On March 3, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy—joined by NJ TRANSIT CEO Kevin Corbett, Hudson County officials, labor representatives, and community leaders—highlighted exciting progress on early phases of construction on an extension project to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s (HBLR) West Side Avenue Branch.
“I am thrilled to announce the West Side Avenue extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail today, as this project represents the type of smart, 21st century infrastructure needed for New Jersey’s commuters and economic future,” said Governor Murphy.
“Continued expansion of mass transit is fundamental to creating a more innovative, interconnected state. I look forward to working with NJ TRANSIT and our regional partners to deliver a fully accessible Hudson-Bergen Light Rail system,” he added.
The project is expected to revitalize a neglected neighborhood by adding a new station that enhances transportation options for the community, and will encourage economic revitalization along the Hackensack River waterfront.
“This extension will benefit so many people, in so many ways,” said Corbett.
“It will create an entirely new neighborhood west of Route 440, with new residential and commercial development and parks. It will provide a convenient connection between Jersey City’s western waterfront and existing transit services, with seamless connections to the PATH train and Lower Manhattan. And it will spur sustainable economic growth and improve mobility throughout Jersey City, while helping to reduce greenhouse gas through reduced road traffic. Governor Murphy deserves tremendous credit for pushing this project forward and getting us to this day,” he explained
This project will extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail West Side Avenue Branch from its current terminus at West Side Avenue to a new terminus across Route 440.
“Extending the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to better serve communities in Hudson County is an important step to growing our economy, better serving our residents, and taking cars off of our congested roads,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
“I thank Governor Murphy, Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti and CEO Corbett for working with Hudson County to move this project to fruition,” he continued.
The approximately 3,700-foot route extension will include one new station west of Route 440 to support Jersey City’s planned development on the Hackensack River waterfront. The project cost is estimated to be $220 million. The project is currently in its preliminary engineering phase.
“The ground breaking of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is confirmation of the investment Governor Murphy continues to put forth for the citizens of New Jersey,” said Jerome C. Johnson, General Chairman and President, Smart-TD Local 60. “This action displays the Governor’s continued investment in infrastructure and the environment.”
“This is exciting for Jersey City and residents of the West Side,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “With the city progressing on Bayfront, the largest mixed-income housing development in the region, this light rail extension is crucial to our city’s growth. This is a good day for Jersey City.”
HBLR is a 17.5-mile light rail system that operates in Hudson County and serves the cities and townships of Jersey City, Hoboken, Bayonne, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen.
“I’m thrilled that the much-needed extension of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail is officially underway,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “This project will provide an economic boost and bring with it jobs and growth for Jersey City and our surrounding communities. The extension will also make the lives of commuters easier, lessen the number of cars on our highways and reduce our carbon footprint. That is a win-win-win.”
HBLR has three routes: Tonnelle Avenue, operating between North Bergen and Hoboken; 8th Street, operating between Bayonne and Hoboken; and West Side Avenue, operating between Jersey City and North Bergen. The West Side Avenue Branch operates between the West Side Avenue Station in Jersey City and Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen.