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NJ TRANSIT BOARD APPROVES FINANCING PACKAGE FOR TWO NEW REGIONAL PARK/RIDES

New Parking Decks to Support Systemwide Parking Capacity Expansion Initiative

NEWARK, NJ, January 15, 2003 – The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today authorized a financing plan to fund the construction of two new regional park/rides on the Main Line in Ramsey and on the Montclair-Boonton Line in Little Falls. The park/rides will help NJ TRANSIT address current and future ridership growth on New Jersey’s commuter rail system.

“Today we are taking a critical step in alleviating congestion on New Jersey's highways and making mass transit more accessible,” said Acting State Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. “If we want to take cars off our highways, we must make transportation a viable option. For too long, the need for commuter parking has been ignored.”

“These two parking expansion projects are consistent with Governor McGreevey’s Smart Growth initiative and our ‘Back to Basics’ approach to increasing capacity on the NJ TRANSIT system,“ said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “Specifically, these two new parking decks will greatly increase access to mass transit, providing nearly 2,800 available spaces for customers and additional travel alternatives for our current and future riders.”

NJ TRANSIT will begin construction shortly on the two new parking decks – the 1,500-space parking deck planned for the new Montclair State University (MSU) Station on the Montclair-Boonton Line in Little Falls and the 1,264-space parking deck planned for the new Route 17 Station on the Main Line in Ramsey. NJ TRANSIT has worked closely with MSU, Little Falls and Ramsey representatives to gather input on the final design of the stations and parking decks – which are scheduled for completion in spring 2004.

The sale of tax-exempt bonds from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will fund the design and construction of the two parking decks, projected to cost a total of $34.1 million. The bonds will be repaid primarily through revenues generated by the two new parking decks and partially through other NJ TRANSIT parking system revenues. In addition, construction of the two stations – totaling an additional $27.9 million for both – will be funded by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund. Both projects will substantially increase parking capacity on two rail lines projected to experience sizeable ridership increases during the next decade.

MSU Station and 1,500-space park/ride is being designed and constructed by Prismatic Development Corporation of Plainfield as a regional train station on 3.2 acres of land near the university’s Yogi Berra Stadium. The new facility will serve riders on the newly-combined Montclair-Boonton Line, which will provide service for customers traveling to Penn Station New York or Hoboken Terminal.

The Route 17 Station and 1,264-space park/ride is being constructed by R.M. Shoemaker Co. of West Conshohocken, PA on 2.9 acres of land where Route 17 and the Main Line intersect in Ramsey. The Route 17 Station is needed to support future ridership growth related to the Secaucus Transfer Station, which is scheduled to open on weekends this fall and on weekdays following the completion of the Lower-Manhattan PATH Station in winter 2003/2004.

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.

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