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Provides direct service to Manhattan and Newark

(MONTCLAIR) -- Continuing his efforts to improve New Jersey’s public transportation system, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced the opening of MidTOWN DIRECT-Montclair, which will provide direct service to midtown Manhattan and downtown Newark.

“The Montclair Connection Project will consolidate NJ TRANSIT's Montclair Branch and Boonton Line through a 1,500-foot two-track rail connection in the vicinity of Bay Street Station in Montclair Township,” McGreevey said. “It will offer commuters direct service into New York Penn Station as well as continued service to Hoboken.”

The Governor said the Montclair Connection will save an estimated 15 to 20 minutes of travel time each way for commuters in Essex, Passaic and Morris counties traveling to midtown Manhattan.

The $63 million Montclair Connection is expected to add 4,250 one-way riders traveling to Penn Station New York. To help meet the anticipated demand, NJ TRANSIT is constructing a new $26 million station and a 1,500 space parking deck at Montclair State University. The station will also benefit MSU students and faculty who want to use public transportation, and will provide off-peak parking for on-campus activities including baseball games at the Yogi Berra Stadium.

“This project will benefit transit riders, the University and the surrounding community,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner James P. Fox. “The agreement also fulfills Governor McGreevey’s commitment to increase capacity on the NJ TRANSIT rail system and improve the quality of life for thousands of commuters.”

In addition to the 9,500 additional seats that MidTOWN DIRECT-Montclair will provide each weekday, a series of schedule changes that NJ TRANSIT delivered over the past four months has added another 4,500 seats to the rail system – effectively eliminating standees that were packed into Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast Line and MidTOWN DIRECT trains this past spring.

Many of the trains that will operate on the new service will use the railroad industry’s latest equipment – the ALP-46 high-horsepower electric locomotive and Comet V rail cars.

“From automated destination signs and ergonomically designed seats to the most modern on-board microprocessors and safety features, the new fleet is a reflection of this Administration’s commitment – now and in the future – to deliver a quality commute for hundreds of thousands of rail, bus and light rail riders,” said NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington.

The Montclair Connection is one of three major transportation projects that have opened this month. The new 50,000-square-foot 7th Avenue Concourse opened on September 23 at Penn Station New York, and Hudson Bergen Light Rail service to Hoboken began this weekend.