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Photos by Fritz Rethage  ·  Posted September 9, 2003

Secaucus Junction

Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station

Bookmarks for this page
Overview
Governor McGreevey Release 9/6/03 --
Station named in honor of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg
Senator Lautenberg Release 9/6/03 -- Lautenberg Secured Over $500 Million for Secaucus Station
NJ Transit Release 9/6/03 -- Governor Opens Revolutionary Rail Transfer Station is Secaucus
NJ Transit Release 7/31/03 -- NJ Transit Set to Open Secaucus Station
The Record, Sunday, September 7, 2003 -- Spiffy station shows off on its 1st day
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Overview
NJ Transit's new Secaucus Junction - six years on the drawing board and eight years under construction - opened Saturday September 6, 2003 for weekend service with full weekday service expected by the end of November, when PATH service is restored to lower Manhattan.

Secaucus Junction will connect 10 of the state's 11 rail lines - allowing people from Bergen County to transfer to many other locations by rail, including midtown Manhattan, Newark Airport, the Jersey Shore, or Trenton.

The $450 million marsh-themed transfer station, complete with Jersey Meadowlands-inspired artworks, a half-dozen banks of shiny turnstiles, and 1,140 static and electronic directional signs to help them navigate the colossal 312,000-square-foot station.

A majestic lighted-aluminum sculpture of cattails soars 30 feet as the centerpiece in the building's rotunda, with oak benches nearby. NJ Transit says it hopes to have amenities, such as a newsstand, a place to get coffee, and piped-in classical music, when the station opens for full service.

Inside the station, people will find an array of 140 electronic color-coded information displays that will let them see the next eight trains approaching the station and whether the trains are delayed.

Two striking mosaic murals, 30 feet long, adorn the walls by the escalators. In the rotunda, globe-shaped lights grace the walls. On Saturday, officials will unveil a 4-foot plaque dedicated to Lautenberg - a compromise after NJ Transit's board balked at the idea of spending $200,000 on a bronze sculpture.

About 2,700 riders a day are expected to use the transfer station on weekends, the vast majority from Bergen County. But riders on the Pascack Valley Line don't have weekend service and won't get it until late 2004.

The overwhelming majority of travelers using the transfer station on weekends - about 82 percent - will be looking to catch a Northeast Corridor train into midtown Manhattan. Twelve percent will stay in their seats and continue to Hoboken, and 6 percent will use the transfer to head to other places, such as Newark Airport.

For the next few months during weekend-only service, riders coming from Bergen will pay the same fares they do now to get to Hoboken, even though they will transfer to a Northeast Corridor train. But once weekday service begins in November, there will be a separate fare for riders going to Penn Station that will be higher than the one to Hoboken, agency officials said.

Officials couldn't say exactly what the additional charge would be, but said it would be comparable to the cost of a PATH train or a ferry to lower Manhattan. The PATH costs $1.50, and the ferry costs $3.

Bergen riders will come in on any of four tracks: E, F, G, and H. The platform is 729 feet long and can accommodate about eight cars. That means most riders will get off the train in a covered area, free from rain or snow.

Officials estimate riders going through to Hoboken, the stop in Secaucus takes about two minutes. Officials say those using the transfer to get to Penn Station from Bergen will find three trains every half-hour.

There is no parking but there is a spot to quickly drop off passengers along the north side of the station. At some point, there could be a new park-and-ride off the New Jersey Turnpike's planned Exit 15X, Warrington said. However, a decision on that is probably a year away, and any parking would have to be planned carefully so as not to jam local roads, especially during rush hours.

Source:  The Record, September 4, 2003
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NJ Governor James E. McGreevey Press Release September 6, 2003

Governor Opens Revolutionary Rail Transfer Station in Secaucus
Station named in honor of U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg

(SECAUCUS) – Arriving on a specially wrapped train, dozens of dignitaries and customers joined New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey today to launch weekend rail service at the new station, a revolutionary transportation hub linking 10 of 11 NJ TRANSIT rail lines that will transform rail travel in New Jersey and the surrounding region.

The ceremony included a commemorative tribute to U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ).  The building has been dedicated as the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station – enacted by Public Law 106-346 – for his vital leadership role in securing the federal funds necessary to construct the station.  The former Secaucus Transfer Station will now be known as the Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction.

