NJ TRANSIT received millions for
Newark City Subway and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
(Washington, DC) – At a ceremony today in the nation’s capital, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta presented a check for nearly $128 million in federal funding for two key NJ TRANSIT projects to DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere and leaders of New Jersey’s congressional delegation.
“These two projects being highlighted today, Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link (NERL) and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, are examples of sound investments that have been made in New Jersey in support of public transit and our Smart Growth initiative to revitalize our cities by fostering jobs and economic development,” said Governor James E. McGreevey.
“The release of federal transit funding for the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link is critically important to the State of New Jersey, which depends on federal transit funding to meet the needs of its hundreds of thousands of commuters,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez, the senior New Jersey Member of on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “According to the latest census, the state has the second highest transit use of any other state, with transit use in New Jersey double the national average. This federal transit funding will help to reduce congestion and pollution and encourage economic development.
The money was secured by NJ’s congressional delegation in the form of full funding grant agreements which were administered by the Federal Transit Administration during the annual appropriations process.
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system, carrying nearly 16,000 customers roundtrip daily, is a key regional economic driver, with thousands of new retail and residential spaces being renovated and constructed along the line. Sixteen million square feet of new office space is being built – the equivalent of the cities of St. Louis and Miami combined.
The federal funding makes possible the continued construction of MOS2 of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, scheduled for completion in 2005, with the first segment – the 22nd street extension in Bayonne – opening before the end of this year.
The construction of MOS1 of the Newark City Subway’s Newark-Elizabeth rail link began this summer and will extend benefits to commuters and residents of downtown Newark by offering additional connecting service to work, home and entertainment events.
“These projects are terrific examples of what is being accomplished through the collective efforts of our congressional delegation and the Governor, “ Lettiere said. “As we’ve experienced here in New Jersey, good public transportation serves as an economic engine, reduces congestion, and improves the quality of life for working families.”