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Thread: Jersey keeps its light-rail rolling

  1. #1
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    Default Jersey keeps its light-rail rolling

    Jersey keeps its light-rail rolling
    Line through Hudson County pushes north as 3 stations open in Hoboken, Weehawken
    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Three new stations opened for service yesterday on NJ Transit's light-rail line through Hudson County, expanding New Jersey's single-most expensive transportation project.

    The stops at 2nd Street and 9th Street in Hoboken and at Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken take the $2.2 billion system on its way through some of the state's most densely populated cities.

    After a slow start in 2000, the light-rail system steadily has gained ridership and now handles about 17,000 passenger trips per day. Officials expect the three new stations that opened yesterday to increase the ridership by 2,400 trips per day over the next year.

    By then, NJ Transit plans to open stations in Union City and North Bergen, which experts say will be pivotal to the system's success.

    "The thing that NJ Transit really did right here was open this system in increments, whenever stations were ready, instead of waiting until it was all done and opening it in one fell swoop," said Douglas Bowen, president of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, a watchdog group. "Opening stations as they were ready really built up ridership."

    The line now runs 12.6 miles from Bayonne through Jersey City's bustling downtown financial district to Hoboken Terminal and then out to the three new stops.

    Eventually, the system is supposed to run into Bergen County, possibly as far north as Tenafly. But state officials have not secured the money for that phase of the project or even put together firm estimates on how much it would cost.

    "The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line has proven to be a strong economic driver along the Hudson County waterfront," said NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington. "With the opening of this new segment north of Hoboken Terminal, I believe the so-called 'Gold Coast' will soon become the 'Platinum Coast.'"

    The two new Hoboken stops are on the west side, in the shadow of the Palisades, in the part of the city that had not experienced the same rebirth as the section near the Hudson River. During the planning, there had been much debate on whether the route should go through Hoboken's east or west side.

    Martin Robins, executive director of the Voorhees Transportation Policy Institute, said the promise of the light-rail station near 9th Street in Hoboken spurred a wave of new housing.

    "No one thought that area was going to develop as it has," he said. "Look at all the development around the station."

    Robins pointed out that the 9th Street station also has an elevator connecting it with Congress Street in the Jersey City Heights neighborhood on the Palisades up above.

    "It's going to be interesting to see how that works, whether they get many riders from the Heights in Jersey City," Robins said.

    By coincidence, NJ Transit opened the three new stations on the same day that a national transportation study group released a report showing that America's cities are increasingly becoming choked by gridlock. New Jersey officials yesterday praised the light-rail line.

    "This light-rail system isn't just about transporting people to work, school or shopping and entertainment destinations," said Rep. Robert Menendez (D-Hudson), the congressman who fought to ensure that there would be a light-rail stop in Union City when he was mayor there.

    "It helps New Jersey fight air pollution, reduce traffic and cut down on sprawl," added Menendez, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "Finally, our light-rail project shows that we can plan transportation growth carefully, with more thought given to the needs of people who will live and work in the community today and tomorrow."

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    Red tape snags new light-rail station
    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    In suits and smiles, an array of elected officials celebrated the opening of three stations on NJ Transit's $2.2 billion light-rail system in Hudson County on Tuesday morning.

    Some even mentioned the nifty elevator that would connect the 9th Street station in Hoboken with the Jersey City Heights neighborhood at the top of the Palisades.

    What they didn't mention was that the elevator had not received its operating permits from the state Department of Community Affairs and could not open for service.

    "We're hoping to have it in operation by the end of the week," said Penny Bassett Hackett, a spokeswoman for NY Transit.

    In the meantime, NJ Transit is providing a shuttle bus from Congress Street at the top of the Palisades to the station in Hoboken, a fairly circuitous trip compared to the quick elevator ride.

    But during yesterday morning's downpour, the buses had to navigate gridlock that gripped that part of Hudson County.

    Passengers have the option of taking a stairway from the Heights down to Hoboken and NJ Transit has posted security guards at the top and bottom of the stairs, Hackett said.

    But yesterday, the first day that the station was open for the morning rush hour, the stairway was blocked by a massive puddle that was shin-deep.

  3. #3
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    New stations are always good news. Glad to see that Weehawken has finally re-joined the list of rail communities. And that elevator looks pretty cool too.

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    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I also like the fact that that area of JC is now accessable by elevator instead of running around. WOuld be nice to blade over and blade tha Pallisades....

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    That really opens up that neighborhood. I used to know someone who lived up there when I lived in Hoboken and we rarely saw each other - it was too much of a hassle.

  6. #6
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Default Roll On Hudson County!!

