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Thread: Jersey keeps its light-rail rolling

  1. #31
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    From Todays Star Ledger:
    $3.6M to help put Bergen rail project on the fast track
    Tuesday, February 14, 2006
    BY ANA M. ALAYA
    Star-Ledger Staff

    NJ Transit has received $3.6 million in federal funding to conduct engineering and environmental studies for the third phase of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line project.

    Steve Santoro, head of capital programs for NJ Transit, said the money will allow the agency to get the 11-mile Northern Branch on an "aggressive" schedule.

    That means construction of the Northern Branch --on which diesel trains would run from Tenafly to North Bergen -- could begin by 2008 and be completed by 2011, officials said.

    "This money will help to complete the initial design," said Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which approved the federal funds.

    Seven months ago, NJ Transit scrapped its decade-old plan to extend the light-rail line deep into Bergen County and decided instead to run diesel trains along the route. That decision cut the projected cost of the project in half, to $500 million, and reduced the estimated completion time by several years, Rothman said.

    "The Northern Branch has always been the most problematic," Rothman said. "We had to come up with a new idea."

    The Northern Branch would run from Tenafly through Englewood, Leonia, Palisades Park, Ridgefield and Fairview before ending in North Bergen. From North Bergen, riders could switch to a light-rail line that would take them to the Jersey City waterfront, where they could take ferries or trains to New York City and other points in New Jersey.

    "This will become part of a seamless web of rail transportation we want to provide in New Jersey," Rothman said yesterday during a news conference in Englewood to announce the new funding. "The line will offer a much easier commute between New York and New Jersey, relieve traffic on the George Washington Bridge and provide opportunities for economic development throughout the corridor."

    Later this month, NJ Transit plans to open stations at Bergenline Avenue in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, completing the first two phases of the light-rail line, a $2.2 billion project that runs 19.1 miles through Hudson County.

    New Jersey Transit officials expect 7,500 trips a day on the Northern Branch.

    The existing line in Hudson County has 24,000 trips a day.

  2. #32

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    I still think DMU on the Northern Branch is a waste. It will not make the commute any easier. People can still just take any of the bus services there to Manhattan, and those are one seat rides. This is a THREE seat ride to NYC and Jersey City.

    I also think that 42nd St light rail would be a waste. Think about it. 42nd St already hsa 2 buses and 2 subway lines. A street more suitable for light rail IMO is something like Fulton st or 125th st.

    JCMAN, using that bridge is actually part of my plan to extend the West End Av line to Newark Airport rail station. Here are the maps:



    Red=Heavy commuter rail
    Dark Green=HBLR extensions
    Yellow=Light Rail from Downtown Brooklyn/Downtown Manhattan
    Light Green=Staten Island light rail
    Dark Blue=Existing HBLR
    Orage=Existing Newark City Subway
    Pink=Newark City Subway extension
    Light Blue=Heavy commuter rail(I-287 cross westchester line(Morristown, NJ-Stamford, CT))
    Black=Existing NJT commuter rail

  3. #33

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    I think the 42nd street light rail would add the following:

    1. Good access ALL the way across 42nd, from river to river
    2. Deposit Northern NJ commuters into midtown, assuming it were connected to HBLR
    3. Be a nice tourist thing
    4. Be relatively cheap compared to the usual transportation projects

  4. #34
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    Union City, N. Bergen light rail stations open

    Friday, February 24, 2006
    By BONNIE FRIEDMAN
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    NJ Transit has seen ridership on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail swell over the last five years and is expecting even bigger growth with tomorrow's opening of two new stations at Bergenline Avenue in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen, and with the introduction of full-time service to Port Imperial in Weehawken.

    During the first nine months of service, a little more than 1 million passenger trips were taken at 12 stations in the light rail system.

    By the end of last year, NJ Transit boasted more than a 600-percent increase in ridership - ringing up nearly 7 million passenger rides at 20 stations. Today, roughly 24,000 passenger trips are taken on an average weekday.

