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NJ TRANSIT TO WORK ON POSSIBLE HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT RAIL EXTENSIONS

Plan Includes Service Farther Into Bergen, Hudson Counties

NEWARK, NJ, NOVEMBER 13, 2002 – The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today extended existing contracts with Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas (PBQ&D) for an additional $9 million and BEM for an additional $850,000 related to the potential future extension of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to 8th Street in Bayonne and to Tenafly in Bergen County.

Today’s Board action was highlighted last week by Governor James E. McGreevey during a Bergen County transportation improvement announcement in Paramus. The Governor was joined at the event by Board Chairman James P. Fox, U.S. Senator Jon Corzine and Bergen County officials for the announcement, which also included a series of improvements along Route 4 between Paramus and River Edge.

“With plans underway for redeveloping the Meadowlands, the time to begin addressing Bergen County’s infrastructure and mass transit have never been more pressing,” said NJ DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jamie Fox. “New roads are not the answer, expanding rail service in the region is, but not without careful consideration of all options and ensuring that the project is eligible for and receives federal funding.”

“Extending light rail service into Bergen County will greatly improve transportation options in the region, helping to serve new markets and improve overall service,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “This Board action will also position light rail extensions for future federal funding.”

Under the Board authorization, PBQ&D of Newark, the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail general design consultant, will provide conceptual engineering services under its contract extension while BEM of Chatham will provide hazardous materials consulting services under its contract extension.

NJ TRANSIT is now planning the next phase of Hudson- Bergen Light Rail that will expand light rail service north into Bergen County and farther south into Bayonne. The original Hudson-Bergen Light Rail project envisioned a two mile extension of the system north of North Bergen. Recognizing eastern Bergen County’ s increasing traffic congestion and lack of public transportation alternatives, NJ TRANSIT is prepared to advance this latest work under the Federal Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) process. Furthermore, a direct extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system to Tenafly via the Northern Branch has garnered strong local support.

During an initial Major Investment Study that included this corridor, NJ TRANSIT identified the potential for up to 10 station stops beyond Tonnelle Avenue serving North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood and Tenafly and more than 4,200 parking spaces and potentially generating nearly 21,000 daily trips by 2020. The DEIS for this corridor is scheduled for completion in fall 2003.

In September, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s first leg was completed when the system reached Hoboken Terminal, connecting the system with commuter rail, bus, PATH and ferry services. The second leg, now under construction, will be completed in the following phases:

  • 34th Street to 21st Street in Bayonne (opening in 2003)
  • Hoboken Terminal to Weehawken (opening 2004)
  • Weehawken to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen (opening in 2005)

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 160 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.