NJ Light Rail just got less convenient

11/9/2010 Update:

Hoboken411 reader Rich updates the peculiar and confusing situation with the NJ Transit Light Rail.

NJ Transit Light Rail: Less is More

“The HBLR web site has now updated their web schedule, and lo-and-behold, there are now SIX trains an hour from all points north to Hoboken Terminal. But wait, there’s less!

If you look just a little bit closer you see that some of the rides are longer than others. A lot longer. In fact so much longer that they arrive in Hoboken 2-12 minutes AFTER the next south bound train. How is this possible?

Well, the kindly scheduling elves have decided to count all of the West Side Avenue trains as going to Hoboken, because you can change at Pavonia Newport and ride north from there. Of course that violates the terms of service of the ticket, and could leave you with a $150 fine should it be checked at Hoboken. But more importantly, why would you tell folks to take the 9:46 to get to Hoboken, when the 9:53 will get you there 12 MINUTES earlier?

I spoke with Mayor/Senator Brian Stack recently and asked about the schedule changes. While he didn’t say so specifically, he appeared to be unaware of the changes, especially the weekend bypass. He immediately asked for specific information while an assistant took notes, and he did not look pleased. A second person pointed out that the promised quick turnaround connections at Pavonia to get back to Hoboken were no longer being made, leaving travelers standing at Pavonia for as much as 20 minutes. Additionally the changes are no longer timed to make connections in either from or to the PATH, resulting in further delays for NYC bound HBLR passengers. At this his expression became even more serious, and he said “we WILL look into this.”

Here’s a screen shot of the schedule. There is NO indication that every other train requires a reverse route transfer at Pavonia Newport.”

Other Light Rail Notes:

Rich was astute enough to add more concerns to the ongoing Light Rail headache:

  • “I rode the Newark Subway (light rail) system last week. Same cars, same proof of purchase fare system, same combination of underground and surface stations. The biggest difference? Newark riders pay $1.50, we pay $2.10. So do River Line riders from Trenton to Camden and by connection to Philly.”
  • “Five years after service began, the pedestrian bridge from the Port Imperial LR station to the Ferry terminal is still not in service, even though it spans Port Imperial Blvd. and has been lit for at least two years now. There is no way for Weehawken residents to access their only station except to walk to the foot of the Pershing Road bridge, back north on Imperial Blvd, and then cross that same dangerous blind stretch of Port Imperial Blvd. that HBLR riders must cross to get to the ferry.”
  • “The HBLR and 21st Century Rail Corp. may argue that the ridership doesn’t justify the level of service, but this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cut service, and people will not ride. Raise rates and people will not ride. Overcrowd rush hour trains that were already uncomfortably full, and people will not ride. They’ll also not buy housing or shop at businesses near the stations they don’t use, and put more cars on our streets because they can’t risk depending on unreliable HBLR service. Mass transit needs a critical mass of service to reach a critical mass of riders.”

ALL PREVIOUS UPDATES AFTER THE JUMP…

9/2/2010 Update:

Hoboken411 gets results

Because of the ridiculous move by NJ Transit – and resulting publication here on Hoboken411 – a last minute adjustment was made to last night’s Hoboken City Council Meeting, adding a resolution to bring back direct weekend service.

Let’s see if they can actually make it happen!

8/30/2010:

New weekend light rail service useless for Hoboken residents

Hoboken411 received quite a bit of mail over the weekend regarding the complete slap in the face that NJ Transit dealt to Hoboken residents who use the Light Rail train to travel between one of the two west-side stations and Lackawanna Plaza.

Essentially – there is NO DIRECT SERVICE between the downtown Hoboken Terminal and the two Hoboken stations on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. You must now travel to Pavonia/Newport in both directions – and change trains to make the commute.

Who allowed this to happen?

Hoboken411 reader Rich is particularly upset with this change – and wonders how City Hall even allowed such an inconvenient change in service to Mile Square residents:

“If you ride the Hudson Bergen Light Rail you can’t get directly to Hoboken Terminal from any stop north of the station, including the other two stops in Hoboken. Instead, you have to ride the HBLR to Pavonia/Newport, and then wait for a northbound train from Bayonne. How much would you wager that the same planner who thinks this would be acceptable, will also make sure that the north-bound Hoboken Terminal train will be the longest possible wait once you’ve arrived at Pavonia?

Seriously? This was considered an acceptable permanent scheduling change? Why would ANYONE be happy with this? For anyone north of the terminal, this means an additional 10 minutes from Second Street to the Terminal (assuming that the north-bound Terminal train pulls into Pavonia just seconds after the south-bound train does). That means for much of the west side, it will now be faster to walk than to ride to most of Hoboken, including the terminal itself. Why not deadhead EVERY train at Hoboken Terminal, the way that the PATH does, with alternating trains continuing to or coming from West Side Avenue and 22nd St. in Bayonne?

