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WEEHAWKEN WELCOMES NEW PORT IMPERIAL FERRY TERMINAL

Officials preview intermodal facility in advance of opening day

May 22, 2006
NJT-06-067
Contact: Dan Stessel 973-491-7078

WEEHAWKEN, NJ — A ceremonial blast of ferry horns and water cannons on the Hudson River signaled a new era of convenience and connectivity for residents of Hudson and Bergen counties and beyond as NJ TRANSIT, NY Waterway and state and local officials gathered to preview the new Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken on the eve of opening day.

Starting tomorrow, thousands of trans-Hudson commuters will benefit from a new “gateway to the river” when the 31,000-square foot intermodal facility opens to the public.

“This new ferry terminal will provide New Jersey commuters with more choices, which is especially important with gas prices so high,” said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. “It will help us continue the growth of the New Jersey riverfront and provide a much-needed alternative in case of a disruption to our transportation system.”

“The completion of this terminal is a great compliment to the new light rail station only steps away,” said Senator Robert Menendez. “These improvements represent a new era in transportation for the region—more ways to travel, more ways to access the opportunities of the region, while protecting our environment and improving the flow of traffic.”

Port Imperial Ferry Terminal—located directly across the street from the Port Imperial light rail station—is expected to serve more than 4,000 customers (8,500 passenger trips) on a typical weekday. NY Waterway will offer more than 100 ferry departures from the facility each weekday from 6 a.m. until midnight (1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights).

A new 194-foot pedestrian overpass—currently under construction—will ultimately link the ferry terminal with the light rail station, allowing for a seamless connection between light rail and trans-Hudson ferry service. With connections to NJ TRANSIT buses also available, the new ferry terminal is a full intermodal facility.

The Port Imperial Ferry Terminal is at the center of a transit system that brings buses, light rail and ferries together,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Kris Kolluri. “Through our actions, we are demonstrating an awareness of the overall trans-Hudson network and recognizing the role that ferry service plays in providing New Jersey residents with another commuting option.”

With the Manhattan skyline as their backdrop, Commissioner Kolluri and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington were joined by a host of dignitaries—including Senator Lautenberg, Senator Menendez and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner—for a speaking program that highlighted the benefits of the new facility, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony overlooking the Hudson River.

The new ferry terminal replaces an aging and undersized terminal used since 1986 for ferry services between Weehawken and New York and will accommodate future growth in trans-Hudson ferry ridership. Docking capabilities for four ferry boats provide the capacity to load and transport up to 12,000 passengers per hour.

Constructed on a platform approximately fifty feet offshore, the new facility features a stunning glass curtain wall facing Manhattan, walkways, ramps, barges and space for passenger amenities. An 800-foot waterfront pedestrian esplanade provides scenic and convenient access to the terminal. The building was designed by award-winning architects Gruzen Samton LLP of New York and constructed by Conti Enterprises.

“With this new terminal, linked to the Light Rail and served by NJ Transit buses, New Jersey's leaders at every level are continuing their investments in our waterfronts, creating true transit villages where people can live and work in attractive, well-planned, traffic-free communities,” said NY Waterway founder Arthur E. Imperatore, Sr.

Officials applaud benefits of new facility

I have no doubt that this new terminal will enhance the value of living and working on the waterfront,” said Senator Bernard F. Kenny, Jr. “Making it easier for people to get to work, shopping, the park or school is smart transportation planning and investment.

“As the residential and commercial development on the Hudson County waterfront continues, it is important to see a similar investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said Assemblyman and West New York Mayor Albio Sires.

“Hudson County continues to be at the leading edge of transportation in this state,” said Senator Nicholas Sacco. “New light rail stations and now a state-of-the-art ferry terminal clearly make our county one of the best places to live and work.”

“Through an innovative partnership, we have taken the best of the public and private sectors and created a facility that will serve commuters for years to come,” said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “This project demonstrates New Jersey’s commitment to providing efficient and effective trans-Hudson transportation options.”

While ferry service is not new to Weehawken, the design of this terminal coupled with its passenger amenities make this facility a credit to our waterfront,” said Mayor Richard Turner.

About NY Waterway

NY Waterway operates the largest privately-owned commuter ferry service in the United States, carrying 30,000 passenger trips per day—eight million trips per year—on 34 boats serving 18 routes between New Jersey and Manhattan, and between Rockland and Westchester and Orange and Dutchess counties. For more information, call 1-800-53-FERRY or visit www.nywaterway.com.

About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides more than 34,000 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 827,000 weekday 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.