Mercer gets $175K grant for Johnson Trolley Trail study

View as a webpage

mercer county new jersey - the capital county - brian m hughes county executive

Mercer County gets $175,000 grant
for Johnson Trolley Trail study

TRENTON -- Mercer County has been awarded a $175,000 grant from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) for a Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor study, County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced. The County will develop an alignment for the Johnson Trolley Trail. This identified Circuit Trails network component provides enhanced connections from the City of Trenton through Ewing and Lawrence townships, and the Municipality of Princeton.

The project is the largest among the six selected in New Jersey by the DVRPC and will be funded through the Transportation and Community Development Initiative (TCDI) grant program.

“I thank the DVRPC for this generous grant award to help Mercer County, the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, and our municipal partners advance this proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail link,” said Mr. Hughes. “The Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor would benefit our communities by promoting economic opportunity, transportation, recreation, and health in a climate-friendly way.”

“We are very grateful to the DVRPC, Mercer County, the City of Trenton, Ewing and Lawrence townships, and the Municipality of Princeton as partners in this endeavor,” said Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation Chair David Sandahl. “Working together, we will make the vision of reconnecting our communities a reality.” 

The Johnson Trolley, named after Albert Johnson, a Kentucky native who operated a streetcar company in Cleveland and then acquired franchises in New Jersey among other states, began operating in 1902 and in its peak year of 1921, carried 1.6 million fares. A one-way trip between Princeton and Trenton took 35 minutes. The trolley’s heyday was short-lived, cut short by the automobile. The last passengers traveled the line in 1940. Today, the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and many other trails make use of former rail lines, offering hikers and bikers a calmer alternative to the highway.

Created by DVRPC, TCDI grants utilize federal transportation funds to support planning initiatives that further our region’s progress toward DVRPC’s vision for an equitable, resilient, and sustainable region. Since its beginning in 2002, the TCDI program has awarded over 300 grants, invested over $22 million, and leveraged over $250 million to municipal and county partners.

“The TCDI program furthers local efforts to improve the quality of life for communities,” said Ariella Maron, Executive Director, DVRPC. “This year’s projects seek to expand access to existing public transit, business centers, and recreational areas; make streets safer for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists; contribute to healthier neighborhoods by encouraging active transportation and decreasing congestion; and help to reduce our region’s carbon footprint.”

About the Transportation and Community Development Initiative

Initiated in 2002, TCDI is a competitive grant opportunity that provides funds to local planning initiatives that further progress towards the region’s long-range plan, Connections 2050: Plan for Greater Philadelphia. TCDI focuses on linking land use, transportation, and economic development by improving community quality of life; enhancing the existing transportation infrastructure access; promoting and encouraging the use of transit, bike, and pedestrian transportation modes; building municipal capacity; and protecting our environment. To date, the TCDI program has invested over $22 million and leveraged over $250 million to municipal and county partners.


DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the bi-state, nine-county Greater Philadelphia region. It includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties in New Jersey.

The Connections 2050 Long-Range Plan vision is an equitable, resilient, and sustainable Greater Philadelphia Region that: preserves and restores the natural environment; develops inclusive, healthy, and walkable communities; grows an innovative and connected economy with broadly shared prosperity; and maintains a safe, multimodal transportation network that serves everyone. Learn more at