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BRIDGEWATER RAIL STATION DEDICATED TO LONG-TIME RAIL ADVOCATE
NJ TRANSIT Honors Art Reuben
BRIDGEWATER, NJ, December 18, 2001 -- The Bridgewater Rail Station -- which a few years ago had limited Raritan Valley Line service -- was today dedicated to Arthur L. Reuben, a man who not only helped make the station into a regional transit hub, but also worked to ensure that rail service throughout New Jersey would continue to operate and expand.
NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh was joined by Reuben’s widow Sylvia, Somerset County and local officials, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers (NJ-ARP) President Leonard Resto and NJ-ARP Director Bill Wright in unveiling a plaque honoring Art Reuben and his contributions to transportation in Somerset County and his support of passenger railroad service throughout the Garden State. The plaque is displayed on Bridgewater Station’s eastbound platform.
"Art Reuben was a New Jersey transportation giant," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James Weinstein. "His concern for affordable, reliable public transportation belied his ultimate goal -- to enhance mobility, to improve the quality of life and to protect the environment. As I've often said, we can't build our way out of congestion by expanding roads -- and Art Reuben always knew that."
"Art Reuben was a tireless advocate of an effective rail, light rail and bus system," said Warsh. "His work to improve service for Somerset County residents and increase public transportation resources -- including a new tunnel to Penn Station New York -- provided to be invaluable for NJ TRANSIT. This dedication is a fitting tribute to Art Reuben and his family."
This is the second time this year NJ TRANSIT has honored Art Reuben. He was inducted into NJ TRANSIT's Hall of Fame nearly five months ago. Both honors are posthumous; Reuben died in 1999.
Art Reuben spent much of his long career in planning and transportation in Somerset County as the Planning Board director. He focused on efforts to revitalize public transportation, especially rail service. Following his retirement in the late 1980s, Reuben became the legislative liaison for NJ-ARP and later helped found the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, a group that helped facilitate the need for improvements on the Raritan Valley Line and made public officials aware of the importance of a second Hudson River tunnel to Penn Station New York.
"No one was more concerned about the need for quality mass transportation than Art Reuben," said Wright, Reuben's long-time friend. "Art knew the quality of life in New Jersey would decline if everyone had to rely on cars. His vision and dedication helped advance many projects NJ-ARP has supported and set the area’s mass transportation agenda for years to come."
Bridgewater Station was renovated in 2000 with a lighted shelter featuring heaters and vinyl windows on the eastbound platform. Work on the eastbound -- or Newark-bound -- side also included a new concrete walkway and plaza. On the westbound side, a right-of-way fence was erected along the entire parking lot. The station also includes new historic lighting, stairs, a ramp accessible to customers with disabilities and a newly paved parking lot. Bridgewater Station's facade is designed to match the nearby Somerset Patriots Stadium.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.