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NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING DATE FOR NEW LIGHT RAIL STATIONS

New service plan begins February 11, offering more seats, more frequent service in advance of station openings; Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations to open February 25

February 2, 2006
NJT-06-009

UNION CITY, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today announced the opening date for two new stations on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, as well as a series of service enhancements to provide light rail customers with more frequent service and more seating capacity during the busiest times of the day. Service to the two new stations—Bergenline Avenue Station in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue Station in North Bergen—will begin following a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, February 25.

February 25 will also mark the start of full service—seven days a week—to Port Imperial Station, which opened for weekend-only service on October 29, 2005.

The opening of the new stations represents a major milestone in the growth of the five-year-old light rail system. Bergenline Avenue Station, which serves the densely populated communities of Union City and West New York, is located within a tunnel that cuts through the Palisades. Tonnelle Avenue Station, a 730-space park-and-ride facility located on the busy Route 1 & 9 corridor, will become the northern terminus of the light rail system. The new station will offer customers a convenient four-minute trip to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal for trans-Hudson service, as well as access to the rest of the Hudson Waterfront.

Major service enhancements take effect Saturday, February 11

To prepare for new light rail riders and to improve service for current customers, NJ TRANSIT today announced a series of service improvements to provide customers with more seats and more frequent service. On Saturday, February 11—two weeks prior to the opening of the new stations—NJ TRANSIT will implement the following service enhancements:

  • Double seating capacity on most peak-period trips. During peak periods, HBLR will operate with almost all two-car trains, doubling the seating capacity for most trips. The two-car trains will enable NJ TRANSIT to keep pace with growing ridership—up approximately 25 percent in the first quarter of FY2006 over last year.
  • More frequent service. Peak-period service will increase to every five minutes, over today’s six-minute intervals, for customers traveling within the core sections of the system. The frequency of departures from the endpoint terminals will increase to every 10 minutes from 12-minute intervals today. Starting February 11, stations north of Hoboken Terminal will enjoy the same level of service as those to the south—a train every 5-10 minutes—up from every 15 minutes today.
  • New direct service bypassing Hoboken Terminal. Beginning February 11, HBLR will begin using a new service pattern with three connected routes:
    • 22nd Street (Bayonne)—Hoboken Terminal
    • Lincoln Harbor (Weehawken)—Hoboken Terminal
    • Lincoln Harbor (Weehawken)—West Side Avenue (Jersey City)

The new service pattern offers customers a faster, direct trip between stations north of Hoboken Terminal and those to the south by eliminating the need to change trains at Hoboken Terminal. This service will extend to Tonnelle Avenue when the new stations open on February 25.

More travel flexibility

Effective immediately, customers who purchase one-way tickets have even greater travel flexibility transferring between NJ TRANSIT buses and the light rail system. Customers can now purchase HBLR "tickets with transfer" from HBLR ticket vending machines at a cost of $2.35. When validated, these tickets may be used for travel on the light rail system, plus a one-zone transfer to any connecting NJ TRANSIT intrastate bus. Customers also may purchase a transfer onboard any intrastate bus that connects with HBLR.

Improved bus connections

NJ TRANSIT has also increased service levels on the 158 Fort Lee-Edgewater-New York bus route to every 30 minutes during the midday and evening to support connections to the light rail system at Port Imperial. During peak hours, the 156 Englewood Cliffs-New York and 159 Fort Lee-New York routes also offer frequent service along the River Road corridor for connections at Port Imperial. Further bus service changes will take effect in April to improve overall connectivity with the light rail system.

About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

The one-way adult fare on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail 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.