U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) were joined today at the 2nd Street Station in Hoboken by Jersey City Mayor Jerremiah Healy, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and Peter Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future, to announce a $400,000 federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that the Senators secured to identify opportunities for future expansion and improvements to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR).
"All of the positive impacts that the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has had in and around this region to date is just the tip of the iceberg. The access that it has provided to the residents of the surrounding communities -- access to education, employment and recreation -- along with the substantial economic development it has spurred, I believe, has exceeded expectations," said Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development. "So it's absolutely vital we don't stop there. I applaud this grant which will help NJ Transit explore the possibility of a new station on the existing line to not only serve more riders, but also to create another billion dollar development opportunity to create jobs, more housing, more commercial opportunities, and ultimately a more vibrant local economy."
"The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is an American success story of how transportation innovation can turn abandoned properties into thriving communities," said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, which funds the FTA. "Families and businesses in this region rely on transit, and this federal funding will help us determine how to further expand capacity on these tracks and add new service for growing neighborhoods. The Hudson Bergen Light Rail is a case study for effective transportation investment and we'll continue fighting to make safe, affordable transit accessible to more New Jersey communities."
Senators Lautenberg and Menendez have been instrumental in funding the development of the light rail system. Lautenberg has worked for more than two decades with the help of Senator Menendez to secure more than $1.1 billion in federal funding for the HBLR.
Since its construction, the HBLR has reached near capacity with more than 42,000 riders per day, and light rail stations throughout Hudson County have spurred economic development. The HBLR connects the communities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen through three light rail lines servicing 24 stations. The system, which serves hundreds of thousands of commuters every week, has helped bring significant residential and commercial development to Hudson County and anchors thriving districts along the Hudson River.
This federal grant will allow New Jersey Transit to study three potential improvements to the HBLR:
1. A New Station in Jersey City: Funding will evaluate the need for a new station in northern Jersey City to further accommodate and develop new housing and business opportunities.
2. Additional Light Rail Capacity: There is a choke point near the Hoboken Terminal that constrains the number of light rail trains that are able to pass. This funding will study the benefits of adding additional track to ease the choke point and add more trains.
3. Traffic Congestion Relief at Paterson Plank Road: Light rail cars run along the street, causing occasional traffic backups between the Palisades and Hoboken. The study will review existing conditions and potential solutions to ease traffic congestion in this area.