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New Jersey Transit

New Jersey Transit
New Jersey Transit (NJT) provides bus service throughout New Jersey, commuter rail service in northern and central New Jersey and along the Route 30 corridor, and light rail service in Hudson and Essex counties and in the Delaware Valley.
Locale New Jersey (statewide), New York, Rockland and Orange counties in New York State, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania.
Transit type Commuter rail, light rail, bus
Number of lines 11 (commuter rail)
3 (light rail)
871 (bus)
Number of stations 162 (rail)
60 (light rail)
27 (bus terminals)
18,000+ (bus stops)[1]
Daily ridership 940,877 (weekday)
392,613 (Saturday)
216,375 (Sunday)[2]
(2007 figures, all modes)
Chief executive Veronique Hakim
Headquarters 1 Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105
Began operation July 17, 1979
Operator(s) Commuter rail: See rail article
Bus: See bus article
Light Rail: See light rail article
Number of vehicles 2,477 (bus)
1,078 (commuter rail)
93 (light rail)[2]
(2007 figures)
System length 536 miles (863 km) (rail); 107 miles (172 km) (light rail)

New Jersey Transit (usually shortened to NJ Transit or NJT) is a New Jersey State-owned public transportation system serving the US state of New Jersey; along with portions of New York, Orange, and Rockland counties in New York State; and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. It operates bus, light rail, and commuter rail services throughout the state, notably connecting to major commercial and employment centers both within the state and in the adjacent major cities of New York and Philadelphia.

Covering a service area of 5,325 square miles (13,790 km2), NJT is the largest statewide public transit system and the third largest provider of bus, rail, and light rail transit by ridership in the United States, linking major points in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.[3]

NJT also acts as a purchasing agency for many private operators in New Jersey, with numerous private operators receiving equipment from NJT (primarily buses) for route service within the state not controlled by NJT.


  • History 1
  • Governance 2
  • Current operations 3
    • Bus 3.1
    • Light Rail 3.2
    • Rail 3.3
  • Security 4
  • Projects 5
    • Ongoing projects 5.1
      • Repair, recovery and resiliency projects 5.1.1
      • Bus rapid transit 5.1.2
      • Northern Branch 5.1.3
      • Lackawanna Cut-Off 5.1.4
      • Glassboro–Camden Line 5.1.5
    • Proposed projects 5.2
      • West Trenton 5.2.1
      • West Shore Commuter Rail Line 5.2.2
      • Passaic-Bergen Rail Line 5.2.3
      • Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (MOM) 5.2.4
      • Lehigh Valley 5.2.5
    • Cancelled projects 5.3
      • Access to the Region's Core 5.3.1
      • Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link 5.3.2
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


A PRR GG1, built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930s–1940s, hauls a commuter train into South Amboy in 1981.

NJT was founded on July 17, 1979, an offspring of the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), mandated by the state government to address many then-pressing transportation issues.[4] It came into being with the passage of the Public Transportation Act of 1979 to "acquire, operate, and contract for transportation service in the public interest." NJT originally acquired and managed a number of private bus services, one of the largest being those operated by the state's largest electric company, Public Service Enterprise Group. It gradually acquired most of the state's bus services. In northern New Jersey, many of the bus routes are arranged in a web. In southern New Jersey, most routes are arranged in a "spoke-and-hub" fashion, with routes emanating from Trenton, Camden, and Atlantic City. In addition to routes run by NJT, it subsidizes and provides buses for most of the state's private operators providing fixed route or commuter service, such as Coach USA, DeCamp, Lakeland, and Academy.

In 1983, NJT assumed operation of all commuter rail service in New Jersey from Conrail, which had been formed in 1976 through the merging of a number of financially troubled railroads and operated commuter railroad service under contract from the NJDOT. It now operates every passenger and commuter rail line in the state except for Amtrak; the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), which is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; the PATCO Speedline, which is owned by the Delaware River Port Authority; two SEPTA Regional Rail lines, the West Trenton Line and the Trenton Line; and a handful of tourist trains in the southern and northwestern parts of New Jersey. Since inception, rail ridership has quadrupled.

In the 1990s the rail system expanded, with new Midtown Direct service to New York City and new equipment. On October 21, 2001, it opened a new station at Newark Liberty International Airport. On December 15, 2003, it opened the Secaucus Junction transfer station, connecting two major portions of the system, allowing passengers on trains to Hoboken Terminal to transfer to trains to Midtown Manhattan, saving an estimated 15 minutes over connecting with PATH trains at Hoboken. On October 31, 2005, NJT took over Clocker (NY-Philadelphia) service from Amtrak. Four new trains were added to the schedule, but cut back to Trenton.

During Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, the rail operations center of New Jersey Transit was flooded by 8 feet (2.4 m) of water and an emergency generator submerged. Floodwater damaged at least 65 locomotive engines and 257 rail cars.[5]


The Governor of New Jersey appoints a seven-member Board of Directors, four members from the general public and three State officials. The Governor has veto power on decisions made by the board.[6]

Current operations

Headquarters at Penn Plaza East in Newark

NJT's operations are divided into three classes: bus, rail, and light rail, operated by three legal businesses: NJ Transit Bus Operations, Inc, for buses and Newark Light Rail, subsidiary NJ Transit Mercer, Inc. for buses around Trenton, and NJ Transit Rail Operations, Inc., for commuter rail.


NJT operates 871 bus routes using 2,477 buses [2] (leasing out the remainder to private operators) and the Newark Light Rail with 20 light rail vehicles (with numerous other line runs being subsidized by New Jersey Transit),[1] New Jersey Transit bus fleet includes buses purchased for other New Jersey operators above the 2,477.

Light Rail

NJT operates three light rail lines:


NJT has 11 commuter rail lines:

Whitehouse Station on the Raritan Valley Line

Additional special event service is provided on the Meadowlands Rail Line.

NJT operates over 100 diesel locomotives, of which 11 are supplied by Metro-North Railroad as part of an operating agreement for the Port Jervis Line, and 61 electric locomotives. It has over 650 push-pull cars, of which 65 are supplied by Metro-North, and 230 electric multiple unit cars.


The New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD) is the transit police force for NJT. It is a general-powers police agency with statewide jurisdiction with the primary focus on policing the numerous bus depots, rail, and light-rail stations throughout New Jersey. It employs 240 sworn police officers.


Ongoing projects

Repair, recovery and resiliency projects

Superstorm Sandy, on October 29, 2012, caused a 13-foot tidal surge that inundated many coastal communities. A report released in December 2013 by Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service found that NJT ignored flood warnings and did not follow its own damage mitigation plans.[7][8][9] The storm's aftermath left washed-out track; movement of bridge girders; flooded rail stations; fallen catenary and damage to more than 300 pieces of rail equipment left in low-lying areas. NJT has undertaken various projects to restore and replace damaged infrastructure as well as take measures to mitigate future damage and upgrade systems.[10] The creation of a "train haven" at County Yard began in January 2014.[11][12] NJT has proposed the construction of a new generator in the Kearny Meadows that would be flood-proof.[13] and support an electrical "micro-grid" that would be exclusively for train service.[14]

Bus rapid transit

Bus rapid transit in New Jersey includes bus fleet with real-time location, creating the basis for "next bus" scheduling information at bus shelters and web-abled devices and considered an important feature of BRT.

Northern Branch

NJT is planning to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to Englewood or Tenafly along the Northern Branch, a freight rail line.[17] As of 2012, a draft environmental impact statement has been released, but no funding has been identified.

Lackawanna Cut-Off

In May 2001, the State of New Jersey acquired the right-of-way of the Lackawanna Cut-Off. Constructed by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad between 1908 and 1911, this provided a direct route with minimal curves and grades between Slateford Junction, two miles (3.25 km) below the Delaware Water Gap, and the crest of the watershed at Lake Hopatcong (Port Morris Junction), the connection with NJT's Montclair-Boonton Line. This would restore long-distance service that the Erie Lackawanna last provided with the Lake Cities in 1970.

At the time of the Cut-Off's construction, the DL&W had extensive experience with concrete construction, but not on the scale that would be employed on the Cut-Off. All structures, including stations, bridges, interlocking towers and two large viaducts and thousands of fence posts, were made of concrete. Despite the lack of maintenance on these structures over the past four decades (and in some cases much longer), most are still in operational or near-operational condition. A 2004 study by NJT estimated that bringing the line back into operation to Scranton, PA would cost approximately $350 million.

In 2011, the retracking of the Cut-Off from Port Morris to Andover, a distance of 7.3 miles (11.8 km), began. Re-opening that section is currently slated for 2018. The project was delayed by a lack of environmental permits to clear the roadbed between the lake and Andover. Conditional permits were issued in April 2015. NJ Transit will be required to acquire wetlands permits to compensate for the loss of wetlands in building Andover Station. That process is expected to delay the restart of construction, including extensive work on Roseville Tunnel, until October 2016.[18] The proposed rehabilitation west of Andover, which has not yet been funded, would provide commuter rail service between Scranton, Pennsylvania and Hoboken Terminal (with connecting service to New York's Penn Station), serving the growing exurban communities in Monroe County in the Poconos, and in upper Warren County and lower Sussex County.[19]

Glassboro–Camden Line

The Glassboro–Camden Line is a 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system planned for southwestern part of New Jersey in the United States. At its northern end in Camden it will connect with the River LINE with which its infrastructure and vehicles will be compatible. At the northern terminus, the Walter Rand Transportation Center, paid transfers will be possible to the PATCO Speedline.[20][21]

Proposed projects

West Trenton

The West Trenton Line is a proposed service connecting West Trenton Station with Newark Penn Station, connecting with the Raritan Valley Line at Bridgewater. As of 2004, NJT's estimate of the cost was $197 million.[22] To date, no funding has been secured.[22] Service ran on the line prior to 1983.

