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NJ TRANSIT ADVANCES LIGHT RAIL EXTENSION PROJECT

Locally Preferred Alternative selected to extend line from West Side Avenue Station across Route 440 in Jersey City

May 11, 2011
NJT-11-016

NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today advanced a project that would extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service farther west in Jersey City.  The project would help support Jersey City’s planned development on the Newark Bay waterfront while easing traffic congestion along the busy Route 440 corridor.

 

“The selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) is the next step toward improving transit options near the redevelopment and existing residential areas along the heavily-used Route 440,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson.  “An extension of light rail to this area would both support the development and address traffic congestion along Route 440 and secondary roads.”

 

Following NJ TRANSIT’s completion of an alternatives analysis to explore the feasibility of a western light rail extension across Route 440, the Board adopted a Locally Preferred Alternative and authorized its submission to the North Jersey Transportation Authority (NJTPA) for designation and inclusion in the agency’s Long Range Regional Transportation Plan.  The project must be included in the NJTPA’s Long Range Plan in order to be eligible for federal funding.

 

“A westward extension of the light rail from West Side Avenue would provide customers with ready access to light rail service from the busy Route 440 corridor,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.  “Today, customers in this area must access the light rail system via side streets.” 

 

NJ TRANSIT began the alternatives analysis in September 2009, marking the first step in the federal environmental process for an extension.  Among the specific items evaluated were potential alignments, station planning, operational needs, cost estimates and integration with redevelopment.

 

Under the LPA, the project would include construction of a 0.7-mile, two-track extension of the light rail system from the existing West Side Avenue Station across Route 440 to the northern end of a redevelopment zone along the Hackensack Riverfront.  The extension would be constructed entirely on an elevated viaduct and would include a new center-island platform station. 

 

The new station would link the Jersey City waterfront and North Hudson to new residential, commercial and retail development the municipality is planning approximately one-half mile west of West Side Avenue Station.

 

Since opening 11 years ago, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has driven economic development along its corridor, transforming underutilized tracts of land for productive use through the construction of mixed-use buildings, including office space and housing built near light rail stations.

 

About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail

 

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides more than 40,000 weekday trips between 24 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. 

 

The one-way adult fare on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is $2.10.  Discounted unlimited monthly passes are available for $64.  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 the system at no additional charge simply by displaying their pass.

 

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail opened in April 2000, connecting 12 stations along the first seven miles of the system—from 34th Street in Bayonne and West Side Avenue to Exchange Place.  Later that year, additional stations were opened at Pavonia/Newport, Harborside Financial Center and Harsimus Cove.

 

In September 2002, NJ TRANSIT opened the Hoboken Terminal light rail station, providing intermodal connections to commuter rail, trans-Hudson ferry, PATH and bus service.  The 22nd Street Station in Bayonne opened in November 2003, followed by the expansion of service north to 2nd Street and 9th Street in Hoboken and Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken in September 2004.  NJ TRANSIT opened its northernmost stations—Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen and Bergenline Avenue in Union City—in February 2006, which also marked the start of full service to Port Imperial Station in Weehawken. 

 

In January 2011, NJ TRANSIT launched service on a one-mile extension from the previous southern terminus at 22nd Street to a new 8th Street Station in Bayonne. 

 

About NJ TRANSIT

 

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.