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Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT Announce Financial Settlement

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, At a press conference in New York Penn Station, Governor Murphy, Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia, and NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Kevin Corbett today announced the finalizing of a financial settlement that that paves the way to ongoing and future improvements to the infrastructure, customer experience, and safety of our customers. The press conference also shared updates on several joint projects, including Penn Station, critical infrastructure projects, and safety, showcasing a commitment to collaboration and improving the customer experience to the traveling public.

“Investing in our infrastructure, improving customer experience, and enhancing the safety of the traveling public are among the highest priorities of our Administration,” said Governor Murphy. “The announcement today establishes a partnership that will achieve these goals now, and lays the financial foundation for continued improvements into the future. After eight years of disinvestment in, and mismanagement of, NJTRANSIT, collaborative partnerships like the one we are announcing today will go a long way to restoring the agency to its former preeminence.”

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Governor Murphy Tours Hudson River Tunnel with Legislative Leadership and Congressional Delegation

Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WEEHAWKEN NJ, Governor Phil Murphy today toured the North River Tunnel with state legislative leadership and members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation. The 108 year old North River Tunnel has been in disrepair and in dire need of replacement since extensive damage was caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“The rehabilitation of the existing North River Tunnel and construction of the new Hudson Tunnel is crucial to the tri-state area, and in particular New Jersey,” Governor Phil Murphy said. “It is time for the Trump administration to prioritize the needs of commuters and our nation’s economy, and commit to funding the Gateway Program.”

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Murphy Promises Another Year of Hell for NJ Tranist Riders

penn station njt

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Thursday, January 17 Governor Phil Murphy told the  NJ Daily Record  reporter Curtis Tate , “NJ Transit riders may have to wait until the end of this year to see the system operate the way it’s supposed to”

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for immediate action to resolve NJ Transit’s ongoing issues:

“Governor Murphy must take expeditious action to address the major issues plaguing NJ Transit,” Senator O’Scanlon said. “I’m calling on the Governor to take whatever action is necessary, whether it’s declaring a State of Emergency, bringing in out-of-state engineers, or any other solution. We must treat this exigent situation with the seriousness that it demands.”

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BERGEN COUNTY PROSECUTOR CONDUCTING HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE INVESTIGATION AT MACARTHUR AVENUE, GARFIELD

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Garfield NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the investigation of a homicide that occurred at 27 MacArthur Avenue, Garfield, NJ. The investigation is being conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Garfield Police Department under the direction of Chief Raymond Kovach, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Anthony Cureton, and the New Jersey Transit Police Department under the direction of Chief Christopher Trucillo.

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NJ Transit Moves to Maximize Rental Revenue

Ridgewood Train Station

photo by ArtChick

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT continues its efforts to maximize non-farebox revenue by leveraging prime retail locations at its train stations. NJ TRANSIT is pleased to announce a new retail lease agreement in Newark Penn Station. The new tenant, Top Shelf Wine and Liquor, is located in the Main Concourse of Newark Penn Station between tracks 2 and 3. The ten-year agreement is anticipated to generate more than $2.1 million in non-farebox rent revenue over the span of the lease term.

“Maximizing this non-farebox revenue is a win-win for customers and NJ TRANSIT and it’s consistent with recommendations coming out of the recent independent assessment by The North Highland Company,” said Executive Director Kevin Corbett.  “It provides customers with conveniences and amenities at our stations while also delivering critical funding resources which we can reinvest in our transportation network.”

The store’s design blends the contemporary and historical elements of the station, enhancing the aesthetics of the Main Concourse of Newark Penn Station. Top Shelf Wine and Liquor is owned and operated by Stephen Penn and Kunal Kapoor, who bring more than 30 years of experience in the retail and beverage industries.

In August 2018, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors approved the lease of more than 1,000 square feet of retail space in Newark Penn Station to Starbucks Corporation.  The agreement will provide more than $1.6 million in non-farebox revenue to NJ TRANSIT over the 10-year lease.  Starbucks will also make approximately $750,000 in leasehold improvements.  While providing an additional revenue stream to NJ TRANSIT, customers will enjoy convenience of the nationally recognized brand in Newark Penn Station.

