McGreevey Announces Plans for New
Train Station and Parking Facility in Little Falls
Governor says joint project will support new Montclair Connection
(Little Falls) - Demonstrating his commitment to improve the State’s public transportation system, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced a partnership between NJ TRANSIT and Montclair State University that will provide students and commuters with direct rail service to New York with the creation of the Montclair-Boonton MidTOWN DIRECT.
On the 6th anniversary of NJ TRANSIT’s successful launch of its initial MidTOWN DIRECT rail service, the Governor said the joint agreement between NJ TRANSIT and the University (MSU), combined with a financing package in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), will pave the way for the construction of a new station and 1,300-space parking facility on the Boonton Line at MSU.
“One of the top priorities of this Administration is to ensure that the State’s transportation infrastructure is efficient and reliable,” said McGreevey. “Innovative partnerships--such as the one between NJ TRANSIT, EDA and the University--are essential for our mass transportation system to continue to serve the needs of our commuters. To meet this goal, we are investing over $8 million in the FY 2003 budget towards the new Montclair station and parking facility.”
“This agreement between NJ TRANSIT and Montclair State University 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.”
The new station and parking deck will be constructed on MSU property, across the Boonton Line tracks from the Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls. It offers convenient access for commuters traveling by auto on nearby Routes 3 and 46 and local residents in Little Falls and Montclair. Riders using the station will have direct rail access to Penn Station New York, Hoboken Terminal or other stations on the Boonton Line and Montclair Branch. It will also provide new rail access directly to MSU for students, staff and visitors.
“As the State's demand for access to higher education intensifies, this new Transit facility will support Montclair State University's continued aggressive growth to meet that critical need by increasing the accessibility of the University,” said Dr. Susan A. Cole, President of Montclair State University. “Creative collaborations, such as this one between NJ TRANSIT and Montclair State University, carry the potential to have a profound and positive impact on the opportunities for work and education and on the quality of life for thousands of New Jerseyans.”
The station will consist of an 800-foot center island, high-level platform with canopies, a bus and automobile pickup/dropoff area in front of the station and other passenger amenities. The parking deck will contain approximately 1,300 parking spaces. The parking deck and the station platforms will be connected by a pedestrian overpass served by elevators and stairs. Additionally, Clove Road will be realigned near the new station to better serve the station and MSU.
“We have a critical need to increase parking in this region as well as in other areas around the State,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington. “I am hopeful that this project is just one of many initiatives we will develop with other communities to satisfy our parking demands and spur economic development.”
On Wednesday, June 12th, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors will be asked to authorize the joint agreement and the design and construction of the new station at MSU. Funding to construct the facility will be provided by the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and NJEDA tax exempt, conduit revenue bonds. Under the financing plan, parking revenues from the new deck will be used to cover operating costs and bond obligations. Any surplus money generated by the parking facility will increase NJ TRANSIT’s non-farebox revenue for future use.
MSU Station is one of several projects being constructed by NJ TRANSIT to support its current and future parking capacity needs as new projects advance. Other similar parking projects already constructed or going to construction include a new station and 1,300-space parking deck on the Main Line in Ramsey, a new station and 480-space parking facility on the Raritan Valley Line in Union and a 475-space parking expansion project at Lyndhurst Station on the Main Line, an additional 130 spaces at Delawanna station on the Main Line and 50 additional spaces at Hazlet station on the North Jersey Coast Line.
The MSU Station project is scheduled for completion in spring 2004.
NJ TRANSIT launched its initial MidTOWN DIRECT service June 10, 1996, offering
Morris and Essex Lines commuters their first ever one-seat ride to New York, saving an estimated 20 minutes commuting time each way to midtown Manhattan. MidTOWN DIRECT currently serves Morris, Somerset, Essex and Union counties. On September 30, that service will be expanded to additional commuters in Morris, Essex and Passaic counties.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing Bus, rail and light rail services for 380,600 daily commuters 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, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.