CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) – Remember that light rail line proposed to run between Camden and Glassboro (see related story)? The first real steps toward making that a reality are about to be approved, although it’ll be years before you’ll be able to jump on board.

The Delaware River Port Authority is expected to award a contract before year’s end to do a two-year long environmental impact study. The $9-million cost will be fronted by the DRPA, but they’ll be reimbursed by New Jersey Transit.

As to when the trains might arrive, DRPA Vice Chairman Jeffrey Nash offers this assessment: “If I can be cautiously optimistic, the system will be up and running in 6-7 years.”

There’s been talk of constructing the line in phases, but Nash would just as soon see it built all the way through, from the Rand Transportation Center to Rowan University. “That is the most productive and effective system for South Jersey,” Nash says. “I believe that the administration of New Jersey Transit would agree with that. The question is funding.” Estimates run in the $2 billion range.

While the DRPA is interested in pushing for the line, and even planning it, they don’t want to operate it. NJT runs a similar light rail link between Camden and Trenton.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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