The Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line saved New Jersey and New York commuters more than 3.4 million gallons of gasoline last year - the equivalent fuel consumed by 6,000 cars annually. Transportation is responsible for more than two-thirds of our nation’s oil consumption and nearly a third of our carbon dioxide emissions. To make us more energy independent and reduce pollution, we need to build a transportation system that uses less oil, takes advantage of alternative fuels, and shifts as much of our travel as possible from transportation modes that consume a lot of energy to those that consume less.
More than a year-and-a-half ago, the most recent phase of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) line was completed. Opened in 2000, this 20.6-mile long, 23-station route was developed in multiple phases through a creative design/build/operate and maintain (DBOM) contract. A product of intensive planning, public participation and political cooperation, the HBLR is a testament to the value of investment in new transportation infrastructure. Not only has ridership been growing, but land development has been
intensifying at stations along the line at a scale beyond that which road network alone could have borne. Acres and acres of old, abandoned rail yards, piers, and industrial sites along the route have been transformed into compact residential, office and retail developments in pedestrian, transit-friendly environments. The project has become a showcase of “smart growth.”
New transportation options have been opened for thousands of people in northern New Jersey through…
The New Jersey Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) demonstrates that the bene.ts of transit-oriented development are wide-ranging:
Large quantities of underutilized land along the rail line are being reclaimed for productive use. As a result, property values and ratables have grown exponentially.
Two areas, the Essex Street-Jersey Avenue Station corridor and the 9th Street Station in Hoboken, stand out as magnets for new residential development. Since the year 2000, nearly 4,500 units of housing within walking distance to these stations have been built or are under construction, with many more units approved.
Ridership as of April, 2006 (24,487 average weekday trips), is up almost 50% over the 2003 level. Hoboken, Pavonia-Newport, and Exchange Place (all PATH locations) are the top three stations in ridership activity.
This last statement highlights one of the most important outcomes of the HBLR: The quality of travel for Hudson County…
This is a tale of three cities—Jersey City and neighboring Hoboken in New Jersey, and Evanston, Illinois – that have experienced an enormous amount of development since the late 1980s, reversing three decades of decline brought on by the great suburban exodus of the 1950s. The result is that in 2006 all three cities are prospering, posting significant increases in property values and sales taxes and other revenues due to the building boom and resulting increases in business activity. The amount of high-density development that has occurred could never have occurred this quickly if these cities did not have rich transit networks providing very high-quality connections to the abundant jobs, culture and destinations in their big city neighbors: Manhattan is across the Hudson River from Hoboken and Jersey City; Chicago and Evanston share a border.