West Shore Commuter Rail Line

While the Northern Branch has proceeded to the EIS Stage, The West Shore Route is still proposed. The route holds great promise since it travels through the heart of NJ Transit Bus Operations Midtown "commutershed", with four bus routes (165,167, 168 & 177) running well beyond capacity. The right-of-way has space for four tracks from Croxton Yard northwards to Dumont. Issues in starting commuter rail service are:

  • CSX owns the trackage and uses them heavily to link the NYC area to their national network at Selkirk Yard in upstate New York.
  • CSX offered to allow NJ Transit use of the ROW if the agency constructed sound barriers along the entire length of track for commuter operations.
  • A city terminal is not connected to this line, since the Weehawken & Pavonia Terminals were demolished decades ago. A loop connecting this line with the North River Tunnels into New York Penn Station where the West Shore Tracks pass under the Northeast Corridor just south of NJ Route 3 and Tonnelle Ave would directly connect this line into New York Penn Station. This configuration would provide a 25-minute travel time to New York Penn Station, but would bypass Secaucus Junction, leaving the West Shore with no transfer connection to the rest of New Jersey other than a possible transfer station on Tonnelle Ave with the Hudson Bergen Light Rail.

With these considerable construction issues, as well as no available space in New York Penn Station for West Shore Line trains, this proposal was put on hold until capacity into New York is increased.

Passaic-Bergen Rail Line

The Passaic-Bergen Passenger Rail Project would reintroduce passenger service on the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway right-of-way between Hawthorne and Hackensack using new Diesel Multiple Unit rail cars.[23][24]

Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (MOM)

The Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (MOM)[25][26] line is a proposed south and central New Jersey commuter rail route to New Brunswick, Newark and New York's Penn Station. This would restore service previously provided by the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The line was originally proposed by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders in March 1980. It would run on a 40.1-mile rail corridor and would provide diesel commuter rail service from Monmouth Junction (South Brunswick), where the Jamesburg Branch partially joins the Northeast Corridor (NEC), south to Lakehurst in the interior of northern Ocean County. As of 2006, the line was opposed by Jamesburg and Monroe Township.[27]

From Monmouth Junction the line would continue southeast to Jamesburg, Monroe, Englishtown, Manalapan, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Howell and Farmingdale. A new rail connection would be required in Farmingdale. It would proceed southward from Farmingdale to Lakehurst, passing through Howell, Lakewood, Jackson, Toms River Township, and Lakehurst/Manchester. Trains would also operate on the NEC between Monmouth Junction and Newark. Passengers for New York would transfer at Newark. Eight new stations and a train storage yard would be constructed.

In mid-February 2008, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine withdrew the Monmouth Junction alignment from the MOM Plan. Corzine opted to endorse the two remaining alternate alignments (via Red Bank or Matawan-Freehold, the latter which is currently part of the Henry Hudson rail trail. NJT is still planning to study all the routes as to not delay action further on the EIS, and says all three routes are still up for evaluation, although it will take the Governor's comments into consideration.

In late May 2009 representatives of the three counties agreed to back one potential route from Ocean County to Red Bank, instead of to Monmouth Junction, ending years of stalemate. Under that compromise, the line’s southern terminus would be in Lakehurst, and it would run through Lakewood along existing freight tracks to join the North Jersey Coast Line in Red Bank. It also includes the possibility of a spur between Freehold and Farmingdale.[28]

In August 2010, NJT received $534,375 in Federal Funds to investigate the possibilities of a MOM line.[29] Since that time there has been no further advancement of the project.[30] The inertia is partially attributed to the cancellation of the Access to the Region's Core project.[31]

Lehigh Valley

In November 2008, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), along with both Lehigh and Northampton counties, commissioned a study to explore extending the Raritan Valley Line to the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, which would potentially include stops in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.[32] This would resume passenger service previously provided jointly by the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Central Railroad of New Jersey. These cities were last served in 1967.[33][34][35]

Cancelled projects

Access to the Region's Core

NJT intended to construct a new two-track Hudson River tunnel adjacent to the two single-track Northeast Corridor tunnels built in the early 20th century by the Pennsylvania Railroad. NJT referred to the project as Access to the Region's Core, which would have used dual-power locomotives and a new rail junction at Secaucus, allowing for a one-train ride between the Port Jervis, Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, and Raritan Valley lines and New York Penn Station. The Lehigh and the West Trenton extension plans would require added capacity and the ARC project would provide that capacity.

