to 3.7 tons per year.

  • Economic development and reuse of city-owned, vacant, or underutilized land.

  • Potential for enhanced quality of life, investment in new public spaces like plazas and parks, and greater diversity in housing choices.


Why Now, & What are the Benefits of Updating the RDA plans?

Redevelopment Plan updates will facilitate funding and support for development near transit. A Redevelopment Area Plan (RDA) is a plan that guides the “rebuilding or restoration of an area in measurable state of decline, disinvestment, or abandonment.” The updates will benefit the community and it will be an opportunity to:

  • Implement the TOD Strategic Plan

  • Design of new concepts for infill and mixed-use development

  • Pursue Transit Village Designation and Funding

  • Bring plans up to date with Trenton250 and the new Land Development Ordinance (LDO).

  • Identify streetscape and public space improvements

  • Improve multi-modal connections, community character, and sense of place.

  • Explore innovative approaches to economic development.

  • Build capacity for existing residents, businesses, and property owners to support implementation efforts.

  • Define opportunities for public-private partnerships

  • Increase potential for funding and implementation dollars.

  • Facilitate development projects with landowners including county and state public agencies.


The timing is right. 

We want to involve the community in conversation about the future use of properties that have been long neglected. These updates will provide additional funding opportunities from State and Federal dollars for implementation and tie into other planned transportation investments. 

How Can I Get Involved? 

Ultimately, the project will result in a cohesive, community-driven development plan for the Trenton Transit District - guiding development in the future. There will be multiple opportunities for the community to engage and share their ideas, thoughts, and feedback about the project. We want to inspire the community and property owners to participate in the planning process, so the unique character and opportunities of each TOD area can be achieved.

The project is being led by the City of Trenton Department of Housing and Economic Development with an advisory Project Planning Team of city, state, and local partners and support from a planning and design team led by WRT. This effort is partially funded by a TCDI grant from DVRPC. 

Stay tuned for details for an upcoming virtual meeting and in-person community open house sessions in February 2023. 

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