    NJ Transit expects those numbers to jump to 34,000 average weekday trips a year from now.

    "We predict Bergenline Avenue will be among the busiest, given the population density in Union City and West New York," said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for NJ Transit. "We expect ridership at Bergenline Avenue will be more than 2,000 trips per day shortly after opening."

    Officials say increased ridership is only one mark of the $2.2 billion project's success.

    By far, the busiest station in the system is the Hoboken Terminal - where riders can make connections to rail, PATH, bus and ferry service. On average, 3,708 riders board the light rail at the Hoboken Terminal.

    The system's other busy stations include Newport, Exchange Place, Liberty State Park, and Harborside in Jersey City, and 22nd Street in Bayonne.

  5. #35

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    I take the lightrail frequently and love it.

    If only there was a way that they could build a transfer to New York City! Can you imagine just walking a few blocks to the station and going straight into Manhattan?

    Ahh.. I can always dream I suppose...

  6. #36

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    That transfer is called the PATH train... :-)

  7. #37
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    Light rail ridership taking off
    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    By BONNIE FRIEDMAN
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    Ridership on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is booming two weeks after NJ Transit opened two new stations in Union City and North Bergen.

    NJ Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said weekday ridership has jumped 16 percent since the agency opened stations on Bergenline Avenue in Union City and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen.

    Before the opening of those two stations on Feb. 25, the system had an average of 23,378 weekday riders. Today, the average number of weekday riders stands at 27,222.

    And the agency is seeing the most dramatic climb in weekend service.

    According to Stessel, the number of Saturday riders has increased by more than 70 percent - from 9,435 on Feb. 18 to last Saturday's ridership of 16,081.

    Sunday ridership also grew by 35 percent, Stessel said.

    Stessel said he expects weekday ridership to continue climbing steadily in coming weeks.

    "Changing commuting patterns takes a little more time than changing leisure travel," he said.

    As it stands now, Stessel said, the agency is well on track to hitting its target of 34,000 weekday riders by next year.

    And he gives much of the credit to the Bergenline Avenue station, which, he said, has already become one of the system's five busiest stations.

    "We couldn't be more pleased with the way the new light rail stations have been embraced by the communities," he said."

    Union City Mayor Brian Stack said he isn't surprised that the Bergenline Avenue station is a hit.

    "It's only going to increase as time goes by," he said. "Once people catch on even more, it's going to be the top station in the light rail system."

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by z22
    That transfer is called the PATH train... :-)
    Why don't they extend PATH?

    Great little subway, but there isn't enough of it.

  9. #39

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    They should extend it to Newark Airport train station.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by NIMBYkiller
    They should extend it to Newark Airport train station.
    They have NJT rail for that.

  11. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marv95
    They have NJT rail for that.
    Marv, I flew into EWR my last visit to New York and took the Airtrain. The monorail was nifty and took me to the NJT train station, where I stood around on the platform and watched high-speed trains whizz by in both directions.

    Finally an inbound train sauntered into EWR's station. After a short while it clanked to a halt in a Newark railyard. For thirty minutes it lingered stationary while its non-regular passengers fumed. Waiting for a freight train to pass? Finally it moseyed into Penn Station.

    Never again. I know, I know...I just got there at the wrong time.

  12. #42
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
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    S.I. seeks bus link to light rail

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006
    By STEVEN LEMONGELLO
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    Looking to establish a Staten Island/Bayonne bus link, which would connect out-of-state commuters with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro filed a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday, saying the suit is needed despite a promise by transit officials to study demand for the route.

    Transit officials say they lack the legal authority to pick up and discharge Staten Island commuters in New Jersey. Still, New York City Transit agreed last week to study the justification for a bus service between Staten Island and Light Rail stations in Bayonne as part of its involvement in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's transportation task force. Those trains link to Jersey City and Hoboken, where there is ferry or PATH service to Manhattan.

    Bayonne Mayor Joseph V. Doria Jr. said he has had past discussions with Staten Island officials concerning the possibility of buses dropping off commuters on the Route 440 side of the 34th Street Station.

    "We would be very supportive of buses or other mass transit from Staten Island," Doria said in a statement. "It would relieve automobile traffic congestion."

    Bayonne Councilman-at-Large Anthony Chiappone called the proposal "a very good idea."

    "There would be less cars parking in Light Rail lots," he said. "It would alleviate parking problems for residents."

    The bus routes, though, should be made to "have the least amount of impact to residential neighborhoods," Chiappone said.

    An MTA spokesman said the authority had not yet seen the lawsuit and would not comment.

    Only about 12,000 Staten Island commuters travel to jobs in New Jersey, about 6 percent of all borough commuters. Private bus company Coach USA/Red & Tan line last year cut one of its two Island bus routes to Jersey City, and transit officials question whether there is a market for a new line.

    Dan Stessel, a spokesman for New Jersey Transit, said it does not want to take sides in the lawsuit, but added that "it's a true testament to the reliability and convenience of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail that Staten Island residents want to use the service . We look forward to serving them."

    Newhouse News Service contributed to this report.

  13. #43
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    Funds to stretch light rail to 8th St. in Bayonne

    Thursday, May 04, 2006
    By STEVEN LEMONGELLO
    JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

    New funding for the extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to its eventual final stop at Eighth Street in Bayonne will be officially announced Saturday at 10:30 a.m. by Gov. Jon Corzine.

    The funds will be available from the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund - the renewal of which this year was sponsored by Bayonne Mayor and state Sen. Joseph V. Doria Jr.

    "I would like to thank Gov. Corzine for coming to Bayonne with this great news," said Doria in a statement.

    Doria said NJ Transit hasn't announced a timetable for construction of the rails from 22nd Street to Eighth Street, nor when the new station will open.

    Doria will be at the ceremony along with New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri and NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington, a native of Bayonne.

  14. #44
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    Talking Staten Island To Join Hudson County?

    Pedal to metal on bus to link S.I., Bayonne

    Friday, May 12, 2006
    By SETH SOLOMONOW
    NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

    New York Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for an interim bus link between Staten Island and Bayonne immediately, while lawmakers hash out a plan for a permanent bus connection.

    Schumer has asked Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Peter Kalikow to establish a charter bus service to make the trips as work continues on a state bill authorizing such interstate bus operation by New York City Transit.

    "Charter service will allow thousands of Staten Islanders to immediately truncate what is often an onerous commute," Schumer said in a letter sent to Kalikow, indicating that Kalikow's own office had proffered the idea.

    New York City Transit has long said it lacks legal authority to pick up and discharge passengers out-of-state, but Staten Island Assemblyman Michael Cusick hopes to eliminate that obstacle with a bill he plans to introduce today.

    Other MTA entities, such as Metro-North, do have the needed state authorities' power to engage in joint service agreements with other transit agencies, allowing them to run interstate.

    Meanwhile, Schumer said, "By implementing this link immediately, residents will be able to take advantage of the light-rail in Bayonne and get to work quicker."

    MTA officials declined to comment, saying they had not seen Schumer's letter.

    For years, elected leaders have envisioned bus service linking the borough with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which operates trains that connect Bayonne to Jersey City and other towns with PATH train and bus and ferry links to Manhattan.

    Also people one of New Jersey's plans with the Port Authority besides THE Tunnel is to do studies to see if it is possible and economically fesiable to extend to PATH south to Newark Airport Station, so there is a good chance of it happening. My father works for PATH and has been keeping me informed on this. Will bring more news when it comes.
    Last edited by JCMAN320; May 12th, 2006 at 02:25 PM.

  15. #45
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    Maybe SI and NJ Transit should look at a joint venture to run the light-rail over a bridge and continue into SI. That would drastically reduce traffic and would truely open up these two communities (Bayone and SI) to each other even more than they are now.

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