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HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT RAIL ARRIVING AT WEEHAWKEN'S PORT IMPERIAL STATION

Weekend service set to begin Saturday, October 29

October 24, 2005
NJT-05-144
Contact: Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

WEEHAWKEN, NJ - NJ TRANSIT will extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) service to Port Imperial Station in Weehawken on weekends starting Saturday, October 29, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington announced today.

Joining Warrington for the announcement at Port Imperial were Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, U.S. Representative Robert Menendez, Assembly Speaker Albio Sires, Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere, Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, as well as other state and local elected officials.

From the podium, the officials highlighted the benefits of the service expansion, including improved connectivity and access to more trans-Hudson travel options for customers in time for the holiday shopping season. Port Imperial is the first HBLR station to open since last September when service was launched to 2nd Street and 9th Street stations in Hoboken and Lincoln Harbor Station in Weehawken.

Weekend service will operate every 15 minutes between Port Imperial and Hoboken Terminal, where customers can make connections to NJ TRANSIT trains and buses, PATH trains and ferries. Customers can also connect at Hoboken Terminal to HBLR service to downtown Jersey City, Liberty State Park, West Side Avenue and Bayonne.

From Port Imperial Station, customers will be able to connect to NY Waterway ferry services and NJ TRANSIT buses. Eventually, a pedestrian walkway will connect the light rail station with a new ferry terminal on the opposite side of Port Imperial Blvd. that is expected to open in the spring.

Construction work on the light rail system will continue on weekdays in advance of the opening of two new stations this winter - Bergenline Avenue in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen - as well as the start of weekday service from Port Imperial.

"The Hudson-Bergen line has been an economic engine - the Hudson Riverfront has enjoyed an economic boom since this line began operating, and it has created jobs," said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. "But it has also improved our quality of life by relieving traffic, making it possible for more New Jerseyans to get around without getting in their cars. And, with gas prices in New Jersey up 73 percent from a year ago, public transit is more important than ever."

"Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has become a vital part of the region's transportation network, connecting NJ TRANSIT rail services, trans-Hudson ferries, PATH trains and park-and-ride facilities," said Rep. Robert Menendez, senior New Jersey Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "This system has become a model of how we can thoughtfully link communities and provide transportation options while achieving our shared goals of reducing pollution, easing traffic and encouraging smart growth."

"The benefits of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system extend well beyond the tracks, as we have seen so clearly through economic development and revitalization in Jersey City, Hoboken and Bayonne," said Senator Bernard F. Kenny, Jr. "We are now within months of delivering these benefits to Union City and North Bergen, connecting Hudson County communities as never before."

"The expansion of the light rail will continue to benefit Hudson County and the region," said State Assembly Speaker Albio Sires. "I look forward to the day - just months away - when we will extend this line to the Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations, providing access and opportunities to the densely populated portion of northern Hudson County."

"Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has increased home values and business investment throughout Hudson County while making it a better place for people to live, work and shop," said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. "Today's announcement of weekend service at Port Imperial is another step in the right direction, to be followed shortly by a major expansion into Union City and North Bergen."

"Over the past several years, NJ TRANSIT has worked commendably with local officials to design a comprehensive rail system in Northeastern New Jersey that will serve passengers from Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties, as well as those from New York City," said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. "We look forward to the day when Bergen County residents will be able to connect to this system for access to the Hudson Waterfront, as well as trans-Hudson trains and ferries. And I look forward to extending the light rail system into the Meadowlands as part of a comprehensive strategy to improve transportation to Xanadu and the sports complex."

"I am pleased that NJ TRANSIT was able to deliver weekend service at Port Imperial in advance of the holiday season," said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner. "We are giving residents a safe, reliable and comfortable transportation option that connects them with the rest of the county, as well as trans-Hudson trains and ferries."

"I look forward with great anticipation to the next major milestone of the light rail system: the opening of our new station on Bergenline Avenue in Union City, as well as the Tonnelle Avenue Station in North Bergen," said Union City Mayor Brian Stack. "Union City is ready to welcome the light rail into our way of life, and we look forward to sharing in the benefits currently enjoyed by our neighbors in Weehawken, Hoboken, Jersey City and Bayonne."

Port Imperial Station is located along a 6.5-mile segment of the line that extends the light rail system north from Hoboken Terminal to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. 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 weekday service to Port Imperial, as well as service to the two remaining stations, begins this winter. MOS-2 also includes the one-mile extension from 34th Street Station to 22nd Street Station in Bayonne, which opened in November 2003.

The one-way adult fare on HBLR is $1.75. Discounted monthly passes are available for $53. Children, senior citizens and passengers with disabilities save 50 percent or more at all times. In addition, NJ TRANSIT customers holding a monthly or weekly rail pass, or a bus pass for two or more zones, can ride HBLR at no additional charge simply by displaying their pass.

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides more than 24,000 passenger trips on an average weekday between 20 stations in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken. The system provides a vital link between waterfront destinations, NJ TRANSIT rail and bus routes, PATH trains and trans-Hudson ferry services. For more information, visit www.njtransit.com and click on "Light Rail Schedules."

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 800,000 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.