NJ Transit

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NJ Transit
New Jersey Transit Logo.svg
NJT services samples rail bus and light rail.jpg
NJ Transit 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
Number of lines
  • 11 (commuter rail)
  • 3 (light rail)
  • 253 (bus)
Number of stations
  • 166 (rail)
  • 62 (light rail)
  • 30 (bus terminals)
  • 16,100+ (bus stops)
  • (2018 figures, all modes [1] )
Annual ridership133,463,800 (2021) [2]
Chief executiveKevin Corbett
Headquarters1 Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey
Website njtransit.com
Began operationJuly 17, 1979;43 years ago (July 17, 1979)
Number of vehicles
  • 1,081 (commuter rail)
  • 71 (light rail)
  • 3,707 (bus)
  • (2018 figures, all modes [1] )
System length
  • 1,000.8 mi (1,610.6 km) (rail)
  • 116.2 mi (187.0 km) (light rail)
  • (2018 figures [1] )

New Jersey Transit Corporation, branded as NJ Transit, and often shortened to NJT, is a state-owned public transportation system that serves the U.S. state of New Jersey, along with portions of New York State and Pennsylvania. It operates bus, light rail, and commuter rail services throughout the state, connecting to major commercial and employment centers both within the state and in the adjacent major cities of New York and Philadelphia. In 2021, the system had a ridership of 133,463,800.


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. [3] [4]

NJT also acts as a purchasing agency for many private operators in the state; in particular, buses to serve routes not served by the transit agency.


A Pennsylvania Railroad class GG1 train, built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930s-1940s, hauls a commuter train into South Amboy station in 1981 South Amboy Station 1981.jpg
A Pennsylvania Railroad class GG1 train, built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in the 1930s–1940s, hauls a commuter train into South Amboy station 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 problems. [5] 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 Electric and Gas Company. 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. Conrail had operated two extensive commuter railroad networks in northern New Jersey under contract to NJDOT; in turn, these lines were the successors of numerous commuter routes dating from the mid-19th century. NJT 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 its two commuter networks in northern New Jersey for the first time. The new station allowed passengers on trains to Hoboken Terminal to transfer to trains to New York Penn Station in 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 NJ 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. [6]


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. [7]

Current operations

NJ Transit's headquarters at Penn Plaza East in Newark NJ Transit HQ Newark.jpg
NJ Transit's 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 253 bus routes using 2,221 buses [8] (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 NJT). [9] The bus fleet includes buses purchased for other New Jersey operators above the 2,221.

Light rail

NJT operates three light rail systems:

Commuter rail

White House station on the Raritan Valley Line Whitehouse Station.JPG
White House station on the Raritan Valley Line

NJT has 11 commuter rail lines:

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 agency of NJ Transit. New Jersey Transit Police operates under the authority of Chapter 27 of the NJ Revised Statutes. Title 27:25-15.1 states in part "The Transit Police Officers so appointed shall have general authority, without limitation, to exercise police powers and duties, as provided by law for police officers and law enforcement officers, in all criminal and traffic matters at all times throughout the State and, in addition, to enforce such rules and regulations as the corporation shall adopt and deem appropriate."

One of the primary responsibilities of NJ Transit Police is to provide police services and security to the hundreds of bus terminals, rail stations, light-rail stations and all other property owned, operated and leased by NJ Transit throughout the state. The Department employs approximately 250 sworn police officers.


Ongoing projects

Gateway Program

The Gateway Program is a major rail infrastructure improvement project designed to improve current services and create new capacity that will allow the doubling of passenger trains running under the Hudson River. The program will increase track, tunnel, bridge, and station capacity, eventually creating four mainline tracks between Newark, NJ, and Penn Station, New York, including a new, two-track Hudson River tunnel. It is being undertaken in partnership with Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the State of New Jersey, and the State of New York. [10]

Portal Bridge Replacement Project

The project would replace the existing century-old bridge swing-span bridge with a new, fixed-span bridge over the Hackensack River. The current bridge causes train traffic and delays due to maritime traffic, as well as malfunctions occurring from opening and closing. The new bridge's goal is to eliminate the movable span, improve reliability, increase train speeds, and remove conflict with maritime traffic. The project is partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ Transit, Amtrak, and United States Department of Transportation, with funding provided by NJ Transit, Amtrak, and the Federal Railroad Administration. [11] [12]

The Hudson Tunnel Project

The project is the design and construction of a new Hudson River rail tunnel serving Penn Station, New York, and the rehabilitation and modernization of the existing North River Tunnels, which incurred serious and ongoing damage during Hurricane Sandy. The tunnel was flooded with millions of gallons of saltwater during Hurricane Sandy, causing corrosion that continues to damage the century-old tunnel. It plans to build a new tunnel, rather than close and renovate the existing tunnel, as doing so would leave only one of the North River Tunnels in service, which would cause a massive reduction in rail service. As of 2018, the final design was completed and it is being advanced through the U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant. The project is partnered with the FRA, PANYNJ, NJ Transit and Amtrak, all of which have provided a total funding of $86.5 million. [11] [13] [14]

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) Northern Branch Extension

The project will extend Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service from North Bergen, Hudson County to Englewood, Bergen County. The goal of the project is to meet the needs of travelers in the area, advance cost-effective transit solutions, attract growth and development in Bergen and Hudson counties, including the Hudson River Waterfront, improve regional mobility and access, reduce roadway congestion, and enhance the transit network. There have been several public hearings so far, and have received the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement from the Environmental Protection Agency. The final EIS was expected to be completed by the end of 2019. [11] [14] [15]

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) Route 440 Extension

The project will expand Hudson-Bergen Light Rail access in Jersey City. It will extend service from West Side Avenue Station by 0.7 miles (1.1 km) of new rail to a new terminus on the west side of Route 440. An environmental assessment has been prepared by NJ Transit, and the Federal Transit Administration has issued a Finding of No Significance Impact (FONSI). Preliminary engineering began in 2018. The new station will be a contributing factor to the $180 million urban renewal project of Bayfront. There is also a project to improve Route 440 itself near the rail extension. [11] [16]

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 2009 study by NJT estimated that bringing the line back into operation to Scranton, Pennsylvania, would cost approximately $551 million, although service may be extended in several interim phases before reaching Scranton.