    NJ TRANSIT ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING DATE FOR NEW LIGHT RAIL STATIONS

    New service plan begins February 11, offering more seats, more frequent service in advance of station openings; Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations to open February 25

    February 2, 2006
    NJT-06-009
    Contact: Dan Stessel 973 491-7078

    UNION CITY, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today announced the opening date for two new stations on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, as well as a series of service enhancements to provide light rail customers with more frequent service and more seating capacity during the busiest times of the day. Service to the two new stations—Bergenline Avenue Station in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue Station in North Bergen—will begin following a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, February 25.

    February 25 will also mark the start of full service—seven days a week—to Port Imperial Station, which opened for weekend-only service on October 29, 2005.

    The opening of the new stations represents a major milestone in the growth of the five-year-old light rail system. Bergenline Avenue Station, which serves the densely populated communities of Union City and West New York, is located within a tunnel that cuts through the Palisades. Tonnelle Avenue Station, a 730-space park-and-ride facility located on the busy Route 1 & 9 corridor, will become the northern terminus of the light rail system. The new station will offer customers a convenient four-minute trip to the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal for trans-Hudson service, as well as access to the rest of the Hudson Waterfront.


    Major service enhancements take effect Saturday, February 11

    To prepare for new light rail riders and to improve service for current customers, NJ TRANSIT today announced a series of service improvements to provide customers with more seats and more frequent service. On Saturday, February 11—two weeks prior to the opening of the new stations—NJ TRANSIT will implement the following service enhancements:

    -Double seating capacity on most peak-period trips. During peak periods, HBLR will operate with almost all two-car trains, doubling the seating capacity for most trips. The two-car trains will enable NJ TRANSIT to keep pace with growing ridership—up approximately 25 percent in the first quarter of FY2006 over last year.
    -More frequent service. Peak-period service will increase to every five minutes, over today’s six-minute intervals, for customers traveling within the core sections of the system.
    -The frequency of departures from the endpoint terminals will increase to every 10 minutes from 12-minute intervals today. Starting February 11, stations north of Hoboken Terminal will enjoy the same level of service as those to the south—a train every 5-10 minutes—up from every 15 minutes today.
    -New direct service bypassing Hoboken Terminal. Beginning February 11, HBLR will begin using a new service pattern with three connected routes:
    22nd Street (Bayonne)—Hoboken Terminal
    Lincoln Harbor (Weehawken)—Hoboken Terminal
    Lincoln Harbor (Weehawken)—West Side Avenue (Jersey City)

    The new service pattern offers customers a faster, direct trip between stations north of Hoboken Terminal and those to the south by eliminating the need to change trains at Hoboken Terminal. This service will extend to Tonnelle Avenue when the new stations open on February 25.


    More travel flexibility

    Effective immediately, customers who purchase one-way tickets have even greater travel flexibility transferring between NJ TRANSIT buses and the light rail system. Customers can now purchase HBLR "tickets with transfer" from HBLR ticket vending machines at a cost of $2.35. When validated, these tickets may be used for travel on the light rail system, plus a one-zone transfer to any connecting NJ TRANSIT intrastate bus. Customers also may purchase a transfer onboard any intrastate bus that connects with HBLR.


    Improved bus connections

    NJ TRANSIT has also increased service levels on the 158 Fort Lee-Edgewater-New York bus route to every 30 minutes during the midday and evening to support connections to the light rail system at Port Imperial. During peak hours, the 156 Englewood Cliffs-New York and 159 Fort Lee-New York routes also offer frequent service along the River Road corridor for connections at Port Imperial. Further bus service changes will take effect in April to improve overall connectivity with the light rail system.

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    Hopefully they will now extend it up to Tenafly

  8. #8
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    How close is that station to the driving range?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller
    Hopefully they will now extend it up to Tenafly
    No, the line from this point northward will be a new NJ Transit commuter rail line. It will have a transfer station with the light rail and then continue on to Manhattan. The line will use DMU technology and will eventually be expanded north up to Stewart International Airport.

    If the light rail is extended northward, it will head up (or more likely under) River Road through Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Ft. Lee, etc. There are also proposed extensions west to the Meadowlands area, where they would link with the new NJ Transit Meadowlands rail line.

    The light rail is also being extended futher south in Bayonne and Staten Island politicians want it to terminate on the other side of the Bayonne Bridge Staten Island. This might actually happen as Staten Island leaders are pushing for light rail in the western portion of the island.

  10. #10

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    Where did you hear all that? I only heard of the Stewart Line branching off the Port Jervis line, which makes sense. Doesn't make sense to run an entirely new line up there. Also, none of these lines are supposed to continue into Manhattan now that ARC dropped their proposal for the loop at Secaucus Jct which was the biggest joke of an idea I'd ever seen.

    The line you're probably thinking of is the West Shore Line project, which I haven't heard anything about in over a year. However, that's just so supposed to go to Havestraw. The HBLR is on another line just east of it.