“By linking 10 regional rail lines, this station promises to be the economic engine that will drive ‘smart growth’ development in the Meadowlands and the rest of the region,” said Governor McGreevey.  “It will also greatly improve the quality of life for many New Jerseyans as it provides unprecedented access to new jobs, educational opportunities, medical facilities and entertainment and recreational destinations, and more time to spend at home with their families.”

"Commuter rail service is a priority for the people of New Jersey, many of which ride the rails everyday to and from work," said Lautenberg "This station, once fully operational, will shorten travel times to and from midtown Manhattan by 15 to 20 minutes, saving a total of 13,500 days in annual travel time. For each individual commuter, this adds up to an extra week of time over the course of a year - time I hope commuters will be able to spend with their families."

"The Frank Lautenberg Station will provide New Jerseyans with a more convenient, accessible, and efficient way to get in and around all of New Jersey, New York City, and across the country all from this local station," said Congressman Steve Rothman, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation who represents Secaucus. "This transfer station will improve the quality of life for the people of New Jersey and help our economy for years and generations to come."

"Today's opening of the Secaucus Transfer Station marks a vital step in the overall regional recovery and a significant improvement of our commuter system across New Jersey and into New York City after the tragic events of September 11," said Congressman Robert Menendez.  "I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the State and in Congress to ensure the completion of this long-awaited crossroads of transportation that will catapult New Jersey into the forefront of commuter services."   

“This new station allows NJ TRANSIT customers to reach many new destinations in New Jersey and the surrounding region, and shaves 10-15 minutes off of the travel time of North Jersey rail passengers traveling to midtown Manhattan,” said State Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere.  “This station hub sets the stage for the next generation of regional rail capacity with the purchase of bi-level rail cars and construction of a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel.”

"Metro-North has always believed that opening the Secaucus transfer station will create terrific new opportunities for regional travel and increased ridership. That is why New York State contributed $53 million of its capital investment money directly to the construction of this facility," said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Peter A. Cannito.

Governor McGreevey hailed the weekend arrival of the $450 million station for its delivery of improved regional rail service, connectivity to popular entertainment and recreational destinations and ability to serve as a key economic engine for New Jersey.  Weekday service to Secaucus will arrive after the opening of the Lower Manhattan PATH Station later this year, which is expected to open up more seats on NJ TRANSIT trains operating between Newark and New York.

Also joining the Governor and the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors at today’s ceremony were 10 NJ TRANSIT customers – one for each of the rail lines that have access to the facility.  The 312,000-square-foot station is built above the Main Line and Northeast Corridor in Secaucus, connecting trains on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Gladstone, Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines.

The specially “wrapped” train will operate on NJ TRANSIT rail lines over the next several months to promote the station’s new connecting destinations including Newark Liberty International Airport, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Radio City Music Hall and the Jersey Shore.  These destinations were highlighted during opening ceremonies, with images of each destination flashing on large screens and promotional materials distributed to guests. 

Among the venues and businesses partnering with NJ TRANSIT to promote weekend rail service are Continental Airlines, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, World Yacht Dinner Cruises, Circle Line Dinner Cruises, the Palm Restaurant, Planet Hollywood, Frankie and Johnny’s and Broadway and Off-Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Café’ a Go Go and Tony and Tina’s Wedding.

"Of all the improvements at Newark Liberty International, rail access ranks with the best because it is such an efficient way for our customers to get to their flights.  We're especially excited that the Secaucus station now lets travelers from North Jersey easily reach the airport via rail.  NJ Transit is helping you to make your trip with the same level of convenience that we provide with our eService check-in and nonstop flights from Liberty to 120 cities," said Gordon Bethune, Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines.

Over the past year, NJ TRANSIT has added 71 new Saturday trains and 79 new Sunday trains to prepare for weekend service on the Main, Bergen County, Port Jervis, Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines.  Also during the last year, NJ TRANSIT hired more than 100 new frontline employees (including conductors, assistant conductors and engineers), received delivery of 29 new high-horsepower electric locomotives, more than 120 new Comet V coach cars (with more on the way) and constructed new or expanded storage yards, passenger facilities, tracks, switches and signals to support the Secaucus Station operation.

