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Cars added to increase capacity on popular service; Trains to add stop at Essex Street

June 20, 2005

NEWARK, NJ – “Bayonne Flyer” customers on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will have a better chance of finding a seat today as NJ TRANSIT introduces all two-car service on the popular express trains.

On weekdays, the Bayonne Flyers offer limited-stop, rush-hour service between 22nd Street Station in Bayonne and either Pavonia-Newport or Hoboken Terminal. The trains provide a convenient 16-minute trip from 22nd Street to Exchange Place, where customers can connect to the PATH system or ferry service to Manhattan.

Previously, six of the 18 weekday Bayonne Flyer trips are operated with two-car trains. Beginning Monday, June 20, all 18 trips will be operated with two cars, doubling capacity on 12 of 18 trips.

“This is a great decision by NJ TRANSIT,” said Bayonne Mayor Joseph Doria, Jr. “Adding cars to the Bayonne Flyer is a sign that the light rail has been a great success in Bayonne. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system has provided our residents with a quick commute to jobs in New York and New Jersey. With our great location in the heart of the metropolitan area, Bayonne is a convenient home for light rail customers. I look forward to the expansion of the Bayonne Flyer and the future growth of the HBLR in Bayonne.”

“People are discovering that Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is an attractive alternative to driving, and with ridership at an all time high—more than 21,000 passenger trips each weekday—it makes sense to enhance the services to accommodate growth,” said Joe North, NJ TRANSIT General Manager of Light Rail Services. “We also anticipate ridership will grow further when NJ TRANSIT eliminates feeder fares on July 1, enabling weekly and monthly rail pass holders to connect to other NJ TRANSIT modes, including light rail, at no additional charge.”

Beginning July 1, customers holding a weekly or monthly NJ TRANSIT commuter rail pass or a two-zone NJ TRANSIT bus pass will be able to ride the light rail system at no additional charge. There will be no increase in the cost of a $53 monthly pass for Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. One-way fares will rise from the current $1.50 to $1.75.

Also starting July 1, all Bayonne Flyers will add a stop at Essex Street Station, which has become an important destination for commuters and visitors to the Jersey City waterfront. Other Bayonne Flyer stops include 22nd Street, 34th Street, 45th Street, Liberty State Park, Exchange Place, Harborside Financial Center, Pavonia-Newport and Hoboken Terminal.

In FY2005 Q3 (January-March), weekday HBLR ridership increased to 21,350 weekday trips, an increase of 37 percent (approximately 6,000 trips) over the same period last year. Ridership on the Lincoln Harbor extension, which opened last September, accounts for 2,250 of the trips.

Weekend ridership has also increased—up 48 percent from last year with 10,500 Saturday trips and 7,700 Sunday trips during the third quarter. Later this year, NJ TRANSIT will open three new stations: Port Imperial (Weehawken), Bergenline Avenue (Union City) and Tonnelle Avenue (North Bergen).

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 779,200 daily trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 52 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.