    And yes, there have been ideas of extending it over the Bayonne to SI, which would be a good idea in my opinion.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller
    Where did you hear all that? I only heard of the Stewart Line branching off the Port Jervis line, which makes sense. Doesn't make sense to run an entirely new line up there. Also, none of these lines are supposed to continue into Manhattan now that ARC dropped their proposal for the loop at Secaucus Jct which was the biggest joke of an idea I'd ever seen.

    The line you're probably thinking of is the West Shore Line project, which I haven't heard anything about in over a year. However, that's just so supposed to go to Havestraw. The HBLR is on another line just east of it.

    And yes, there have been ideas of extending it over the Bayonne to SI, which would be a good idea in my opinion.
    NJ Transit is definitely building a new DMU line up the West Shore (Tenefly, Englewood, etc.) and it is going to eventually go into Penn Station. The interchange with light rail will allow for commuting flexibilty until the tunnel is completed. The line will end at the light rail terminal until the ARC tunnel is completed. The line will initially start at Tenefly but there are hopes to eventually extend it well into NY State. I thought it was going to Stewart but perhaps you're right and it's just going to Haverstraw. I'm not entirely sure about the NY State portion of the line.

    The decision by NJ Transit was in the NY Times and the NJ papers a few months back. I'll check the Times and the NJ Transit website for a press release.

  12. #12

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    The West Shore line is not supposed to go to Tenafly, it is supposed to go to Havestraw. Tenafly is for HBLR. Trust me on this. I've been following many of NJTs projects VERY closely. And the West Shore line is NOT supposed to go to Penn Station. To do that, NJT would have to build a loop at Secaucus for trains to get from the Main/Bergen line onto the NEC line. Also, DMU can't go into Penn Station. Only electric serivice is allowed into Penn Station.

    The planned DMU line from the Tonelle Av HBLR terminal is the cross bergen service to Patterson and possibly beyond. Personally, I think this should be both HBLR and NJT Commuter rail service(HBLR on its own tracks up to Patterson and NJT Commuter rail running from Sparta or Butler to Hoboken).

    And the ARC tunnel no longer includes the Secaucus loop, which means none of the north eastern NJ lines(Pascack Valley, Main/Bergen/Port Jervis, West Shore, NYSW/Cross Bergen/Sparta) will go to Penn Station.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller
    The West Shore line is not supposed to go to Tenafly, it is supposed to go to Havestraw. Tenafly is for HBLR. Trust me on this. I've been following many of NJTs projects VERY closely. And the West Shore line is NOT supposed to go to Penn Station. To do that, NJT would have to build a loop at Secaucus for trains to get from the Main/Bergen line onto the NEC line. Also, DMU can't go into Penn Station. Only electric serivice is allowed into Penn Station.

    The planned DMU line from the Tonelle Av HBLR terminal is the cross bergen service to Patterson and possibly beyond. Personally, I think this should be both HBLR and NJT Commuter rail service(HBLR on its own tracks up to Patterson and NJT Commuter rail running from Sparta or Butler to Hoboken).

    And the ARC tunnel no longer includes the Secaucus loop, which means none of the north eastern NJ lines(Pascack Valley, Main/Bergen/Port Jervis, West Shore, NYSW/Cross Bergen/Sparta) will go to Penn Station.
    I don't want to argue, but I don't agree with any of this post. This contradicts everything I have heard through my friends (I am an Urban Planner and have friends working at the MTA, at NJ Transit and I have a transportation consultant friend).

    I'll post the NJ Transit press release later today.

  14. #14

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    I don't want to argue either, but even look at the map of proposed NJT projects. The West Shore Line is shown diverting to the Meadowlands and then reconnecting with the main/bergen which has no connection at all to NYP. They would have to build a connecting track and the only place where the two intersect is at Secaucus Junction station, which is now going to be hell to try to weave a connecting track through there with the new interchange.


    Now, about Tenafly. I guess the tracks are so close that one could say that the West Shore Line is going to serve Tenafly, but the line proposed to TERMINATE at Tenafly is HBLR.

  15. #15

    Default Hudson Bergen Light Rail

    Not to change the topic here, but which genius at NJ Transit came up with this tongue-twister for a name (Hudson Bergen Light Rail)?

    Other cities/areas have systems with catchy and easy to pronounce names (DART, MARTA, etc, etc)?

    How about simply calling it HUB Rail (HUB coming from Hudson Bergen)? Or some other simple names (they did a good job naming PATH)?

    I don't know about you, but this lack of creativity and marketing thought really bugs me. Sure HBLR is great for the development of the areas it connects and I am all for it. But every time I have to pronounce it I just cringe at this clunker of a name.

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