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COMMUNITIES EMBRACE NEW LIGHT RAIL STATIONS

New stations in Union City and North Bergen help boost ridership midway through opening week of service

March 3, 2006
NJT-06-032
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078

UNION CITY, NJ — With their light rail stations not even a week old, the communities of Union City and North Bergen have already embraced their new transportation link, based on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail ticket sales data which was nearly 20 percent higher on Wednesday, March 1, than on other Wednesdays since the beginning of the year.

The two new stations—Bergenline Avenue Station in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue Station in North Bergen—opened for revenue service on Saturday, February 25.

Preliminary data shows a steady climb in ridership to and from Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations during the first week of service. Approximately 1,300 trips were taken to and from the new stations on Monday, February 27—the first weekday of service—rapidly growing to about 2,500 trips on Tuesday, February 28, and 4,500 trips on Wednesday, March 1.

"With all signs so far pointing to a successful first week of service, I am gratified that the arrival of light rail has been so warmly received by the communities of Union City and North Bergen," said Acting Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chairman Kris Kolluri. "Most of the increase in trips we’ve seen this week can be directly attributed to the opening of the new Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations."

Customer Service outreach continues

As part of an ongoing customer outreach program, NJ TRANSIT has assigned a full-time supervisor to Bergenline Avenue Station to help educate new light rail customers and provide assistance as needed. The new Station Supervisor, Anthony Gonzalez, will staff the station during the week and will be available to answer questions and assist customers in both English and Spanish.

"We are focused on helping customers get familiar with their new light rail stations and the service that is now available to them," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. "To that end—for the first time at a light rail station—we have appointed a dedicated station supervisor to assist customers and serve as a liaison with the community."

"I will be available to offer assistance on everything from using a ticket vending machine to validating your ticket—from where the system takes you to how long it takes to get you there," said Gonzalez. "Come by to see me at Bergenline Avenue Station—I’m here to help!"

By dedicating a supervisor entirely to Bergenline Avenue Station, NJ TRANSIT can open up a direct line of communication with residents of the densely populated area. "At Bergenline Avenue Station, I’ll be able to pass on important information directly to our customers," said Gonzalez. "For example, letting them know that the two-zone or greater monthly bus pass they may already have in their pocket allows them to travel on the light rail at no additional charge."

Customers holding a bus pass for two or more zones, or a monthly or weekly commuter rail pass, can ride the light rail system at no additional charge simply by displaying their monthly pass. For added convenience, customers may now purchase two-zone intrastate bus passes from light rail ticket vending machines.

Light rail monthly pass holders also benefit from travel flexibility—customers holding a light rail monthly pass can travel on buses for one-zone trips at no additional charge by displaying their pass.

For customers who use one-way tickets, new "tickets with transfer" make connecting between NJ TRANSIT buses and the light rail system easier than ever. "Tickets with transfer" are available at all ticket vending machines on the light rail system at a cost of $2.35. When validated, these tickets may be used for travel on light rail, plus a one-zone transfer to any connecting NJ TRANSIT intrastate bus. Bus customers can purchase a "ticket with transfer" aboard any intrastate bus that connects with the light rail system.

Now through May 1, customers may take advantage of free parking at Tonnelle Avenue Station, a 730-space park-and-ride facility located on the busy Route 1 & 9 corridor at the northern terminus of the light rail system.

About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail now provides more than 28,000 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.