Beginning September 6 and during the weekend-only period, passengers who have tickets or passes for Hoboken may use the new station to transfer at Secaucus for trains to New York at no additional cost.  Within the first six months, NJ Transit projects 2,700 customers will pass through Secaucus each weekend day, and over 7,500 customers each week day.

Other station highlights include 21 ticket vending machines, a customer service office, a station-wide public address system, new passenger information systems and displays, a modern heating and air conditioning system, four rest rooms, retail space and multiple artwork installations.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines.  It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

NJ Governor James E. McGreevey Press Release September 6, 2003
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US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Press Release September 6, 2003

Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Transfer Station Opens,
Will Serve as Lynchpin for North Jersey Rail System

Lautenberg Secured Over $500 Million for Secaucus Station

SECAUCUS, N.J. – During a ceremony today, the new Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction opened for business. The much anticipated transfer station will serve as the lynchpin for rail in northern New Jersey. The station will connect 10 of the NJ TRANSIT's 11 commuter rail lines for the first time in history, creating more opportunities for interstate and intrastate travel. On hand for the opening of the new station were Governor James P. McGreevey, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Congressmen Steve Rothman and Robert Menendez, NJ Transit Executive Director George Warrington, Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito, as well as 10 rail commuters who will benefit from this new service.

"Commuter rail service is part of daily life for hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey each and every day, with many relying on rail for their primary mode of transportation," said Lautenberg "This new station will go along way to speed up commutes and provide people easier access to Manhattan."

In 2000, Congress passed legislation, authored by Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), to name the station after Senator Lautenberg in recognition of his years of leadership in transportation in New Jersey. The Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station, with 312,000 square-feet, is one of the largest commuter rail projects to be built in the United States in modern times.

"I am proud to have played a role in the naming of this rail station after my friend and colleague, Senator Lautenberg. His commitment and contributions to New Jersey's transportation and infrastructure have been significant. He is very deserving of this great honor," said Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL).

"I, along with my colleagues here today, have worked very hard over the last eight years to build this station so thousands of New Jersey residents can more easily commute to and from work," said Lautenberg. The vast majority of funding for this station was secured as a result of Senator Lautenberg's work as Chairman and Ranking Member of the powerful Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

The station will permit commuters to transfer from the Main, Bergen, Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines to all Northeast Corridor (NEC), North Jersey Coast Line, and Mid-Town Direct trains. On average, it will save NJ commuters entering New York City about 15 minutes. It will save Bergen County commuters an average of 20 minutes per commute.

"With more people riding rail, there will be fewer cars on our roads, which is good news for New Jersey's environment," said Lautenberg. "For two decades I've worked hard bringing federal resources back to New Jersey for transportation and the environment, and I look forward to continuing that work."

In addition, the new station will foster the State's "Smart Growth" plan by encouraging development at and around rail stations throughout New Jersey. At the Secaucus Station, for example, a development of 4 million square feet of office and commercial space will mean 17,000 additional jobs at the site, noted Lautenberg.

US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Press Release September 6, 2003
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NJ Transit Press Release 9/6/03

Governor Opens Revolutionary Rail Transfer Station is Secaucus
Station named in honor of U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg


SECAUCUS, NJ -- Arriving on a specially wrapped train, dozens of dignitaries and customers joined New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey today to launch weekend rail service at the new station, a revolutionary transportation hub linking 10 of 11 NJ TRANSIT rail lines that will transform rail travel in New Jersey and the surrounding region.

The ceremony included a commemorative tribute to U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ). The building has been dedicated as the Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station  enacted by Public Law 106-346  for his vital leadership role in securing the federal funds necessary to construct the station. The former Secaucus Transfer Station will now be known as the Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction.

By linking 10 regional rail lines, this station promises to be the economic engine that will drive smart growth development in the Meadowlands and the rest of the region, said Governor McGreevey. It will also greatly improve the quality of life for many New Jerseyans as it provides unprecedented access to new jobs, educational opportunities, medical facilities and entertainment and recreational destinations, and more time to spend at home with their families.

"Commuter rail service is a priority for the people of New Jersey, many of which ride the rails everyday to and from work," said Lautenberg "This station, once fully operational, will shorten travel times to and from midtown Manhattan by 15 to 20 minutes, saving a total of 13,500 days in annual travel time. For each individual commuter, this adds up to an extra week of time over the course of a year - time I hope commuters will be able to spend with their families."

"The Frank Lautenberg Station will provide New Jerseyans with a more convenient, accessible, and efficient way to get in and around all of New Jersey, New York City, and across the country all from this local station," said Congressman Steve Rothman, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation who represents Secaucus. "This transfer station will improve the quality of life for the people of New Jersey and help our economy for years and generations to come."

"Today's opening of the Secaucus Transfer Station marks a vital step in the overall regional recovery and a significant improvement of our commuter system across New Jersey and into New York City after the tragic events of September 11," said Congressman Robert Menendez. "I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the State and in Congress to ensure the completion of this long-awaited crossroads of transportation that will catapult New Jersey into the forefront of commuter services."

This new station allows NJ TRANSIT customers to reach many new destinations in New Jersey and the surrounding region, and shaves 10-15 minutes off of the travel time of North Jersey rail passengers traveling to midtown Manhattan, said State Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Jack Lettiere. This station hub sets the stage for the next generation of regional rail capacity with the purchase of bi-level rail cars and construction of a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel.

"Metro-North has always believed that opening the Secaucus transfer station will create terrific new opportunities for regional travel and increased ridership. That is why New York State contributed $53 million of its capital investment money directly to the construction of this facility," said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Peter A. Cannito.

Governor McGreevey hailed the weekend arrival of the $450 million station for its delivery of improved regional rail service, connectivity to popular entertainment and recreational destinations and ability to serve as a key economic engine for New Jersey. Weekday service to Secaucus will arrive after the opening of the Lower Manhattan PATH Station later this year, which is expected to open up more seats on NJ TRANSIT trains operating between Newark and New York.

Also joining the Governor and the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors at todays ceremony were 10 NJ TRANSIT customers  one for each of the rail lines that have access to the facility. The 312,000-square-foot station is built above the Main Line and Northeast Corridor in Secaucus, connecting trains on the Main, Bergen County, Pascack Valley, Port Jervis, Montclair-Boonton, Morristown, Gladstone, Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast and Raritan Valley lines.

The specially wrapped train will operate on NJ TRANSIT rail lines over the next several months to promote the stations new connecting destinations including Newark Liberty International Airport, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Radio City Music Hall and the Jersey Shore. These destinations were highlighted during opening ceremonies, with images of each destination flashing on large screens and promotional materials distributed to guests.

Among the venues and businesses partnering with NJ TRANSIT to promote weekend rail service are Continental Airlines, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, World Yacht Dinner Cruises, Circle Line Dinner Cruises, the Palm Restaurant, Planet Hollywood, Frankie and Johnnys and Broadway and Off-Broadway shows such as Phantom of the Opera, Café a Go Go and Tony and Tinas Wedding.

"Of all the improvements at Newark Liberty International, rail access ranks with the best because it is such an efficient way for our customers to get to their flights. We're especially excited that the Secaucus station now lets travelers from North Jersey easily reach the airport via rail. NJ TRANSIT is helping you to make your trip with the same level of convenience that we provide with our eService check-in and nonstop flights from Liberty to 120 cities," said Gordon Bethune, Chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines.

Over the past year, NJ TRANSIT has added 71 new Saturday trains and 79 new Sunday trains to prepare for weekend service on the Main, Bergen County, Port Jervis, Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines. Also during the last year, NJ TRANSIT hired more than 100 new frontline employees (including conductors, assistant conductors and engineers), received delivery of 29 new high-horsepower electric locomotives, more than 120 new Comet V coach cars (with more on the way) and constructed new or expanded storage yards, passenger facilities, tracks, switches and signals to support the Secaucus Station operation.

Beginning September 6 and during the weekend-only period, passengers who have tickets or passes for Hoboken may use the new station to transfer at Secaucus for trains to New York at no additional cost. Within the first six months, NJ TRANSIT projects 2,700 customers will pass through Secaucus each weekend day, and over 7,500 customers each week day.

Other station highlights include 28 ticket vending machines, a customer service office, a station-wide public address system, new passenger information systems and displays, a modern heating and air conditioning system, four rest rooms, retail space and multiple artwork installations.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

NJ Transit Press Release, 9/6/03
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NJ Transit Press Release July 31, 2003

NJ Transit Set to Open Secaucus Station
September 6th Start Date Paves the Way for Weekday Service Later This Year


NEWARK, NJ, July 31, 2003 – After much anticipation, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George Warrington announced at today’s Board meeting that Saturday, September 6 would be the opening date for weekend-only service at the Secaucus transfer station. Weekday rail service at the station will be launched by the end of this year, following the opening of the lower Manhattan PATH station.

The $450 million Secaucus transfer connects 10 of NJ TRANSIT’s 11 rail lines, providing rail customers with new and improved regional transportation options to popular destinations such as New York, Newark International Airport, downtown Newark, Trenton, eight New Jersey universities and the Jersey Shore.

“The Secaucus transfer station creates new markets, generates job growth and sparks economic development for the State of New Jersey,” said NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman and State Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “The new hub also sets the groundwork for the next generation of transportation services, such as a new two-track tunnel under the Hudson River and 100 bi-level rail cars.”

“Since last year, we have been ramping up for the opening of the Secaucus transfer station by adding more service throughout our system.” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “This phased-in approach helps to ensure for a smoother transition as we provide our customers with new commuting and leisure travel options.”

Typically, hourly service will be available on weekends at Secaucus, although there will be some variation throughout the day. Customers should check their train schedules closely. Among the schedule highlights:

Eastbound to Hoboken:

  • A Main Line train will stop at the station seven minutes after the hour.
  • A Bergen County Line train will stop 12 minutes after the hour.

Eastbound to New York:

  • A Morris & Essex Lines train will stop 20 minutes after the hour.
  • A Northeast Corridor train will stop 24 minutes after the hour.
  • A North Jersey Coast Line train will stop 29 minutes after the hour.

Westbound from New York

  • A North Jersey Coast Line train will stop 17 minutes after the hour.
  • A Morris & Essex Lines train will stop 20 minutes after the hour.
  • A Northeast Corridor train will stop 23 minutes after the hour.

Westbound from Hoboken

  • A Bergen County Line train will stop 31 minutes after the hour.
  • A Main Line train will stop 36 minutes after the hour.

Beginning September 6 and during the weekend-only period, passengers who have tickets or passes for Hoboken may use the new station to transfer at Secaucus for trains to New York at no additional cost. For example, consider the rates:

  • Radburn-Fair Lawn to Hoboken/New York City on the Bergen County Line. Monthly ($111), weekly ($33.50), off-peak round trip ($6), one-way ($3.95), one-way reduced fare ($1.80).
  • Ridgewood to Hoboken/New York City on the Main Line. Monthly ($154), weekly ($47), off-peak round trip ($8.25), one-way ($5.50), one-way reduced fare ($2.50).

NJ TRANSIT’s decision to gradually phase in service at Secaucus will facilitate a smooth and safe transition, allowing customers to get accustomed to new schedules and service patterns and the station building. Moreover, a staggered service plan will provide the time necessary to adjust service levels when PATH service is restored to lower Manhattan.

For further information, riders in North Jersey can call NJ TRANSIT between 6 a.m. and midnight at 1-800-772-2222 or at 973-762-5100 from out of state. In South Jersey, riders may call NJ TRANSIT between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 1-800-582-5946 or at 215-569-3752 from Pennsylvania. For persons with hearing impairments, the number is 1-800-772-2287. Riders can also visit the NJ TRANSIT website at www.njtransit.com.

NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 752,600 daily trips on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 161 rail stations, 28 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

NJ Transit Press Release, 9/6/03
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The Record, Sunday, September 7, 2003

Spiffy station shows off on its 1st day

For years, Michael Dciuba, a retiree whose vision problems prevent him from driving, has endured a long and frustrating commute to visit a sister in Long Branch.

It took the Wallington resident three buses to get to Newark, where he boarded a train to Long Branch. Sometimes, he said, the trip took nearly three hours.

So Dciuba beamed Saturday, as he soaked up a relaxing, and short, train trip from Garfield to NJ Transit's new Secaucus Transfer rail station, which opened that morning for weekend service. Dciuba calculated the new station, where he can catch a train to Long Branch, could cut his commute by half.

"We're both retired," he said of himself and his sister. "It means a lot to be able to have an easier time of visiting her."

NJ Transit officials marked the long-awaited opening - construction took eight years - with a ceremony in the multilevel building's rotunda that included Governor McGreevey, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, top NJ Transit officials, and other members of New Jersey's congressional delegation.

