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November 4, 2012

Trenton Coming on the heels of NJ TRANSIT’s restoration of rail and bus service to New York and utilizing federal and regional transportation resources to ease traffic congestion, improve trans-Hudson access and further help New Jersey residents navigate around the state, the Christie Administration today announced an emergency bus plan designed to transport New Jersey residents back to their jobs starting Monday morning.  

The emergency bus service will provide transportation options for NJ TRANSIT customers, with access to ferries, light rail and employment in Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City and Manhattan. This temporary emergency service is anticipated to provide approximately 50% of NJ TRANSIT’s normal rail rush hour service.

While NJ TRANSIT system restoration progress continues, NJ TRANSIT is still several weeks away from full service restoration.  Emergency conditions still exist across the NJ TRANSIT system and will continue for some time for regular commuters.  For instance, NJ TRANSIT normally operates 63 trains into New York Penn Station during the morning peak. Tomorrow, NJ TRANSIT will only be able to operate 13 trains into New York during the peak – pending critically needed repairs to be completed by Amtrak.  Customers are advised to start their commute outside of the 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. peak period to avoid overcrowding.

 “The emergency bus plan utilizes federal, regional and statewide resources to help the Garden State return to work,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson. “Led by Governor Christie and incorporating assets made available by the federal government, regional transportation partners and our statewide transit system, the resulting collaborative approach has resulted in a plan which will help New Jersey residents return to work on Monday.”

Utilizing the regional transportation network with a base of operations out of park-and-ride locations in central and northern sections of New Jersey, emergency buses will transport customers to light rail and ferry services in Hoboken, Weehawken, and HBLR’s Liberty State Park Station as well as providing limited, direct service to several boarding locations in lower Manhattan.  The busing plan will remain in effect until further notice and operate on weekdays during the peak travel periods of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  In addition, free ferry service will be available from Liberty State Park Marina to Battery Park.  

The resumption of limited Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service between Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen and Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken in 20 minute intervals starting at 6 a.m. The launch of emergency service continues the statewide agency’s service restoration efforts following the significant damage incurred by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. NJ TRANSIT will also be operating a shuttle service from Hoboken Terminal south to Marin Blvd in Jersey City to further offer additional access for customers seeking to return to work.

Emergency bus service to Lower Manhattan has been coordinated following the approval of, and collaboration with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey as well as the New York City Department of Transportation. Pick-up and drop off locations will take place at the following, designated Suburban Transportation bus stops: 

“While the hard working men and women of NJ TRANSIT have made substantial progress, the full restoration of service is still several weeks away,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.  “Our rail infrastructure is still heavily damaged and our rail capacity into New York Penn Station can only transport a fraction of our weekday customers.  These are extraordinary times, the busing plan announced today will help bring our customers back to work – and just a little bit closer to resuming their everyday lives.”

Customers utilizing the emergency bus service plan can ride the buses at no cost.  Customers utilizing ferry and light rail services will still be responsible for paying normal light rail and ferry fares. 

Buses will operate to and from the following limited-capacity transportation hubs:

A. Hoboken Service

Bridgewater (Patriots Stadium)

Woodbridge (Woodbridge Center Mall)

Wayne (Willowbrook Mall Annex)

Ramsey (Ramsey/Rt 17 Station Park and Ride)

Holmdel, Garden State Parkway Exit 116 (PNC Arts Center)

Elizabeth, Newark Liberty International Airport (Next to Dollar Rent-A-Car)

Jersey City (Liberty State Park)

NOTE:  Statue Cruises will also begin temporary operations from Liberty State Park Marina to Lower Manhattan from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.  Ferry service from this location will be offered free of charge.

Since the landfall of Hurricane Sandy Monday evening, the Christie Administration has been working to restore transit access along the NJ TRANSIT system, while providing additional options for New Jersey residents to get back to work.  The following milestones were achieved within the first week of recovery:

Customer Tips

The following tips are offered for customers traveling on Monday: