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Repositioning trains relieves traffic congestion in several towns

July 18, 2005

NEWARK, NJ – NJ TRANSIT and elected officials from several municipalities along the Pascack Valley Line reached an agreement today that will improve the quality of life in Bergen County by reducing traffic congestion near several train stations.

NJ TRANSIT has agreed to change the locations where its trains stop at stations along the line to improve traffic flow at certain rail crossings. Several municipalities along the Pascack Valley Line had asked NJ TRANSIT to make these adjustments to alleviate traffic congestion. Responding to their concerns, NJ TRANSIT and created a task force that studied the issue and proposed solutions to municipal officials.

In addition, municipalities along the Pascack Valley Line and NJ TRANSIT announced that they reached consensus regarding four passing tracks that will be built along the alignment, a move that will provide bi-directional and off-peak passenger rail service on the line for the first time. Passing tracks, also known as sidings, are locations on a single-track railroad where trains running in opposite directions can pass each other on a short stretch of double track.

Metro-North Rail Road will contribute $7.2 million to the passing track project that will benefit its customers in Rockland County, NY, with more service on the line. The majority of funding will come from federal and New Jersey state sources.

“These improvements on the Pascack Valley Line demonstrate how seriously NJ TRANSIT takes its role as an economic catalyst,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “More service will yield huge benefits for residents in Bergen County, as well as those in Rockland County.”

“I’m elated that NJ TRANSIT was able to make adjustments that will bring traffic relief to our residents who travel Kinderkamack Road and Grand Avenue,” said Montvale Mayor George Zeller. “I’m very happy that Montvale, as well as other neighboring municipalities, are able to deliver a higher quality of life through these agreements, which will mean more train service and fewer traffic jams.”

The passing track project will also accommodate rail service to the Meadowlands via a rail spur that will connect to the Pascack Valley Line. Rail service to the Meadowlands, as well as bi-directional, off-peak and weekend service, is expected to begin in late 2007.

On a typical weekday, the Pascack Valley Line provides 5,100 passenger trips – or 1.2 million trips annually. Currently, NJ TRANSIT provides 10 inbound morning trains from Spring Valley to Hoboken and 13 outbound evening trains from Hoboken to Spring Valley.

This past winter, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved the construction of four passing tracks along the Pascack Valley Line to provide enhanced rail service. The tracks will be installed in Rutherford, Hasbrouck Heights, Hackensack and Nanuet.

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.