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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NJ Transit posts all-time ridership record in 2004


Last year, New Jersey Transit posted more than 225 million passenger trips — a 3.3 percent increase compared with 2003 and the agency’s highest-ever annual ridership.

Commuter-rail ridership reached 64 million passenger trips, a 5.2 percent increase compared with 2003. Light-rail ridership increased 24.3 percent to 11.3 million trips.

Agency officials attribute the increase to new and expanded service, and a strengthening economy. Last year, employment in New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey increased about 1 percent.

"We know that there is a direct correlation between the health of our region’s economy and the demand for public transportation," said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Chair Jack Lettiere in a prepared statement. "It is more important than ever that we look for ways to expand capacity on the system to meet the needs of the future."

During the past year, the agency has expanded service on the Hudson-Bergen and River lines, completed the Montclair Connection and Secaucus Junction projects, and added service to Newark Airport, Hamilton and Union stations.

The agency also has added 86 weekday and 105 weekend trains, and 11,000 parking spaces.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/10/2005