NEWARK, NJ, June 12, 2002 -- The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today exercised an option with 21st Century Rail Corporation for $101.4 million to purchase 34 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) for a one-mile extension of the Newark City Subway and the Second Minimum Operable Segment (MOS-2) of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR).
Today's purchase will enable NJ TRANSIT to expand service and capacity on two New Jersey Light Rail systems -- and provide New Jersey residents with more travel options within some of the most densely populated sections of the State.
"Both the Newark City Subway and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail systems support Governor McGreevey's vision for improved mobility in and around the State's urban areas," said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox. "In addition to the transportation benefits, expansion of these two services will drive new economic development opportunities over the next several years."
"This Board action will increase Light Rail capacity and enhance commuter travel to the Hudson River waterfront and within the City of Newark," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. "Both systems also have proven to be invaluable resources for thousands of our riders -- resources that will provide new multi-modal connections to NJ TRANSIT and other transit services as these systems expand."
HBLR is currently operating between 34th Street in Bayonne and Newport in Jersey City, and between West Side Avenue and Newport in Jersey City. Service will be extended to Hoboken Terminal this fall, providing HBRL customers with access to trains, buses, the PATH system and ferry service.
Twenty-eight of the LRVs to be purchased today will be dedicated to the expansion of HBLR service on MOS-2, which will operate between 34th Street and 21st Street in Bayonne (opening 2003), between Hoboken Terminal and Weehawken (opening 2004) and between Weehawken and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen (opening 2005).
The Newark City Subway extension -- between Newark Penn and Newark Broad Street stations -- will link two of NJ TRANSIT's busiest rail lines -- the Northeast Corridor and the Morris & Essex Lines. Six LRVs will be used to operate this service (opening 2005).
The new LRVs are similar to those already operating on HBLR and the Newark City Subway. Each car is 90 feet long and equipped with four double doors on each side, 68 seats, two wheelchair securements and accommodations for another 122 standees. The cars will provide a smooth and quiet ride for HBLR and NERL passengers and offer them substantial leg room, modern air conditioning and heating systems and automated station announcements.
Today's purchase will be financed by a Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration, Certificates of Participation and Grant Anticipation Notes.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters on 238 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.