The light-rail trains likely would be similar to those operating on the River Line between Camden and Trenton.
Preliminary plans call for trains running every 71/2 minutes during rush hours and every 15 minutes during nonpeak times. As many as 18,000 daily riders are predicted by 2030.
Currently, an environmental study is underway by STV Inc. to examine impacts of noise and vibration, air pollution, social and economic changes, and historic preservation efforts, as well as the estimated costs to build and operate the rail line.
A draft version of that study is supposed to be completed by early spring of 2014, with a final report expected by fall of 2014, according to STV officials.
If approved by the Federal Transit Administration, the environmental impact statement would serve as a blueprint for design and construction of the line, with construction starting in 2016 and operations beginning in the second quarter of 2019.
But financing remains elusive for the rail line.
The DRPA has said it will not pay to build or operate the line, and NJ Transit has not committed itself to paying for it, either.
The light-rail line would run alongside a Conrail freight line through Glassboro, Pitman, Mantua, Wenonah, Woodbury, Deptford, West Deptford, Westville, Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Gloucester City, and Camden.
The fourth NJT project is a $46 million "bus rapid transit" plan to speed bus travel between Gloucester and Camden Counties and Philadelphia.
The plan envisions rush-hour buses traveling in dedicated lanes, on highway shoulders and medians, on a 23-mile main route north from Avandale, in Winslow Township, with a branch that would take riders from Deptford along Route 55 to join the main line at its merger with Route 42.
The NJ Transit board in February approved an $839,500 contract with engineering firm AECOM Technical Services Inc. of Newark for an environmental study of the route. That follows the completion of a $750,000 study of possible routes.
The rapid-bus service could be in full operation by 2020, with some parts phased in before that. Construction is supposed to begin in mid-2014.