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This train has linked one of the highest rated crime city in the US for many years running, Camden NJ, with the City of Trenton. While Trenton was never a prize, it was somewhat safe to move about. Now we have the gang-express as some locals refer to the RiverLine; the train has exported Camden's crime to many of the municipalities along its path, but Trenton has been particularly hard hit. Violent crime has soared, all sorts of drug related crime is also rising.
I can tell you that I know many people who will not ride the train because of fear of safety, unlike with our major rail services like Amtrak or NJ Transit, this is a seedy ride. Don't let the story of the numbers gloss over the complete impact. There are likely many towns along the RiverLine that wish they could close terminals, but do not have that authority.
This service was never sought by any sizeable population. Instead it was a liberal feel good project that was inflicted on the taxpayers of NJ. A state which is now likely to go broke because of its spending on bad projects like this.
Most importantly as to why they wouldn't just drive to Trenton, this group is as a whole, a highly impoverished part of our society, with few owning cars. Among the obstacles to car ownership is the cost of insurance (NJ has the highest insurance rates in the nation). A male driver, under 25, with NO record of drug or alcohol related charges, would pay about $2,600 annually for basic insurance. Anyone convicted of drug possession (I venture an unsubstantiated guess that includes almost all gang members) would have rates and surcharges totaling several thousand dollars higher, which is unaffordable for most unemployed gang-bangers.
Lastly, NJ has very tough restrictions on new drivers; including the hours they can operate a vehicle and the ages of the passengers that can accompany them in the car.
The RiverLine cost $1.10, and runs till about 1:00 AM, which makes it an ideal facilitator.
BTW, a limitation locals have long demanded to lift, now with success: PTC will be installed on the line to enable parallel running of freight and "light rail".
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
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