Matt Walsh: Use Public Banking to Finance Green Rail in New Jersey
by Matt Stannard on March 25th, 2014

Over at, Matt Walsh has a promising idea: Take dormant rail tracks in New Jersey (there are plenty of them), and build a new, green, environmentally-sound public rail system--funding it all with a public bank. 

Walsh writes that New Jersey is a densely populated state that has wisely put aside a great deal of land for the sake of conservation. But where do all the people go? And how should they move around? "New Jersey’s short line freight railroads and branch lines traverse densely populated portions of the state," he writes, "including both urban and older suburban areas." Despite studies suggesting strong redevelopment potential for the lines, and despite the disappearance of freight traffic, New Jersey has neglected to update or expand its public transportation.  

Walsh contends (and I agree) that New Jersey's failure to modernize its transit system is the same as in many other states: Private interests have hijacked the public good. But times have changed, and it's time we changed both our financial and transportation priorities.  There's much more here. Walsh goes into fascinating detail about particular lines and areas of New Jersey. This piece will appeal to public transportation advocates, those interested in railway lore, and planning and design geeks--as well as advocates of public banking.

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Public Banking, Public Transportation, Railroads, New Jersey


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