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NJ TRANSIT RIDERSHIP REACHES NEW RECORD LEVELS

Growth on all modes in first quarter of FY08

December 12, 2007
Contact: Penny Bassett Hackett or Dan Stessel (973) 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ — More customers than ever made NJ TRANSIT their transportation choice to get to employment, educational and recreational destinations during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2008, the three-month period ending September 30, 2007. System-wide, ridership increased to 64.4 million trips, 3.2 percent over the same period last year.

Ongoing efforts to improve service, along with strong regional employment trends and higher gas prices, propelled ridership to the highest ever first-quarter level with gains registered on rail, bus and light rail modes.

Ridership reached an average of 881,700 trips each weekday while weekend trips averaged 712,800. The weekend trip total was the highest for any quarter in the corporation’s history.

“These results demonstrate that NJ TRANSIT is providing the transportation services that residents demand in a way that benefits the customer, the environment and the economy,” said NJ TRANSIT Chairman and Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri.

“Our continued ridership growth is a reflection of a strong regional economy and our commitment to creating connections for our customers so they can travel on one or more of our modes during their trip as conveniently as possible,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. “New Jersey residents are increasingly making NJ TRANSIT their preferred travel choice.

During the first quarter, customers took 40.6 million bus trips, 18.9 million rail trips and five million trips on the system’s three light rail lines.

Rail

Rail ridership increased by 5.4 percent compared to the first quarter of FY 07, with rail customers taking an average of 275,850 trips each weekday. Trips into and out of New York Penn Station increased 7.1 percent over last year. Nearly 80 percent of all new rail trips started or terminated at NYPS.

“Almost four of every five new rail trips originating or ending at New York Penn Station highlights how important it is for us to continue advancing the Access to the Region’s Core project, which will double commuter rail capacity in and out of New York,” Sarles said.

  • Main/Bergen County Line led all lines in ridership growth, with an overall increase of 8.7 percent and a 23.5 percent increase on weekends.
  • Northeast Corridor ridership increased 7.4 percent, including 14.7 percent ridership growth at Newark Airport Station.
  • North Jersey Coast Line ridership increased 3.9 percent, with summer weekend ridership setting a new record with 6.7 percent growth.
  • Raritan Valley Line ridership increased 3.5 percent, with most of the gains in weekday peak periods.
  • Morris & Essex Lines recorded 3.2 percent growth, primarily during the weekday peak periods.

Light Rail

Customers took five million trips on the three light rail lines – Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Newark Light Rail and River LINE– during the quarter, a 13.5 percent increase over last year. Customers took an average of 65,150 trips per weekday and 61,500 per weekend. Recent system expansions fueled ridership growth on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and Newark Light Rail lines.

  • Hudson-Bergen Light Rail ridership grew 18.4 percent in the quarter, with two of every three new trips associated with the system expansion to Tonnelle Avenue.
  • The Metropolitan Transit Authority S89 bus that now connects Staten Island residents with 34th Street Station (Bayonne) generated more than 400 trips per day by the end of the quarter.
  • Newark Light Rail ridership increased 9.1 percent, with the Broad Street Extension averaging 2,235 weekday trips, up 35 percent from the first quarter in FY 07.
  • River LINE ridership increased nearly three percent, with weekday ridership averaging 7,900 trips, the highest ever.

Bus

Bus customers took 40.6 million trips during the quarter or one percent more than the previous year, and averaged 540,700 trips per weekday, also a one-percent gain. Weekend trips averaged 488,150 trips or three percent more than last year.

  • Commuter routes to New York City registered a 3.1 percent increase.
  • Gains on the #62 route (Newark-Airport-Perth Amboy) and the 64, 67 and 68 routes serving Monmouth and Ocean counties helped increase North Jersey commuter ridership by 2.6 percent.