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NJ TRANSIT offers ways to avoid the holiday crunch

November 16, 2005
Contact: Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

NEWARK, NJ - With less than 48 hours u, ntil New York's first "gridlock alert" day of the holiday season, NJ TRANSIT is advising travelers to take full advantage of its 5,288 daily trains and buses into and out of Manhattan and offering several incentives for visitors to avoid city gridlock this holiday season.

To encourage travelers to get out of their cars, NJ TRANSIT is distributing "free ride" certificates at a Gridlock Alert awareness event this evening at Hoboken Terminal. The certificates are redeemable for free rail travel between Ramsey Route 17 or Montclair State University (MSU) stations and New York on the first gridlock alert day of the season, Friday, November 18.

"The holiday season should be about family and friends, shopping and shows," said NJ TRANSIT Assistant Executive Director Lynn Bowersox. "NJ TRANSIT's trains and buses enable customers to avoid the traffic, tolls and parking that can ruin anyone's holiday spirit."

Customers taking advantage of the free round trip on Friday get up to a $17 value from Ramsey or a $10.50 value from MSU and need only pay for parking. Downloadable certificates are available online at

Due to record high ridership levels, leisure travelers this holiday season are advised to select trains and buses outside of the peak periods of 6-10 a.m. and 4-8 p.m., if possible. A 15-percent discount applies to roundtrip travel on off-peak and weekend trains.

Aside from avoiding city traffic, weekend travelers will have another incentive to leave their cars behind: free parking. Now through January 16, NJ TRANSIT customers can take advantage of free parking on weekends at Ramsey Route 17 Station - from 7 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays. For maximum savings, families can combine the free parking offer with NJ TRANSIT's Family Supersaver fare, which enables up to two kids (ages 11 and under) to travel free with each fare-paying adult on weekends and holidays.

A "gridlock alert" is issued by the New York City Department of Transportation on the busiest traffic days of the year. On these days especially, visitors are encouraged to leave their cars at home and use public transportation.

In addition to Friday, Nov. 18, the other designated gridlock alert days for 2005 are: Wednesday, Nov. 23 (day before Thanksgiving); Wednesday, Nov. 30 (tree lighting at Rockefeller Center); Friday, Dec. 9 (popular shopping day); Thursday, Dec. 15 (popular shopping day); Friday, Dec. 16 (popular shopping day); Wednesday, Dec. 21 (matinee day at Broadway theaters/popular shopping day); Thursday, Dec. 22 (popular shopping day); and Friday, Dec. 23 (day before Christmas Eve).

For the benefit of travelers this holiday season:


  • On Saturdays and Sundays through January 14 except Christmas Day and New Year's Day, NJ TRANSIT is offering 16 weekend "Holiday Express" trains on the Northeast Corridor and Morris & Essex Lines. The trains shave 10-15 minutes off the regular (local) travel time in each direction, making them a great option for NYC visitors. The trains will also operate on Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2.
    • Northeast Corridor: From Trenton, four New York-bound express trains depart at 8:23 a.m., 9:23 a.m., 10:23 a.m. and 11:23 a.m. with stops at Hamilton, Princeton Junction, New Brunswick, Metropark, Newark Airport, Newark Penn Station, and Secaucus. In the evening, four Trenton-bound express trains depart New York at 4:09 p.m., 5:09 p.m., 6:09 p.m. and 7:09 p.m., making the same station stops.
    • Morris & Essex Lines: From Dover, four New York-bound express trains depart at 8:36 a.m., 9:36 a.m., 10:36 a.m. and 11:36 a.m. with stops at Denville, Mount Tabor, Morris Plains, Morristown, Convent Station, Madison, Chatham, Summit and Newark Broad Street stations. In the evening, four Dover-bound express trains depart New York at 4:03 p.m., 5:03 p.m., 6:03 p.m. and 7:03 p.m., making the same station stops.
  • On Wednesday, November 23, NJ TRANSIT will offer special "early getaway" rail service from New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal starting at noon for the benefit of commuters leaving work early. In addition, extra bus service will be offered from the Port Authority Bus Terminal starting at noon.
  • On Thanksgiving Day, November 24, NJ TRANSIT will add 18 trains on the Northeast Corridor, Morris & Essex, Raritan Valley, and North Jersey Coast lines for the benefit of customers traveling to and from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as those traveling to New Jersey to visit family and friends.
  • On Friday, November 25 (one of the busiest shopping days of the year), NJ TRANSIT will operate special "early getaway" trains from New York Penn Station starting at noon. Additional bus service will be offered on more than a dozen lines to major New Jersey shopping centers, including Bergen Mall, Elizabeth Center, Garden State Plaza, Jersey Gardens, Livingston Mall, Newport Centre Mall, Paramus Park Mall, The Mall at Short Hills, The Mall at Mill Creek, Harmon Meadow, Willowbrook Mall, Woodbridge Center Mall, Cherry Hill Mall, Hamilton Mall, Moorestown Mall, Quaker Bridge Mall and Shore Mall. Bus customers should check their timetables and notices on buses for holiday service information.



  • NJ TRANSIT's Family Super Saver Fare, which enables up to two children 11 and under to travel free with each fare-paying adult, will be in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 23 until 6 a.m. Monday, November 28. Senior citizen and roundtrip excursion tickets will be valid without restriction throughout this period.
  • NJ TRANSIT has teamed up with Radio City Entertainment to offer customers $10 off admission to select performances of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world-famous Rockettes. Customers should mention code "JERSEY10" when purchasing tickets at the Radio City Box Office, or by calling the Ticketmaster Christmas Hotline at (212) 307-1000. Families may combine this discount with the NJ TRANSIT Family Supersaver (kids ride free) offer for maximum savings.

NJ TRANSIT offers direct, frequent service to New York Penn Station from points along the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line, Montclair-Boonton Line and Morris & Essex Lines. Connecting service to New York is available at Secaucus Junction for customers on the Main, Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines. Connecting service is available at Newark Penn Station for customers on the Raritan Valley Line.

For NJ TRANSIT schedules, fares and other information, visit or call 1-800-772-2222.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 800,000 weekday 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, 53 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.