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Modernization of New Jersey’s Iconic Transit Hub Continues with Project to Replace Major Components of Air Conditioning System to Provide a Cleaner and More Comfortable Customer Experience

February 08, 2023

NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT is taking steps toward enhancing Newark Penn Station by making key upgrades to the station’s air conditioning system. NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors has approved a contract to replace two chillers and two cooling towers, which will provide reliable cooling for the foreseeable future. Chillers at this station provide air conditioning for all interior spaces, including electrical equipment rooms necessary for station operations.

“This project is part of NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to provide a clean and comfortable world class travel experience,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “By keeping the air temperature at a comfortable level, customers can look forward to a pleasant experience during the summer months.”

“The contract approved by our Board today will significantly improve the overall experience of thousands of customers who pass through Newark Penn Station every day,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Thanks to Governor Murphy’s significant funding commitment, we’re pleased to continue advancing the transformation of Newark Penn Station into one of the crown jewels of our system.”

The contract was awarded to John O’Hara Company Inc. of East Orange, New Jersey to provide construction services for the replacement of chillers and cooling towers at Newark Penn Station in the amount of $4,620,756.32, plus five percent for contingencies, subject to the availability of funds.

Newark Penn Station was constructed in 1935. As the structure of the station has aged, so have the mechanical systems that provide a comfortable commute for customers. Two chillers and two cooling towers are used to maintain the air conditioning in the station. The current units, each with a 150-ton refrigeration capacity, have been in service for nearly 30 years and have reached the end of their useful life. For the past seven years, the necessary maintenance of the existing HVAC system has increased while the replacement parts needed for repair have become more difficult to acquire.

In 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced $190 million for renovations and upgrades at historic Newark Penn Station as part of a larger reimagining of the facility to provide customers with a 21st century experience while maintaining the station’s historic grandeur.  The work began immediately with $30 million in renovations and restorations, with additional upgrades scheduled over the coming years totaling $160 million. NJ TRANSIT’s Newark Penn Station Modernization Project will deliver improvements to the station and its immediate surroundings, enhancing the experience of customers passing through the station as well as for the residents and businesses in the community.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.