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HBLR 22ND STREET STATION OPENS IN THE

Latest Extension is 2-Years Ahead of Schedule

BAYONNE, NJ, November 15, 2003 – Mass transit improvements continue to grow in the City, as NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington, along with New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg and Bayonne Mayor and Assemblyman Joseph V. Doria celebrated another Hudson-Bergen Light Rail milestone – the opening of the 22nd Street Station, two years ahead of schedule.

In addition to the station opening, NJ TRANSIT is advancing concept planning and preliminary engineering for the extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system south to 8th Street in Bayonne.

“As the most densely populated State in The Union, New Jersey depends on federal funds for its mass transit systems,” Senator Lautenberg said. “I have always fought for the funding required for these systems, and I will continue to do so – Wednesday Senate and House conferees approved another $100 Million for the Hudson-Bergen project in accordance with the $500 million federal commitment I was able to secure for this phase of the project before my brief hiatus from the U.S. Senate.”

"The Hudson Bergen Light Rail system is a shining example of a private-public partnership of agencies and legislators working together to ensure a safe, efficient, public transportation system,” U.S. Representative Bob Menendez said. “This light rail system isn't just about transporting people to work, school, or shopping destinations, it is about linking communities, providing options, and protecting our environment. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues throughout this process, and to many more ceremonies marking the continued progress of the premier light rail system in the United States."

“The extension to 22nd Street not only provides local residents and regional commuters with even more light rail access into Bayonne’s central business district, it is a continuation of our commitment to provide quality service to our customers, while reducing traffic in traffic clogged cities,” Warrington said. “Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is consistent with Governor McGreevey’s ‘Smart Growth’ initiative, serving as a catalyst to improve mobility, rebuild our urban centers and stimulate economic development. We already see how the system has served as a catalyst for economic development in Bayonne with commercial and residential developments rising in close proximity to the light rail system.”

“Today is a great day for the City of Bayonne and for NJ TRANSIT,” Mayor Doria said. “This beautiful 22nd Street Station will give greater access to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system for more of our residents and will further spur the economic renaissance that Bayonne is already enjoying. The fact that the considerable work necessary to get the light rail down to 22nd Street was done ahead of time and with minimal inconvenience to the people of Bayonne is a tribute to the hard work of NJ TRANSIT and 21st Century Rail. The bottom line is that bringing the light rail down to 22nd Street will increase the quality of life for the citizens of Bayonne and that is a wonderful thing.”

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail operates from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and will now serve 17 stations between 22nd Street in Bayonne and the Hoboken Terminal. Ridership has increased significantly on the system since opening in 2000 with 15,500 average weekday trips.

In addition to the opening of the 22nd Street Station, the 2nd Street, 9th Street stations in Hoboken, and Lincoln Harbor Station in Weehawken are expected to open spring of 2004, while service to Port Imperial in Weehawken, Bergenline Avenue in Union City, and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen is expected in summer 2005. The project cost for extensions to 22nd Street in Bayonne and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen is set at $1.2 billion. Funding is a mixture of state and federal funds.

In November 2002, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors authorized conceptual design work for a 1- mile extension of the line from Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen to Tenafly. The light rail would serve the communities of North Bergen, Ridgefield, Palisades Park, Leonia, Englewood and Tenafly.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 29 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.