NJ TRANSIT OPENS NEW 8TH STREET LIGHT RAIL STATION IN BAYONNE
Grand opening ceremony precedes start of revenue service
January 31, 2011
NEWARK, NJ —NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein joined local, state and federal officials today at the grand opening of the new 8th Street Station in Bayonne, welcoming Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service to a new neighborhood and kicking off inaugural service on the recently completed one-mile extension.
As part of the opening ceremony, a special light rail train operated from 34th Street Station in Bayonne, carrying local officials and dignitaries along the new segment of the line, over the viaduct and into the elevated 8th Street Station. Following welcoming remarks from Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, area leaders such as U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and U.S. Representative Albio Sires highlighted the benefits of the new station for local residents.
“Projects like 8th Street would not be possible without state support,” said Weinstein. “The $672 million dedicated to NJ TRANSIT as part of Governor Christie’s new Transportation Capital Plan will ensure that we can continue to invest in these types of critical transit infrastructure projects.”
“The light rail system is a model of how to link communities with transportation options to encourage economic development, ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution, and reduce our dependence on oil,” said Senator Menendez. “The 8th Street extension in Bayonne will further connect people and opportunities, putting employment, education, and recreation within easy and affordable reach.”
“Since opening nearly 11 years ago, the light rail line has benefited Hudson County and the region by providing mass transit opportunities for our residents,” said Congressman Sires. “I am pleased that this latest expansion of the light rail system will provide greater mass transit access for the residents of Bayonne.”
In April 2008, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors awarded a $58.4 million contract to George Harms Construction, Inc. of Howell, NJ, for work to extend the light rail line one mile from its previous southern terminus at 22nd Street. The project included the design and construction of foundations, viaduct structure, track work, intersection improvements, a new station building, landscaping, lighting and customer amenities.
Construction work on the project began in October 2008. From the elevated 22nd Street Station, the light rail tracks were extended south, hugging the existing Conrail right-of-way along Avenue E. A viaduct was built to carry light rail vehicles over local streets to an elevated platform at the new 8th Street Station, which features an elevator and stairs between street and platform levels.
“Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is much more than a transportation system—it is an engine of economic development for the region, creating jobs during its construction, and now serving as the vehicle of choice for thousands who live and work here as they use the system for their daily commute,” said FTA Regional Administrator Brigid Hynes-Cherin. “It has also been a shining example of the good things that can happen when government agencies, communities, legislators and stakeholders work together.”
“The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system continues to serve as a model for transit agencies across the nation, driving economic growth, transit-friendly development, and connecting residents with jobs, education and recreational activities,” said Assembly Transportation Chairman John S. Wisniewski.
“With the opening of 8th Street Station, Bayonne residents now have a station that they can walk to, eliminating the need to drive and park at 22nd Street or 34th Street stations,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Weinstein. “Designed with community input in mind, this is truly a neighborhood station, one that is sure to quickly become a part of the fabric of the City as it connects riders to Waterfront destinations, NJ TRANSIT rail and bus services, trans-Hudson ferries and PATH trains.”
As a result of community meetings, the station was constructed at Avenue C and 8th Street, with architecture reminiscent of the old Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) station that once stood near the site.
“This new station at 8th Street expands a vital north-south transportation option for Hudson County and the region,” said Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise. “Whether traveling between Bayonne and North Bergen, or taking advantage of connections to trans-Hudson services, light rail has become the preferred choice for many residents.”
“The new 8th Street Station will extend the reach of the light rail system to the nearby Bergen Point neighborhood, providing walkable access to a vital transportation option,” said Mayor Smith. “Our community is proud to welcome this new, modern station that is so reminiscent of the classic station that once stood in its place.”
“I am thrilled that I can stop commuting from Hoboken by auto since the light rail now has a station within walking distance of my workplace,” said Principal Mary Tremitiedi of the Holy Family Academy, which is located about two blocks away from the 8th Street Station. “Many of my students are looking forward to using the new station for travel to and from school as well.”
The new 8th Street Station was designed as a “walkable” station for Bayonne residents. The station also features a “Kiss and Ride” area with 10 short-term parking spaces for customers who wish to get dropped off at or picked up from the station.
Two new bus stops at the station will facilitate intermodal connections between light rail and bus service for customers of the No. 81 Bayonne-Jersey City and No. 120 Bayonne-Downtown New York bus routes.
The new station also features three impressive art installations created by regional artists who were commissioned through NJ TRANSIT’s Transit Arts Program. The largest piece of artwork, a mural titled “Bayonne: Port City of Homes and Industry,” was painted by artist Richard Haas to adorn the entire open station entrance. The mural captures the essence of Bayonne, depicting local community storefronts, residential homes, architecture, scenes from the Waterfront and the famous Bayonne Bridge.
Upstairs, the elevated station platforms feature art glass windscreens created by artist Trevor Wilson. Titled “Silver Stain and Light,” the windscreens are comprised of glass blocks that underwent a silver stained glass paint application and etching process to achieve a unique transparency that interacts with the changing light.
Outside the station building, the plaza area features a stainless steel sculpture titled “Locomotion,” created by artist Tom Nussbaum. The sculpture uses images of wheels from locomotives that were historically significant in the development of the railroad.
8th Street Station Quick Facts
- Length of extension: one-mile
- Total project cost: $100 million
- Funding: federal and state sources
- Construction timeline: Oct. 2008 – Jan. 2011
- Number of HBLR stations: 24
- Project elements: station building, elevated platforms, track work, viaduct, landscaping, lighting, customer amenities
About Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail provides more than 40,000 weekday trips between 24 stations in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City and North Bergen. The system provides a vital link between waterfront destinations, NJ TRANSIT rail and bus routes, PATH trains and trans-Hudson ferry services.
The one-way adult fare on Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is $2.10. Discounted unlimited monthly passes are available for $64. Children, senior citizens and passengers with disabilities save 50 percent or more at all times. In addition, NJ TRANSIT customers holding a monthly or weekly rail pass, or a bus pass for two or more zones, can ride the system at no additional charge simply by displaying their pass.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.