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STUDY SEEKS IMPROVEMENTS IN GREATER NEWARK BUS SERVICE

Service will promote economic development goals and reflect new customer ridership trends

December 13, 2006
NJT-06-150
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors awarded a $1.28 million contract today that launches a three-year study to improve bus, rail and light rail services in the Greater Newark metropolitan area.

“It is essential for public transportation providers to keep a finger on the pulse of broad economic and demographic trends and adapt services to reflect changing ridership patterns,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri. “That’s exactly what we’re doing with this study.”

The last time such a sweeping study of the region’s bus routes was performed was in 1982.

“It’s time to take a fresh look at the needs of our customers with an eye toward improved connectivity between modes and accessibility to job sites,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “We also want to ensure that our service routes are properly aligned with where our customers live, work, shop and spend their leisure time.”

The study region includes Newark, Elizabeth and parts of Essex, Union, Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties. The area is served by 47 NJ TRANSIT bus routes and four routes served by Coach USA.

“I fully support NJ TRANSIT’s efforts to evaluate and improve bus service in Newark and the surrounding communities,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. “Convenient bus service that takes residents and visitors to Newark’s many employment, shopping, entertainment and cultural destinations is a catalyst to the revitalization that is transforming our great city.”

Abrams-Cherwony Associates is partnering with Urbitran and Howard-Stein-Hudson to conduct the study which is expected to start in January. In the spring of 2007, the consultant will conduct on-board passenger surveys to define ridership and usage and will hold community outreach programs in each of four geographical areas to get input from customers, employers, elected officials and the general public.

An early focus of the study will be recommendations for improving connectivity of NJ TRANSIT rail, light rail and bus service in core areas of Newark, including areas near Newark Penn Station, Newark Broad Street Station and the intersection of Market and Broad streets.

Ultimately, the consultant will submit a comprehensive package of short- medium- and long-term recommendations for each of the four geographic areas, including new service strategies, such as exclusive bus lanes, to increase capacity and improve reliability. The areas include:

  • Downtown Newark
  • Elizabeth (excluding Port Elizabeth) and Hillside
  • Port Newark, Port Elizabeth and Newark Liberty International Airport (including the industrial section of Newark’s Ironbound area)
  • Orange, East Orange, Irvington and the section of Newark west of the Garden State Parkway.

The recommendations will consist of detailed route proposals that address the needs of commuters and other travelers, including reverse commuters, in downtown and outlying areas.

The study is being funded by NJ TRANSIT and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.

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.