In 2011, the retracking of the Cut-Off from Port Morris to Andover, a distance of 7.3 miles (11.7 km), began. The project was delayed by a lack of environmental permits to clear the roadbed between Lake Lackawanna and Andover. Based on projections from NJ Transit, the restart of construction, including extensive work on Roseville Tunnel, was to occur in mid- to late-2016, with the re-opening of service to Andover projected to occur in 2020. The proposed rehabilitation west of Andover, which has not yet been funded, would provide commuter rail service between Hoboken Terminal and New York's Penn Station, and would serve the growing exurban communities in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, and the Poconos, as well as northern Warren County and southern Sussex County in New Jersey. In October 2015, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requested that a preliminary engineering study be performed in order to update the cost figures on the previous study. Funding for this study is currently being sought. [17] As of 2018, progress had been made on the project. [14]

Glassboro–Camden Line

The Glassboro–Camden Line is an 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. The project's goal is to improve mobility and connect towns in Gloucester and Camden counties. An environmental assessment was anticipated to be published in 2019. [18] [19] [20] [14]

Bus rapid transit

Bus rapid transit in New Jersey includes limited stop bus lines, exclusive bus lanes (XBL) and bus bypass shoulders (BBS). Next Generation Bus [21] [22] is the term used by NJT to refer to the development of numerous bus rapid transit (BRT) systems across the state which are being studied by the agency, NJDOT, the metropolitan planning organizations of New Jersey (MPO), and contract bus carriers. In 2011, NJT announced that it would equip its entire bus fleet with real-time location, creating the basis for "next bus" scheduling information at bus shelters and web-enabled devices and considered an important feature of BRT.

Recovery and Resilience Projects

As of 2018, there are several projects in progress. A project to replace the auxiliary power cables, traction power, and signal and communication devices along the HBLR that were to affected by Hurricane Sandy was in the works. Repairs to Hoboken Terminal are said to be complete by 2020. Numerous power line, power system, and flood protection systems were in progress or completed at numerous terminals and stations. The 110-year old Raritan River Bridge is said to be replaced by a new, higher lift bridge. [14]

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. [23] To date, no funding has been secured. [23] Service ran on the line prior to 1983.

West Shore Commuter Rail Line

The West Shore Route is a proposal to reactivate passenger service on the New Jersey-New York section of the West Shore Railroad from Hoboken, NJ to West Nyack, NY. [24] The project has been included in the NJ Transit's portion of the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the fiscal years of 2016–2019. [25] The route holds perhaps the greatest promise in all of New Jersey since it travels through the heart of NJ Transit Bus Operations' Midtown "commuter shed", with four bus routes (165, 167, 168 & 177) running well beyond capacity. Issues regarding the restart of commuter rail service include:

  • 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 offers to allow NJ Transit use of the ROW if the agency constructed sound barriers along the entire length of track for commuter operations out of its own pocket.
  • 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 technical 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 Penn Station will increase in the future.

The leadership of the municipalities along the route have been organizing for decades to get service running again [26] [27] and have been rezoning the areas around the former train stations ever since being told by NJ Transit that the number of projected riders is too low to justify investment.

Passaic–Bergen–Hudson Transit Project

The Passaic–Bergen–Hudson Transit Project would reintroduce passenger service on the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway right-of-way in Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties.

Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (MOM)

The Monmouth-Ocean-Middlesex (MOM) [28] [29] 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 with similar station sequences. Prior to 1941 cancellation the CNJ operated Blue Comet trains (Jersey City-Atlantic City) and some local trains on this route. [30]

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. [31]

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, Townships, 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. [32]

In August 2010, NJT received $534,375 in Federal Funds to investigate the possibilities of a MOM line. [33] Since that time there has been no further advancement of the project. [34] The inertia is partially attributed to the cancellation of the Access to the Region's Core project. [35]

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. [36] 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. [37] [38] [39]

Canceled 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. [40] 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.

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

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Newark Light Rail</span> Light rail system

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Secaucus Junction</span> Train station in New Jersey

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northeast Corridor Line</span> Commuter rail line in New Jersey and New York

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pennsylvania Station (Newark)</span> Transportation center in Newark, New Jersey

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">North River Tunnels</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gateway Program (Northeast Corridor)</span> Planned expansion of the U.S. Northeast Corridor

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bus rapid transit in New Jersey</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sawtooth Bridges</span> Pair of railroad viaducts in New Jersey; owned by Amtrak

The Sawtooth Bridges are a pair of railroad bridges on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) known individually as Amtrak Bridge No. 7.80 and Amtrak Bridge No. 7.96. They are located in the Meadowlands in Kearny, New Jersey between Newark Penn Station and Secaucus Junction at a stretch where the rights-of-way of Amtrak, NJ Transit, PATH, and Conrail converge and re-align. The name refers to their appearance and the numbers refer to the milepoint (MP) from New York Penn Station. Originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad, they are now owned and operated by Amtrak. They are slated for replacement as part of the Gateway Program, an infrastructure-improvement program along the NEC.


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