The project broke ground in June 2009.[36] Both the Federal Transit Administration and the Port Authority made public commitments of $3 billion to the project. However, the project was suspended on October 7, 2010 due to concerns that the State of New Jersey would be solely responsible for projected $5 billion in overruns. On October 27, 2010, Governor Chris Christie made a final decision to cancel the project. Amtrak later unveiled the Gateway Project, which addresses some of the issues ARC was meant to resolve.

Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link

Planned to connect Downtown Newark and Elizabeth via Newark Liberty International Airport, NJT is no longer pursuing the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link. The airport has a monorail link to NJT's Northeast Corridor Line and Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, both of which run to both Newark and Elizabeth.

See also


  1. ^ a b NJT Press Release with key facts about the agency at the bottom of the page
  2. ^ a b c NTD filings for New Jersey Transit
  3. ^ Vantuono, William C. "New Jersey's innovators: New Jersey Transit's billion-dollar capital budget is focused on creating a unified, statewide network of commuter and light rail lines. New technologies are a key part of that strategy", Railway Age, April 2004. Accessed August 22, 2007. "In late 2003, 20 years after portions of the Pennsylvania, Erie-Lackawanna, Jersey Central, and Lehigh Valley railroads or their successors were combined to form the nation's third-largest commuter rail system, Secaucus Junction opened."
  4. ^ New Jersey Transit 2004 Annual Report, Page 6
  5. ^ "Sandy pummels West Virginia as grueling recovery begins on East Coast". CNN. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Board". NJ Transit. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "New Jersey Transit Corporation's After Hurricane Sandy Action Report" (PDF). Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service. December 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  8. ^ McGrath, Matthew; Hayes, Melissa (December 24, 2013). "NJ Transit ignored flood warning before Superstorm Sandy, report confirms". The Record. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  9. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (December 24, 2013). "Review of NJ Transit's response to Sandy finds need for more coordination, places to shelter trains". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  10. ^ "Superstorm Sandy Recovery". NJT. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  11. ^ Rouse, Karen (January 9, 2014). "NJ Transit hires firm to design train haven". The Record. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  12. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (January 8, 2014). "Scarred by Sandy, NJ Transit to get permanent home to store trains". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  13. ^ Duger, Rose (March 7, 2014). "NJ Transit proposal to build South Kearny generator 'chills' development hopes". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  14. ^ Meadows redevelopment ratables at risk. The Observer. Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  15. ^ "NJ Transit Bus Service: The Next Generation" (PDF). Presentation APTA. New Jersey Transit. April 10, 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  16. ^ "Evaluation of Next Generation Bus (BRT- type) Service in the NJTPA Region". NPTPA. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  17. ^ Rouse, Karen (2009-07-19). "Going with electric trains". The Record. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  18. ^ "New Jersey Transit - Capital Projects - LACKAWANNA CUT-OFF". 
  19. ^ "NJ Transit – New Jersey-Pennsylvania Lackawanna Cut-off Passenger Rail Restoration Project Draft Environmental Assessment DRAFT" (PDF). New Jersey Transit. December 2006. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  20. ^ "Fact Sheet 2013" (PDF). Glassboro-Camden Line. DVPA & PATCO. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  21. ^ "NJ Transit Board Advances South Jersey Transportation Projects" (Press release). New Jersey Transit. December 9, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  22. ^ a b West Trenton Line, accessed December 21, 2006
  23. ^ "New Jersey Transit". 2007-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-19. 
  24. ^ "NJ Transit to expand passenger train service".  
  25. ^ PETOIA: It's time to fast-track MOM line | The Asbury Park Press NJ. Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  26. ^ "DEIS-MOM Map of Alternatives". 
  27. ^ "New tunnel may add riders to MOM Line - - East Brunswick Sentinel". 
  28. ^ New Jersey News | The Asbury Park Press NJ. Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  29. ^ "Federal dollars to fund rail study - - News Transcript". 
  30. ^ Once-proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line gathers dust. (2014-01-22). Retrieved on 2014-06-23.
  31. ^ Robbins, Christopher (January 22, 2014). "Once-proposed Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex rail line gathers dust". Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  32. ^ , November 7, 2008.The Morning Call"County eyes N.J. rail extension to area,"
  33. ^ Joseph Corso, The Central Railroad of New Jersey
  34. ^ "Jersey Central: Coal, Commuters, and a Comet" Classic Trains, Winter 2011
  35. ^ "The Central Railroad of New Jersey, The Big Little Railroad"
  36. ^ GOVERNOR CORZINE MAKES CAPITAL COMMITMENT FOR NEW TRANS-HUDSON COMMUTER RAIL TUNNEL: Applauds united support from New Jersey and New York senators, press release, dated May 10, 2006

External links

  • NJ Transit official site
  • NJ Transit daily rail operations visualized (Java applet, unofficial)
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