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GOVERNOR MCGREEVEY ANNOUNCES UPCOMING LAUNCH OF HUDSON-BERGEN LIGHT RAIL SERVICE TO HISTORIC HOBOKEN TERMINAL
Light Rail will connect New Jerseyans with Bus, Commuter Rail, PATH and Ferry Service
(HOBOKEN, NJ) -- Governor James E. McGreevey joined Senator Jon Corzine, Representative Bob Menendez, New Jersey State Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jamie Fox, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington, and Hoboken Mayor David Roberts, to announce the opening of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s Hoboken Terminal.
“Hudson-Bergen Light Rail underscores our Administration’s commitment to ‘Smart Growth.’ It will serve as a catalyst to improve mobility, rebuild our urban centers and stimulate economic development,” said McGreevey. “As this system continues to expand, more communities and residents will benefit from its quality service, connections with other transit services and improved access to jobs in the region.”
Senator Jon Corzine said, “The Hudson Bergen Light Rail system demonstrates just how important it is to invest in modern mass transit. The returns so far have been absolutely terrific -- expanding opportunities for economic growth, offering New Jersey commuters greater mobility, lightening the loads on our highways. It has been especially important since Sept. 11th. I was happy to help gain crucial federal funding last year, $141 million, for Hudson Bergen Light Rail, and I promise more federal assistance is on the way. Mass transit fuels New Jersey's economic engine, and Hudson Bergen Light Rail is now an important part of a total transit system that also includes buses, commuter rails, the PATH system, and ferries.”
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is a modern transit system launched in April 2000 that now operates through Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken. This weekend’s launch signals the completion of Minimum Operable Segment One (MOS-1) -- connecting the system with NJ TRANSIT, private carrier bus service, NJ TRANSIT commuter rail service, the PATH system and New York Waterway ferry service. The Hoboken Terminal is the 16th and final station stop on MOS-1 of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.
"The funding of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail -- the largest federally-funded transportation project in the past few years, receiving $586.3 million in appropriations through Fiscal Year 2002 -- continues to be one of my top priorities," said Menendez, senior New Jersey member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "The HBLR is a national model for successful and innovative public transportation, proving that we can plan transportation expansion thoughtfully by addressing the needs of commuters, and those living and working throughout our community. The Hoboken Terminal signals the completion of phase one of this project, as well as the continuation of work on an innovative public-private partnership that has provided a much-needed transit option for the people of Hudson County, one of the most densely populated counties in the country, with one of the lowest rates of car ownership."
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail operates with 90-foot Light Rail Vehicle’s equipped with 68 seats, modern heating and air conditioning systems, two-wheelchair securements and are fully accessible to people with disabilities.
"If we want people to leave their cars at home and take mass transit, then we must make it a welcome option - not a last resort," said Commissioner Fox. "The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail System accomplishes that goal and is a critical component as we ease congestion on our highways and improve the quality of life for this region's commuters - a trend that will continue as rail service extends further into Bergen County."
Since opening in April 2000, ridership on the system has jumped 332 percent from 2,780 to 12,000 average weekday passenger trips. With the new extension to Hoboken Terminal, NJ TRANSIT forecasts an additional 3,500 average weekday trips to the system within the first six months of operation.
“The arrival of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Hoboken Terminal provides commuters with another transportation option and key connecting point to a host of public transit services in the New Jersey/New York region,” said Executive Director Warrington. “Completion of this project also helps to fulfill our goal of increasing system capacity, serving new markets and improving overall service to our customers.”
Construction of the six-mile, seven-station MOS-2, which includes the widening and modernization of the Weehawken Tunnel, is well underway. MOS-2 will extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail south from 34th Street to 22nd Street in Bayonne and north from Hoboken Terminal through Weehawken, Union City and North Bergen.
MOS-2 will open in the following segments:
- 34th Street to 22nd Street in Bayonne – 2003.
- Hoboken Terminal to Weehawken Ferry Terminal – 2004.
- Weehawken Ferry Terminal to Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen – 2005.
N J TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 761,000 daily trips on 238 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 163 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.