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HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT RAIL OPENS IN WEEHAWKEN
2 new stations open in Hoboken
September 7, 2004
WEEHAWKEN, NJ –– An inaugural train ride today carried area leaders along a new segment of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line that extends service from Hoboken Terminal 2.6 miles north to Weehawken. Three stations—2nd Street and 9th Street stations in Hoboken and Lincoln Harbor Station in Weehawken—were opened as NJ TRANSIT began revenue service on the line.
At a grand opening ceremony held at Lincoln Harbor Station in Weehawken, U.S. Congressman Robert Menendez, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington welcomed the arrival of the inaugural train carrying a host of dignitaries including Speaker Albio Sires and Hoboken Mayor David Roberts.
"This light rail system isn't just about transporting people to work, school, or shopping and entertainment destinations,” said Rep. Menendez, senior New Jersey Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. ”It is about linking communities, providing options, and protecting our environment. It helps New Jersey fight air pollution, reduce traffic, and cut down on sprawl. Finally, our light rail project shows that we can plan transportation growth carefully, with more thought given to the needs of people who will live and work in the community today and tomorrow.”
“This extension brings us one step closer to providing full mass transit access to all of the residents of Hudson County,” said Senator Bernie Kenny. “Hoboken, with rail, ferry, and light rail access throughout the city, is now connected to the rest of Hudson County.”
“I’m thrilled!” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. “This is an exciting day for all Weehawken residents. This provides us with a mass transit link to all of Hudson County and New Jersey.”
"The expansion of the light rail will benefit our community and the region,” said Hoboken Mayor David Roberts. “It will, and has, enhanced our economy, especially in the western part of our city. It will also enable northern Hudson County to access our transportation hub at the Lackawanna Terminal where we provide rail, ferry and bus service throughout the region."
"Light rail is a crucial to economic growth of Hudson County," said County Executive Thomas A. DeGise. "It increases home values and business investment and it makes it easier for people to live, work and shop here. Now as the system's first section nears completion, we call on Trenton and Washington to help us expand light rail into the
Meadowlands by the end of the decade to help us reduce traffic congestion and expand employment opportunities for our people."
“Today is the next step in providing increased economic opportunities for northern Hudson County,” said Speaker and West New York Mayor Albio Sires. “The foresight and planning of the last 15 years is being seen, and appreciated. I look forward with great anticipation to completing the north Hudson link into the heart of West New York, Union City, and North Bergen.”
“The path of progress this light rail system has generated in Hudson County is astounding,” said Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. “I look forward with great anticipation to the next extension, and the benefits it will bring to Union City, West New York, North Bergen and the rest of the region.”
“The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line has proven to be a strong economic driver along the Hudson County waterfront,” said Executive Director Warrington. “With the opening of this new segment north of Hoboken Terminal, I believe the so-called ‘Gold Coast’ will soon become the ‘Platinum Coast.’”
The three stations opened today—two in Hoboken and one in Weehawken—are located along a 5.1-mile segment of the line that extends service north from Hoboken Terminal. The project is part of the $1.2 billion segment of HBLR, called MOS-2, which is funded through state and federal sources.
MOS-2 will be complete when Port Imperial (Weehawken), Bergenline Avenue (Union City) and Tonnelle Avenue (North Bergen) stations open in late 2005. It also includes the one-mile extension from 34th Street Station to 22nd Street Station in Bayonne, which opened in November 2003.
HBLR continues to spur economic development in Hudson County. In Jersey City, more than 15 million square feet of office space, 10,000 residential units and 500 hotel rooms are now available. In Weehawken, private sector investment is revitalizing the waterfront with hotels and shopping promenades.
Revenue service on the extension began shortly after the ceremony. Trains will operate at 15-minute headways from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily. The one-way flat fare to any HBLR station is $1.50. Monthly passes are available for $53.
HBLR provides 17,000 passenger trips on an average weekday between 20 stations in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken and now Weehawken. The line has provided a vital link from waterfront destinations to NJ TRANSIT rail and bus services, PATH trains and trans-Hudson ferry services.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 49 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.