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SouthJersey7

Newark's new Light Rail branch

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It's been open for awhile now but I figured I'd go ahead and start a topic on this. Is it just me or has NJTransit really been RAIL CRAZY (& I mean that in a good way) over the past few years! Since 2000 we've had not one but 2 all-new rail systems, extentions on of them, the HBLR, and now this, making use of the long-dormant Ceder St. Subway. And it dosen't stop there - some of the NJT planners would like to see a LR branch from Newark, to the airport, all the way to Elizabeth! I can't find any pics of the stations yet but here's the official NJT press release: http://www.njtransit.com/nlr/

And here's a link directly to the map http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/LightRail/NLR.pdf (!!56K!!) which I like because as I stated with the HBLR map on another thread, it's starting to look like an actual system and not just one line with a little offshoot.

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I wasn't aware that NJTRANSIT was putting so much into the "Newark Light Rail" name. I've always been calling this new branch part of the Newark City Subway. Anyway, I haven't ridden it yet, but it does provide a great link between Broad Street and Penn Stations. Before this link, your options for switching between the Morristown/Gladstone/Montclair-Boonton lines and the Northeast Corr/North Jersey Coast/Raritan Valley lines was to (1) go to Secaucus and xfer there or (2) get off in Newark and take a bus or walk between Broad and Penn. Most commuters aren't too fond of either option. So this is long-awaited for many people!

I used to commute from New Brunswick (Northeast Corridor) and Morristown (Morris & Essex Line), and I used Secaucus (and hated it). This would've made it so much better for me!

If the weather improves this weekend I may try to go out and see it! I'll take my camera, of course!

Oh, as for the NERL (Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link), I don't think that's the locally-favored option anymore. I believe (I could get in trouble for saying this) that there's an RFP out for a BRT study along the same corridor.

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MTA should be taking note of NJTransit's successes. LRT would work well in some areas of the outer boroughs, Nassau County and Westchester (a cross county route from Yonkers to New Rochelle would be good in Westchester). I'd like to see HBLR extended out to Staten Island via the North Branch too.

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Good point about the name. It may seem minor, but it would make things less confusing if they would settle on one name for the WHOLE system.. is it a subway? a light rail? Well actually it's both of course but some people may not realize that. But they're doing a good job with publicity, which has been NJT's strong suit recently. :)

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Good point about the name. It may seem minor, but it would make things less confusing if they would settle on one name for the WHOLE system.

I think there is some confusion in a lot of NJs transit systems. They all seem to be independent units, though NJTransit has been getting better at releasing integrated mapping. You've got PATH, Newark City Subway/Lightrail, HBLR, NJTransit trains, NJTransit buses, Riverline... The systems could use some better work on branding, especially in North Jersey, I think people from outside the region don't realize the extent of the system created by PATH, NJTransit, HBLR, and Newark City Subway/Lightrail. HBLR is just a horrible name too, it's too hard to remember and doesn't roll off the tongue.

The point is proven by the fact that NJTransit itself dubs NLR as Newark's best kept secret. :blink: That's not a good thing.

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Cotuit, I think you're absolutely right about LRT possibilities east of Hudson. Unfortunately the only LRT proposals I've heard in New York recently are the fairly unpopular 42nd St LRT concept in Manhattan and a discussed OPTION for LRT across the Tappan Zee.

I think an extension of the HBLR into Staten Island would be a great thing for SI commuters who presently drive across the Bayonne Bridge to hop on it in Jersey. Has anyone ever checked out the license plates on cars at the 22nd St Bayonne Station? New York, New York, New York... Depending on what ROWs exist, if the line could turn east and hit Downtown Staten Island near the ferry terminal and the SI RR, that would be hot.

There is an extension of HBLR north into Bergen County under study presently. It would use the River Line (not the same River Line as in South Jersey) from the HBLR's northern terminus at Tonnelle Ave and go up to Tenafly.

NYC is interested in BRT in some areas. 1st & 2nd Aves in Manhattan, Atlantic & Flatbush Aves in Brooklyn have at least been looked at for some sort of BRT treatments.

Westchester Co. has an RFP out for a cross-county BRT study. The largest consulting firms in the region are forming teams and fighting for that one.

I think SouthJersey7 & Cotuit are right about branding too. PANYNJ has done a good job of making PATH easy for MTA users by adding turnstiles that accept both PATH cards and Metrocards (although using Metrocards in PATH turnstiles messes up my mental Metrocard balance calculator as I always forget about the difference in fare). NJTRANSIT ticket machines sell PATH cards, but it's an awkward transaction. NJTRANSIT and PANYNJ could stand to benefit by marketing their connecting services and making fare purchase easier to do as a combination.

NJTRANSIT's own services are numerous, and as you guys said, could be better sold as one package. I think NJTRANSIT tries to create so much hype over new services that they try to make them stand out and be exciting. Well after many new services are introduced as something new, unique, and exciting, it's harder to see how they all fit together. We live in the most well-connected transit region in the country, but many people here don't realize how many places and services they can connect to and reach via transit.

As for Newark Light Rail being Newark's best kept secret, it's not. My favorite Portuguese restaurant in the Ironbound is, and I won't share its name. Newark is trying to sell itself as the next "frontier" or "secret," a cheaper alternative to Jersey City and Hoboken. As the cost of living on New Jersey's Gold Coast rises, places like Harrison, Newark, North Bergen, even Bayonne, are positioning themselves to be the next commuter frontier. Newark and Harrison have the PATH advantage.

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Ok, so I'm a miserable failure. I tried to check out the new light rail line, but I messed up, or NJ Transit messed up, I dunno. I took the City Subway down from Grove Street in Bloomfield to Newark Penn Station. From there I planned to take the new light rail branch up to Newark Broad Street Station. Well once I got to Penn the announcement said, "Last Stop, Newark Penn Station. If you are transferring to another Newark Light Rail service, stay onboard." So I did. Soon we started moving again, and stopped at the northbound City Subway platform. the announcement said "This is the train to Branch Brook Park. Next stop, Military Park." I was like "shizz I'm on the Subway line going back to Bloomfield now!" I guess I was supposed to get off on the northbound platform? I didn't hear an announcement telling me that. Anyway, I got off at Military Park and walked back to Penn Station. I was in a hurry to get into New York at that point so I just hopped the PATH from Penn and went into the city.

ANYWAY, here are some pics from the City Subway line. I didn't take too many because I was afraid I'd look terroristic.

The line's northern terminus at Grove Street in Bloomfield. There's a garage facility for the LRT vehicles.

186707078.jpg

The train is pulling up. Look, even the cars on the City Subway line are donning the new "Newark Light Rail" emblem.

186707083.jpg

I stopped taking photos once on-board. The line is above-ground until after it passes Norfolk Street in Newark. There are three at-grade street crossings, all in Bloomfield and Belleville. In Newark it's all grade-separated.

Newark Penn Station:

186707080.jpg

186707090.jpg

AND, as a finale, for some reason I cracked up over this ad on the PATH:

186707088.jpg

First, who would text that to anyone, second, if he didn't give you his number he doesn't want to be FOUND, and third, girl you look like you do this type of stalking a lot! I just find her situation here amusing. :silly:

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Look, even the cars on the City Subway line are donning the new "Newark Light Rail" emblem.

Now that just makes things even more confusing. When are they gonna make up their minds? :wacko:

Great pics, though. Thanks for posting! :thumbsup:

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186707088.jpg

First, who would text that to anyone, second, if he didn't give you his number he doesn't want to be FOUND, and third, girl you look like you do this type of stalking a lot! I just find her situation here amusing. :silly:

When women stalk, its scary :rofl:

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