In Fiscal Year 2018, which ended June 30th, 2018, expanded retail leasing opportunities increased annual revenue by more than $800,000.  This included leases at Metropark Station and Secaucus Junction, with tenants performing significant capital improvements at both locations. 

In Fiscal Year 2019, which began July 1st, NJ TRANSIT estimates that property leases will generate more than $8.5 million in revenue.  Overall, NJ TRANSIT’s Real Estate Department estimates that it will generate nearly $50 million in non-farebox revenue in FY19 through property leases, advertising, parking fees and property permits.

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NJ TRANSIT BOARD SELECTS NEW HEAD OF RAIL OPERATIONS, RAYMOND P. KENNY

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors today approved Raymond P. Kenny as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Rail Operations at today’s special Board of Director’s meeting.
“Ray is a national expert in the railroad industry and his knowledge of the complexities of the rail system in our region is unmatched,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti.  “His leadership and management skills will be invaluable as we move NJ TRANSIT forward.”
“Ray has a long and accomplished railroad career and we look forward to tapping his wealth of industry knowledge as we continue to transform NJ TRANSIT into a national leader,” said Executive Director Kevin Corbett.  “Ray understands railroading from every angle, having started as a ticket clerk at LIRR and rising through the ranks to eventually lead LIRR as the busiest railroad in the country.”

Kenny has nearly 50 years of railroad industry experience including serving as former acting President of the MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR).  He has an extensive background in managing large teams in both transportation operations and capital improvements.  

Most recently, Kenny has served with WSP as a consultant for operations and planning for agencies across the nation including the Gateway project, the Northeast Corridor Future project, business processes at Metro-North and emergency management plans at Metrolink in Los Angeles.

He began his transportation career in 1970 as a ticket clerk at LIRR. In 1975, he entered railroad dispatching for LIRR before rising through the ranks at LIRR with positions in personnel training and capital construction prior to leading the Transportation department.

Prior to NJ TRANSIT, Kenny served with WSP as a consultant where his experience included helping to improve Metro-North’s business processes including train crew availability, assisting Metrolink in Los Angeles with emergency management plans, a subject matter expert on the NEC Future project, which is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate and prioritize future investments in the NEC, a subject matter expert for the Gateway project in the design of a new Penn Station New York and staging of train operations to facilitate construction.  Most recently, Kenny was assigned to the Hartford, CT rail project as a commissioning agent, ensuring project schedule compliance on the start of a new rail line.

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NJ Transit Service For New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Times Square

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, On New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, trains will operate on a modified weekday schedule (same as December 24, 26, 27 and 28) until 6 p.m. There will be no getaway service. In the evening, extra North Jersey Coast and Morris & Essex Lines trains will operate to New York .Special printable schedules that cover the period from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 6 a.m. on New Year’s morning will be available at njtransit.com by Friday, December 21. Rail travel information for New Year’s Eve will also be available via the Trip Planner and Station-to-Station features on njtransit.com.

Buses will operate on a modified weekday or holiday schedule with “early getaway” service from Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Jersey City waterfront. There will also be early evening service inbound and extra outbound from PABT after midnight on select routes. Customers are advised to consult timetables or visit njtransit.com/Bus Holiday Service Guide for more details. 

Hudson-Bergen and Newark Light Rail, and the River Line will operate on a regular weekday schedule. River LINE will run extended service every 30 minutes. The last River LINE train out of Camden due to the Philadelphia fireworks will be approximately 12:45am, the train will run as far north as necessary. Specific trip information will be available on njtransit.com.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  NJ TRANSIT is prohibiting all beverages on all of its trains, light rail vehicles and buses on Monday, December 31, 2018, and the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 1, 2018. This policy will be strictly enforced.