Amid gleaming floors in the airy, sun-splashed rotunda, McGreevey said the station's opening marked "a great day for the citizens of New Jersey. ... It will markedly improve the quality of the lives of our citizens."

McGreevey said traffic congestion in New Jersey hurts the state's economy and environment.

"This station promises to be the economic engine that will drive smart-growth development in the Meadowlands and the rest of the region," McGreevey said. He expects it to provide New Jersey residents "unprecedented access to new jobs, educational opportunities, medical facilities, and entertainment and recreational destinations, and more time to spend at home with their families."

For the first time, one station connects 10 of the state's 11 rail lines. Bergen County residents will be able to transfer by rail to such places as midtown Manhattan, Newark Liberty Airport, the Jersey shore, and Trenton, and other places. Before the transfer station, Bergen County riders had to travel to Hoboken and transfer to a PATH train or ferry to go to New York City. The Secaucus station reduces some New York commutes by about 15 minutes each way.

Weekday service is expected to begin by the end of this year, after PATH service returns to lower Manhattan, easing crowding on the system.

McGreevey and other speakers praised Lautenberg, after whom the station is named, for helping to secure federal aid.

Lautenberg, who often appeared moved by the credit lavished on him, said the enhancements show residents "there is an alternative to getting into a car."

"New Jersey's economy is so dependent on mass transit as a result of our being the most densely populated state in the nation," he said.

Elsewhere in the 312,000-square-foot station, commuters milled about, gawking at Meadowlands-inspired artwork, the sparkling turnstiles, and squeaky clean restrooms.

The new station's first commuters included many rail buffs. Wood-Ridge resident Jeanne Kehoe, for whom train travel is a hobby, waited three years for the station to open.

"Shortly after I got settled in my seat, they were already approaching Penn Station. I think it will be a great boon for people who live in Bergen County," she said.

Customer service was in high gear, with an army of smiling, eager NJ Transit workers offering assistance to anyone who looked confused.

"It's been a very long week," said a man whose job it is to keep the building clean.

"We'd clean, and a while later, sometimes an hour later, construction crews would make a mess again. It's been like that all week," said the man, who declined to give his name. "I worked all day yesterday, until almost 11 at night, and I was back here early this morning to make sure everything goes right."

To be sure, everything wasn't going right, in the view of some commuters.

Several noted there is no parking at the transfer station.

Some grumbled about several escalators that weren't operating. Some said the station needs better signs to guide commuters around.

"When we got off the train from Penn, we weren't sure where we had to go. There was no sign," said Lauren Sherb, a Manhattan resident who boarded a train to Fair Lawn. "I don't feel it really saves me much time - maybe five or eight minutes? You think, 'all those millions of dollars into something just to save five minutes.'"

Cranford resident Jeff Klappholz thinks his commute might actually wind up being longer. But Klappholz is one of those people who sees a glass as half-full.

"That means I get to sleep on the train a little longer in the morning," he said.

The Record, Sunday, September 7, 2003
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NJ Transit Press Release 9/5/03

Secaucus Station Set for Weekend Service
New transit hub aimed to stimulate economy, travel

NEWARK, NJ - The Secaucus transfer station will open for weekend service on Saturday, September 6. The station will connect 10 of the NJ TRANSIT’s 11 commuter rail lines for the first time in history, creating more opportunities for interstate and intrastate travel. With 312,000 square-feet, the station is one of the largest commuter rail projects to be built in the United States in modern times.

Governor James E. McGreevey, U.S. Senator Frank R, Lautenberg, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington, Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito and 10 rail customers representing each line that will be linked via the new station .

Editors note - visuals:

 

  • VIP train arrives at station

  • Speaking program

  • Senator Frank R. Lautenberg tribute

  • Rail customers from 10 rail lines linked to Secaucus show support

  • Artwork on display throughout the station

  • Big-screen TVs will highlight new travel possibilities via Secaucus – New York City, Newark Liberty International Airport, Jersey Shore, New Jersey Performing Arts Center among many other destinations

WHO:

WHAT: Weekend opening of Secaucus Transfer station

WHEN: Saturday, September 6, 10:15 a.m.

WHERE: Secaucus Transfer station

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