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NJ TRANSIT TO IMPLEMENT EXPRESS BUS LANE IN DOWNTOWN NEWARK

Project will improve traffic circulation around Newark Penn Station

July 11, 2007
NJT-07-063
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — Thousands of bus riders will benefit from an improved commute, thanks to a project approved today by the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors to create an express bus lane along a portion of Raymond Boulevard in downtown Newark during the busy evening rush hour.

The Board awarded a $1.2 million contract to Daidone Electric, Incorporated, of Newark, to create an express bus lane on Raymond Boulevard between Raymond Plaza East and McCarter Highway, using new traffic signal synchronization, changeable message signs and pavement striping.

“Implementing the express bus lane along Raymond Boulevard is part of our overall strategy to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety and traffic circulation around Newark Penn Station,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Kris Kolluri. “This project will enhance mobility for both bus customers and pedestrians, supporting the continued development of the downtown area.”

“We are pleased to work with NJ TRANSIT on projects like the Raymond Boulevard express bus lane that will further strengthen the city’s transportation infrastructure,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker. “The improved circulation around Newark Penn Station will help keep business moving in the downtown area.”

The express bus lane will operate weekdays during the evening peak period, improving bus circulation outside of Newark Penn Station and reducing delays to bus trips caused by vehicular traffic.

More than 130 buses operate each weekday from Newark Penn Station along Raymond Boulevard during evening peak hours, serving approximately 3,000 customers.

“Thanks to support from Mayor Booker and the City of Newark, we will be able to provide our bus customers with an improved commute during one of the busiest times of day,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. “The express bus lane and signal improvements will save customers time by reducing delays caused by evening rush hour traffic on the heavily-traveled Raymond Boulevard.”

The project will include installation of new pavement and striping, traffic lights, sidewalks, crosswalks and changeable message signs, as well as removal of sidewalks, medians, pavement, crosswalk pavers and planters where needed. In addition to improving the commute for bus customers, the project will also enhance pedestrian safety and convenience.

The routes that will benefit from the express bus lane include:

  • 5 Kinney
  • 21 Newark-West Orange
  • 29 Bloomfield Ave.
  • 39 Chancellor Ave.-Kearny Ave.
  • 62 Newark-Woodbridge-Perth Amboy
  • 67 Toms River-Lakewood-Newark
  • 70 Newark-Livingston
  • 71 Newark-West Caldwell
  • 72 Newark-Paterson
  • 73 Newark-Livingston Mall
  • 75 Newark-Butler
  • 76 Newark-Hackensack
  • 78 Newark-Secaucus
  • 44 Tremont (Coach USA)

Construction on the project will begin this fall, with completion expected in 2008.

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.