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HOLIDAY GRID UNLOCK

NJT is the key to a stress-free NYC

November 17, 2006
NJT-06-143
Contact: Dan Stessel (973) 491-7078

NEW YORK PENN STATION Aah the holidays! Chestnuts roasting… Jack Frost nipping… Yuletide carols being sung by the fire… And, of course, the interminable gridlock that grips Manhattan like nuts on a fruitcake.

The holidays bring many joys, but for the weary driver, the holidays bring traffic and parking hassles that can darken even the brightest spirit.

Today, on New York City’s first "gridlock alert" day of the holiday season, NJ TRANSIT and American Express transformed the NJ TRANSIT Concourse at Penn Station into a luxurious spa-like retreat to remind commuters of the stress-relieving benefits of taking the train. Customers passing through the concourse were treated to complimentary massage therapy, yoga demonstrations and spa bag giveaways.

"Though the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can bring with it certain stressors, ‘getting there’ doesn’t have to be one of them," said NJ TRANSIT Assistant Executive Director Lynn Bowersox. "With the first gridlock alert day of the season upon us, we are reminding customers that NJ TRANSIT service to Penn Station offers a traffic-free, toll-free and relatively stress-free alternative into and out of Manhattan."

A "gridlock alert" is issued by the New York City Department of Transportation on the busiest traffic days of the year. On these days especially, visitors are encouraged to leave their cars at home and use public transportation.

In addition to today, the other designated gridlock alert days for 2006 are: Wednesday, Nov. 22 (day before Thanksgiving); Wednesday, Nov. 29 (tree lighting at Rockefeller Center); Friday, Dec. 8 (popular shopping day); Thursday, Dec. 14 (popular shopping day); Friday, Dec. 15 (popular shopping day); Wednesday, Dec. 20 (matinee day at Broadway theaters/popular shopping day); Thursday, Dec. 21 (popular shopping day); and Friday, Dec. 22 (last weekday before Christmas holiday).

Travel Tips for Holiday Travelers

  • For the most comfortable trip, travel outside of the peak periods. (The peak periods are 6-10 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. on weekdays.) A 15-percent discount applies to roundtrip travel on off-peak and weekend trains.
  • Purchase roundtrip tickets at your boarding station to avoid lines and speed your return trip.

This year, NJ TRANSIT is making it easy to enjoy the holidays, with special weekend express rail service, additional bus service to area shopping malls and discounts to dozens of popular holiday destinations.

Weekend Holiday Express Trains Take the Stress Out of Driving

On Saturdays and Sundays through January 13, NJ TRANSIT is offering 16 weekend "Holiday Express" trains on the Northeast Corridor and Morris & Essex Lines. The trains shave 10-20 minutes off the local travel time in each direction, making them a great option for NYC visitors.

  • Northeast Corridor: From Trenton, four New York-bound express trains depart at 8:21 a.m., 9:21 a.m., 10:21 a.m. and 11:21 a.m. with stops at Hamilton, Princeton Junction, New Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Metropark, Newark Airport, Newark Penn Station and Secaucus. In the evening, four Trenton-bound express trains depart New York at 4:09 p.m., 5:09 p.m., 6:09 p.m. and 7:09 p.m., making the same station stops.
  • Morris & Essex Lines: From Dover, four New York-bound express trains depart at 8:34 a.m., 9:34 a.m., 10:34 a.m. and 11:34 a.m. with stops at Denville, Mount Tabor, Morris Plains, Morristown, Convent Station, Madison, Chatham, Summit and Newark Broad Street stations. In the evening, four Dover-bound express trains depart New York at 4:03 p.m., 5:03 p.m., 6:03 p.m. and 7:03 p.m., making the same station stops.

Special Early Getaway Service on the Day Before Thanksgiving

On Wednesday, November 22, NJ TRANSIT will offer special "early getaway" rail service from New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal starting at noon for the benefit of commuters leaving work early. In addition, extra bus service will be offered on many routes from the Port Authority Bus Terminal starting at noon.

Extra Service for the Thanksgiving Day Parade

On Thanksgiving Day, NJ TRANSIT will add 24 trains on the Northeast Corridor, Morris & Essex, Raritan Valley, North Jersey Coast and Port Jervis lines for the benefit of customers traveling to and from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as those traveling to New Jersey to visit family and friends.

Extra Service on Friday, November 24: The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year

On Friday, November 24 (one of the busiest shopping days of the year), NJ TRANSIT will operate additional New York-bound trains between 10 a.m. and noon on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and Morris & Essex Lines, as well as special "early getaway" trains from New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal starting at noon. Additional bus service will be offered on more than a dozen lines to major New Jersey shopping centers, including Elizabeth Center, Garden State Plaza, Jersey Gardens, Livingston Mall, Newport Centre Mall, The Mall at Short Hills, The Mall at Mill Creek, Harmon Meadow, Willowbrook Mall, Woodbridge Center Mall, Cherry Hill Mall, Hamilton Mall, Moorestown Mall, Quaker Bridge Mall and Shore Mall. Bus customers should check their timetables and notices on buses for holiday service information.

Kids Ride Free on NJT All Thanksgiving Weekend Long

Bring the little ones and save big! NJ TRANSIT’s Family Super Saver Fare, which enables up to two kids (ages 5-11) to travel free with each fare-paying adult, will be in effect through the entire Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend from 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 22 until 6 a.m. Monday, November 27. Kids under 5 ride free at all times.

On other weekends, the Family Super Saver is offered from 7 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Monday.

Spectacular Discounts at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular

NJ TRANSIT has teamed up with Radio City Entertainment to offer customers $10 off admission to select performances of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Rockettes. Customers should mention code "NJT06" when purchasing tickets at the Radio City Box Office, or by calling the Ticketmaster Christmas Hotline at (212) 307-1000. For details, visit www.njtransit.com and click on "Deals and Destinations." Families may combine this discount with the NJ TRANSIT Family Supersaver (kids ride free) offer for maximum savings.

Discounts for Grinches, Too!

Customers also may benefit from $10 savings off select performances of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical, by mentioning code "NJT06" when purchasing tickets at the Hilton Theatre Box Office, or by calling Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100. For details, visit www.njtransit.com and click on "Deals and Destinations."

About NJ TRANSIT

NJ TRANSIT offers direct, frequent rail service to New York Penn Station from points along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex lines. Connecting service to New York is available at Secaucus Junction for customers on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines. Connecting service is available at Newark Penn Station for customers on the Raritan Valley Line.

For NJ TRANSIT schedules, fares or information, visit www.njtransit.com or call 1-800-772-2222.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 857,000 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, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.