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Rail News: Passenger Rail

NJ Transit launches several services to ease crowding


In late September, New Jersey Transit launched several new services designed to ease crowding in and improve service to several locations.

On Sept. 23, the agency opened a 7th Avenue Concourse at Penn Station New York (PSNY). The 50,000-square-foot facility’s new track entry concourse, located at an elevation between the main and lower-level concourses, is designed to help ease pedestrian flow.

Crowding at PSNY increased last year when the attacks on the World Trade Center dramatically altered passenger rail flow into and within New York City. And NJ Transit officials expected the Sept. 30 opening of MidTOWN DIRECT service to New York to exacerbate it.

Plans for the Montclair-Boonton Line, of which MidTOWN DIRECT is a part, have been around as long ago as 1929, but no action was taken until 1989, when NJ Transit revisited the idea and decided it made more sense to build and electrify the tracks than connect and rehabilitate the aging lines.

The Montclair-Boonton Line can be accessed at Newark Broad Street Station, Hoboken Terminal and PSNY. MidTOWN DIRECT-Montclair service, which enables passengers to ride a single train from Montclair Heights Station to PSNY, is expected to reduce some patrons’ commutes up to 15 minutes.

And, beginning Sept. 29, passengers disembarking trains at Hoboken Terminal can connect to Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR).

Previously, HBLR extended only as far as Newport Station. NJ Transit officials plan to extend the service to East 2nd Street, as well as north into Bergen County.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/4/2002