Why, especially, would the City of Hoboken put up with a schedule that makes it easier for their own residents to shop in Jersey City than in Hoboken? I’ll be especially interested to see what the before and after ridership numbers are.”

SEE THE NEW LIGHT RAIL SCHEDULE HERE

NJ Transit announces weekend service change

New Weekend Service Pattern Effective August 28, 2010

On weekends, effective Saturday, August 28, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail will operate using a new service pattern. Trains will operate as follows:

  • Between Hoboken Terminal and 22nd Street/Bayonne
  • Between Tonnelle Avenue and West Side Avenue

Direct service between Tonnelle Avenue and Hoboken Terminal will no longer operate on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. All light rail stations will continue to have light rail service.

Customers traveling between Hoboken Terminal and stations north (2nd Street, 9th Street, Lincoln Harbor, Port Imperial, Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue stations) should use the following travel advice:

  • Traveling TO Hoboken Terminal from stations north: Board a West-Side-Avenue-bound train, travel to Pavonia-Newport Station and then transfer across the platform to a Hoboken-bound train.
  • Traveling FROM Hoboken Terminal to stations north: Board a 22nd-Street-bound train, travel to Pavonia-Newport Station and then transfer across the platform to a Tonnelle Avenue-bound train.

For your convenience, light rail transfers have been scheduled to take three minutes or less throughout the day.

If you have any questions, please contact NJ TRANSIT Customer Service at (973) 275-5555.

Leave a Reply

26 Comments on "NJ Light Rail just got less convenient"

KB
Member

I tried the switch at Newport this weekend while traveling from Hoboken to 9th St… the train I was connecting to in Newport was so crowded that I couldn’t get on. Rather than wait seventeen minutes for the next train, I took a cab. For much less money and delay, I could’ve initially taken a cab from Hoboken…

whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob

Just like the PATH, they’re cutting service and yet not one conductor or engineer is being let go with less trains to operate.

homeworld
Member

In other news, NJTransit owes the Federal Government $271 million since Christie canceled the ARC tunnel. I wonder where they’ll get that money from? (I bet more fare hikes). Thanks Christie!

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP15cc5189a67d45d4a2dcd05ee5171b0d.html

thwnd
Member
thwnd

NJ taxpayers were going to be on the hook for every cent of the project that was over budget. I’d rather pay the $271 million than have to pay for the $5 billion in potential overruns.[quote comment=”199715″]In other news, NJTransit owes the Federal Government $271 million since Christie canceled the ARC tunnel. I wonder where they’ll get that money from? (I bet more fare hikes). Thanks Christie! [/quote]

homeworld
Member

I was at the Pavonia/Newport light rail stop once, and the driver of the train forgot to stop and kept going. Eventually (after everyone started screaming at her) she realized it, and hit the brakes and ran to the back of the train to reverse it back to the stop.

nann
Member
nann

I had an awful experience on the Light Rail yesterday…waited about 17 minutes at Pavonia with about 140 other people, plus a lovely gang of about 30 teenagers who had just been escorted out of the mall by security—some were on each other’s shoulders, and there was a lot of yelling and horseplay in a very crowded situation. When the train finally came, it was a two car affair which barely accommodated the frustrated, pushing crowd. People were pushing to get on and pushing to get off the train..I really had the feeling that a stampede could have happened at any moment. This schedule “adjustment” is not just a large inconvenience, it’s a SAFETY HAZARD.
I IMPLORE everyone who is angry about this to PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO NJ TRANSIT. It might not/probably won’t help, but it certainly can’t hurt. Please write to or call as many people in charge as you can. It’s easy for all of us to complain to each other about this, but unless NJTRansit hears from us and, also, gets hit where it hurts (the pocketbook) nothing will change.

SRM
Member
I was on that train too. Was looking at refrigerators at the mall. It was pandemonium. It was not two cars. They were only running single cars to Tonnelle. It was packed like a late night Saturday PATH train. Had to fight my way off. Also it was off schedule by 10 minutes. Usually you can count on them to run exactly on schedule. The light rail folks have dropped the Tonnelle to Hoboken train, cut the train size by dangerous proportions and thrown out reliability. Wow, they are using the PATH as their role model. [quote comment=”197011″]I had an awful experience on the Light Rail yesterday…waited about 17 minutes at Pavonia with about 140 other people, plus a lovely gang of about 30 teenagers who had just been escorted out of the mall by security—some were on each other’s shoulders, and there was a lot of yelling and horseplay in a very crowded situation. When the train finally came, it was a two car affair which barely accommodated the frustrated, pushing crowd. People were pushing to get on and pushing to get off the train..I really had the feeling that a stampede could have happened at any moment. This schedule “adjustment” is not just a large inconvenience, it’s a SAFETY HAZARD. I IMPLORE everyone who is angry about this to PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TO NJ TRANSIT. It might not/probably won’t help, but it certainly can’t hurt. Please write to or call as many people in charge as you… Read more »
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