Light Rail Extension to Jersey City’s West Side Gets Push Forward from NJ Transit

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The proposed route for a light rail extension over Route 440.


NJ Transit’s board of directors today adopted a plan to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) across Route 440, and authorized its submission to the North Jersey Transportation Authority (NJTPA) for designation and inclusion in the agency’s Long Range Regional Transportation Plan, which would make the project eligible for federal funds.

NJ Transit has been studying the extension since September 2009. Under its plan, 0.7 miles of new light rail track would be laid along an elevated viaduct from the West Side Avenue station, across Route 440 to the northern end of Jersey City’s massive proposed Bayfront redevelopment project, where there would be a new station constructed. The trip between the two stations would take 1 minute and 50 seconds, and NJ Transit officials have estimated the cost of construction at $171.6 million in 2010 dollars, and $213.9 million in 2017 dollars — the expected mid-point of actual construction.

New Jersey transportation commissioner James Simpson, who is also board chair of NJ Transit, says the extension “would both support the [Bayfront] development and address traffic congestion along Route 440 and secondary roads.”

Mayor Jerramiah Healy says his administration is “pleased and thankful” that NJ Transit is pushing the extension forward.

“This extension would not only connect our city from east to west, but it would also further our administration’s goal of creating Smart Growth urban communities, more mass transit, and a cleaner environment by reducing congestion,” the mayor says.

Jon Whiten

co-founded the Jersey City Independent. He is currently the Deputy Director of New Jersey Policy Perspective.