After midnight (early January 1), additional late-night trains will operate on all lines until approximately 5 a.m. Some trains that normally depart New York/Hoboken/Newark between 11:30 p.m and 1:30 a.m. are cancelled and will be replaced with later trains.  After 5 a.m., trains will operate on a weekend/major holiday schedule after. Customers should visit njtransit.com for details, including special printable schedules that cover the period from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve until 6 a.m. on New Year’s morning (which will be available by December 21). Expanded bus service will be provided from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) until approximately 2 a.m. Some routes will be departing from alternate areas within the PABT. Visit njtransit.com/Bus Holiday Service Guide for specific schedule details and departure gate assignments.

On New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, after 5 a.m., trains will operate on a weekend/major holiday schedule.  Bus service will vary by route. River LINE will operate on a Sunday schedule. Newark Light Rail will operate on a Saturday schedule. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will operate on a weekend schedule.  Bus service will vary by route. Customers are advised to visit njtransit.com for details. 

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Reader suggests ways to improve the Ridgewood Commute

photo courtesy of RH

First – add the damn spaces at the train station right away. What is the delay???

Next – cancel the garage. Repave that lot and re-stripe it, reduce the access~egress curb cuts to just one or two. This will add a ton of spaces.

Next – reduce the cost of commuter parking passes. It is ridiculously high now (but not as high as Voigt had suggested when he laughingly said it should be $1500 because the people in Ridgewood could afford it).

Next – put parking at the lot behind Ben and Jerry’s where that old garage was. Plenty of space there and only a two block walk to the train station.

Next – make the meters stop at 6 PM once again. 8 PM is way too late. Also, please have FREE parking on Saturdays throughout the year.

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Reader says , “It’s tough for Ridgewood to compete with Midtown Direct Service”

Ridgewood_Train_station_train-_is_coming_theridgewoodblog

The Midtown Direct train ride through certain Essex County towns straight into Penn Station (34th street) in Manhattan remains the gold standard for NJ residents. It’s tough for Ridgewood to compete with that, even though we do enjoy the most convenient (i.e., combination of short and frequent trips from one train station) train service yo and from the Secaucus Transfer station of any town in Bergen County. Now that the inbound Lincoln Tunnel has been hobbled due to desperately needed road work, the permanent lane shutdown from this road work creates an unavoidable bottleneck that hurts the efficiency of the many Coach USA buses that carry commuters from the Ridgewood Park-n-Ride to Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd street) in NYC midtown. Hopefully that road work will be completed soon. Also hopefully, all of the West Bergen, Weehawken, Hoboken and Secaucus mayors are very polite to Governor Murphey and his political enforcers during this period of cross-Hudson traffic “difficulties”. Or is that just a republican problem (LOL).

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Reader says changes in parking are to the detriment of Commuters

Ridgewood Trainstation_theridgewoodblog

Reader responds to , ” overpriced Commuter parking is a Ridgewood quality of life Issue ” http://theridgewoodblog.net/reader-says-overpriced-commuter-parking-is-a-ridgewood-quality-of-life-issue/

“Amazing that this blog actually is from a year . . . and another $300 hike in the yearly fee ago . . . and nothing has changed. Actually, there HAVE been changes, but they have all been to the detriment of commuters. The new passes are $1300 per year. Want a pass for the Hudson Street lot? That will get you a parking spot until the construction begins, and the pleasure of depending on Uber to get to the station to catch your morning ride to work after construction starts. Oh, and forget about parking anywhere on the weekend, because, of course, who works on Saturday or Sunday?

Want a pass for other lots? Well, don’t count on parking in the train station unless you have a compact car. The planned renovations add spots, but they are only for compact vehicles. Because, after all, almost everyone in Ridgewood drives a compact. Unable to find a spot at the station, maybe because you aren’t there before 6:30 in the morning? Enjoy a healthy hike from across town. Hopefully, the snow and rain won’t be a problem this winter.

This is just PATHETIC. This is a real problem for anyone trying to sell their home – NO ONE in their right mind would consider moving here who works in NYC. I know we certainly would not have moved here, even without knowing the truth about the fraud underlying the reputation enjoyed by Ridgewood’s school system. The only thing worse than the stress of uncertainty about finding a parking spot is the sanctimonious disingenuousness of residents and council members who insist that protecting the access of “diners and shoppers” to parking is key to Ridgewood’s welfare.”