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Project Will Make Station in East Orange Fully Accessible With High-Level Platforms and Elevators; Restore Historic Features

May 28, 2024

EAST ORANGE, NJ – The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced today that it has awarded an $83.3 million grant to NJ TRANSIT to transform the historic Brick Church station in East Orange into a modern, fully accessible station that preserves historic features and improves the customer experience. Highlights include replacing the current low-level platforms with accessible high-level platforms and adding elevators.

“This large investment in the Brick Church station will pay dividends for the people of East Orange and our entire region for decades to come,” said Senator Cory Booker. “By upgrading this century-old station, we will improve the daily lives of thousands of commuters while spurring economic growth and creating jobs. I’m proud to work with the Biden Administration and congressional colleagues to deliver funding to rebuild our transportation infrastructure and provide reliable, accessible, and safe transportation options for every New Jerseyan.”

“I fought hard to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is now providing funding to make critical updates to the Brick Church station,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “This long-overdue investment will help NJ TRANSIT upgrade and repair our public transit station infrastructure to make it safer and fully ADA-compliant. I’m proud to stand with colleagues, state and local leaders, and community advocates to bring federal tax dollars back to the Garden State.”

“Investing in our railway infrastructure is essential to ensure that residents of New Jersey can access safe and inclusive public transportation,” said Congressman Rob Menendez. “The $83.3 million grant awarded to NJ TRANSIT will modernize the Brick Church station and make our transit system accessible to everyone. By prioritizing inclusivity and historical preservation, we're not just upgrading our infrastructure, we're affirming our commitment to building a transit system that is equitable for all.”

“Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, great strides have been made in improving accessibility, but there is still a lot of work to accomplish,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “By modernizing rail systems across the country, the ASAP program provides funding to address these overdue improvements. We want to ensure that all customers can use transit systems with ease and reliability, including people with disabilities, those using mobility devices, and other users needing more accessible spaces.”

“This is a win-win for the East Orange community and the many commuters who pass through daily en route to one of the busiest corridors in the nation,” said Governor Murphy. “Thanks to the FTA’s generosity, coupled with ongoing State investments, Brick Church station is undergoing a transformation that will restore its historical integrity while modernizing the facility as a whole so that it is ultimately accessible by all.” 

“I am thrilled that the bipartisan infrastructure bill has allocated much-needed funding to upgrade our NJ TRANSIT train stations,” said State Senator Britnee Timberlake. “For the past six years, with the goal of taking a proactive approach to our aging infrastructure, I have tirelessly advocated for dollars to improve our stations in disrepair. This advocacy has been in collaboration with state and federal agencies. Special mention must go to the constant collaboration my friend and partner in government, the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., and I had to secure additional funding on top of the state’s contribution. The Congressman was a giant for the people, and I am honored to have worked with him on this project, and many others. This funding will enhance the Brick Church Station in East Orange in State Legislative District 34. These upgrades will benefit our communities, improve accessibility, and ensure the long-term maintenance of this vital transportation hub.”

“This announcement marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of East Orange, with a major focus on the $500 million investment in The Crossings at Brick Church station, a transformative project that will drive growth and development right in the heart of the city's Transit Village,” said East Orange Mayor Ted R. Green. “Over the past seven years, my administration has worked closely with our legislators, including the late Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver and Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., to advocate for significant upgrades to our Brick Church train station, which happens to be one of the most prime and coveted commuter locations in the entire State of New Jersey. It is only fitting that the legacy of these two political giants will be forever linked to a monumental transit renovation project that will have a profound and lasting impact on our city, New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan region.”

“This generous grant makes it possible for NJ TRANSIT to take another step toward achieving its vision to meet the travel needs of every customer,” said Acting DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chair Fran O’Connor. “New Jerseyans deserve safe, reliable and accessible public transit, and this project provides that to our customers.”

"NJ TRANSIT is incredibly grateful for this generous grant from the FTA. This support will enable us to transform Brick Church into a model of accessibility for all those using the station," said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Enhancing accessibility is not just about compliance, it’s about ensuring that everyone has equal access to public transportation. This grant award brings us another step closer to achieving that goal.”

“Our partnership and collaboration with Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor Ted R. Green, NJ TRANSIT, our partners at Goldman Sachs, Basis Investment Group, and Incline Capital, as well as the constituents of the region reinforce our long-time support and recognition of transit-oriented developments and their ability to unlock value in communities such as East Orange, a vibrant yet underinvested town,” said Executive Vice President - Acquisitions and Development of Triangle Equities, Josh Weingarten. “The FTA’s investment will amplify investments by NJ TRANSIT, East Orange, and The Crossings at Brick Church Station to bring accessibility and equitable development to the area. We greatly look forward to this highly anticipated infrastructure project, benefitting current and future residents of the region for decades to come.”

The project will improve the station’s accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by installing high level platforms and elevators, new security cameras and other safety measures. The work also includes restoring historic features in-line with the station’s status on the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places.

The funds are part of the FTA’s All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), which makes competitive funding available to assist in the financing of capital projects. The FTA awarded a total of $343 million in ASAP grants for 2024 to eight transit agencies in eight states, of which NJ TRANSIT received the second highest award.

Other improvements already underway through state-funded initiatives include upgrading signage and communication systems, new historic replica lights, repairing the historic benches and terrazzo floor, installing an art installation on windows, converting the former baggage room to leasable commercial office space as well as stairwell, restroom and security upgrades.

Rail service through East Orange first began in 1836 as the Morris and Essex Railroad. Matthias Ogden Halsted, a local lawyer, who used the railroad to commute, provided a station for commuters. A new depot was built in 1880 and used until the current station opened on December 18, 1921, after the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad elevated the tracks. The station is named for the nearby Temple of Unified Christians Brick Church, which was designed with brick architecture. The brick headhouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 263 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.