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NEW LIGHT RAIL STATIONS OPEN IN UNION CITY AND NORTH BERGEN
Grand opening ceremony for Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations, start of 7-day service at Port Imperial
February 25, 2006
Contact: Dan Stessel (973) 491-7078
UNION CITY, NJ — Governor Jon S. Corzine today ushered in a new era of mobility and convenience for residents of Union City, North Bergen and beyond with the opening of two new light rail stations that link the densely populated communities with employment, educational and recreational destinations along the Hudson waterfront.
“This light rail system is improving the quality of life for thousands of New Jersey residents by providing better access to jobs and educational opportunities, as well as contributing to continued economic development and the transformation of the Hudson County waterfront,” said Governor Corzine.
The opening of the new stations—Bergenline Avenue Station in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue Station in North Bergen—represents a major milestone in the growth of the five-year-old light rail system, enabling customers to make trips that previously took more than an hour in about a quarter of the time—including connections to trans-Hudson ferries, PATH trains, commuter rail trains and bus routes.
Bergenline Avenue Station, which serves the communities of Union City and West New York, is located within a tunnel that cuts through the Palisades. With its three express elevators, customers are able to access the platforms for frequent light rail service en route to Hoboken Terminal, West Side Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations.
Tonnelle Avenue Station, a 730-space park-and-ride facility located on the busy Route
1 & 9 corridor, is the new northern terminus of the light rail system, offering customers a convenient four-minute trip to Port Imperial Station and a 16-minute trip to Hoboken Terminal. To encourage commuters to try the new station, NJ TRANSIT is offering free parking through May 1.
“I am grateful I was able to secure federal funds for this important project,” said U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. “This light rail project will pay dividends in economic development and personal mobility far into the future.”
“Today we celebrate a milestone for a project that is much more than a light rail line—it is a connection between people and opportunities,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “For many in the community, the opening of these Hudson-Bergen Light Rail stations means that now the job, the classroom, the church and the park will be within an easy and affordable reach.”
Today also marked the start of full service—seven days a week—to Port Imperial Station, which opened for weekend-only service on October 29, 2005.
Today’s grand opening ceremony at Bergenline Avenue began with the arrival of two light rail vehicles carrying local officials and dignitaries—one from the new Tonnelle Avenue Station and the other from Port Imperial Station—that were greeted by Governor Corzine and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington.
Then, from the podium, the area leaders joined together to highlight the benefits of the service expansion for their communities.
“This project has become such a regular part of the waterfront that people now take it for granted,” said Senator Bernard F. Kenny, Jr. “People take the train to the mall, to school, to work and don’t think twice about it – that’s success!”
“With most of the roads in the county running east-west, the light rail line provides an important north-south transportation option,” said Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise. “From Bayonne to North Bergen, light rail is clearly the way to go.”
“Greater passenger rail transportation is sorely needed in Bergen and Hudson counties,” said Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney. “The opening of these two stations puts NJ TRANSIT on the right track to development of the Northern Branch rail project so that we can bring passenger rail service back to eastern Bergen County.”
“The light rail station opening is a tremendous success for our city, as we will become a higher education and commuter destination in the North Hudson area,” said Assemblyman and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. “The station will help alleviate traffic congestion while connecting travelers to countless destinations throughout the metropolitan area.”
“The opening of new stations in Weehawken, Union City and North Bergen underscores the confidence we have in this transportation system and its ability to make positive changes in our communities by providing access to jobs, education and improvements for our neighborhoods,” said Assemblyman and West New York Mayor Albio Sires.
“Now that light rail has come to Weehawken, our community will join the family of waterfront cities that benefit from this state-of-the-art public transportation system that provides an effective connection to cross-Hudson ferries and PATH trains,” said Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner.
“There is a clear connection between the commercial and residential development taking place on the west side of Hoboken and the proximity of light rail,” said Hoboken Mayor David Roberts. “And, urban planners know that as the alignment advances along the waterfront, new markets for employees, renters and homeowners become available.”
To ensure a smooth adjustment for new customers, NJ TRANSIT has implemented a customer outreach program for the first week of service at the new stations. Customer “ambassadors” are available at Bergenline Avenue, Tonnelle Avenue and Port Imperial stations now through Friday, March 3. Ambassadors will staff the new stations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday to assist customers and answer questions in both English and Spanish.
About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides more than 24,000 passenger trips on an average weekday between 23 stations in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City and North Bergen. 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.”
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.
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, 55 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.