Home<New Jersey<Hudson Bergen Light Rail
New Jersey Transit's
Light Rail
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The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) (Station List, Map is Clickable) is the New York Metro area's newest rail system not built to serve an airport. This 20 mile system with runs along the New Jersey side of the Hudson River Waterfront (with views of the Manhattan skyline directly from the trains) and serves this rapidly growing and redeveloping area of former industrial lands and railroad yards and terminals. The system uses 48 Kinki Sharyo articulated low-floor LRVs powered by overhead catenary. The 48 half-height platforms (maybe a foot off the ground) can all accommodate two LRVs. These are similar to the LRVs also used by the Newark City Subway (introduced around the same time) except for slightly different wheel designs. The stations all look fairly similar but are well decorated with artwork. The normal canopy structures on the platforms all have gabled roofs painted turquoise. The edges of the platforms originally had grey tactile warning strips but these are slowly being replaced by more ADA compliant and normal yellow ones. Steel pillars are the indication for a light rail station and nearly every station has one somewhere.

The system uses former railroad ROWs at its faster northern and southern ends with a newly built ROW mainly along the medians and sides of city streets between Liberty State Park and Hoboken Terminal. The southern branches were built on former Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJs) ROWs. The line to West Side Avenue is the former CNJ Newark and New York Railroad branch ROW. The line south to Bayonne the former main line of the CNJ as it headed into the Communipaw Terminal in Liberty State Park inside Jersey City that was built on the original base of the Morris Canal. The Bayonne branch of the HBLR today is complimented in most places by a still in service freight track. The northern system is built on the former Conrail River Line (originally the New Jersey Junction Railroad) connecting to the Weehawken Tunnel through the Palisades was originally built by the New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railway in 1883 (soon controlled by the New York Central) and the tunnel repurposed for light rail service with the building of the one underground station, Bergenline Avenue. NJT in order to build the light rail line paid to upgrade the North Running Track to replace the Conrail capacity lost when the freight line closed to be converted to light rail.

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has been a system, not a single line since its initial opening on April 22, 2000 and the way the different lines have been depicted on the system map has varied. Trains are always refereed to by simply their terminals, which are displayed on exterior destination signs. The only exception is Bayonne Flyer Express Service that has Bayonne Flyer on the destination signs, regardless of service direction, after the train has finished the express section they revert back to the actual destination for the final few local stops before the end of their run. Originally the branding on timetables was simply a depiction of an LRV with Hudson-Bergen Light Rail written next to it. The only logos on the LRVs were those of New Jersey Transit. With the 2006 opening of the north branch the new Purple Grey and Gold Hudson Bergen Light Rail logo debut and replaced the NJ Transit logos towards the top of the sides of the LRVs. This HBLR logo is used concurrently with the NJT logo to brand the system.

Service and Operation History:

Fare Payment:
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail operates on a Proof-of-Payment system with NJT fare enforcement and police officers checking tickets. All tickets must first be purchased from a TVM and then validated by getting stamped at fare validators for ninety minutes of unlimited travel in any direction including round-trips with stopovers permitted. The HLBR operates it its own distinctive fare zone with fares priced between a one zone ($1.50) and two-zone bus ride ($2.30) at $2.10 as of 2013. When the system opened the one-way fare was $1.50 (one-zone bus and Newark City Subway fare was $1.10). Although Newark Light Rail and RiverLine tickets look similar (and are accepted interchangeably on both systems since they charge the same $1.70 fare) they are not accepted on the HBLR. Fares are incorporated with the NJT bus system and passengers can purchase a light rail ticket and 1 zone intrastate bus transfer for 70¢ more (you'll even receive an itemized receipt for the charges making up your $2.80 purchase). HBLR in return accepts all one-way NJT bus transfers (these don't have to be validated), costing 70¢ plus bus fare. There are no free or discounted transfers for one way or round trip NJT Rail tickets, although HBLR accepts bus passes valid for 2 or more zones and weekly and monthly rail passes. In addition HBLR offers its own monthly passes (also valid for one zone bus rides) as well as a discounted joint monthly passes with NY Waterway for connecting ferry service to New York City. There are no discounted fares or passes for passengers connecting to PATH trains (HBLR TVMs sold PATH Quick Cards when they still existed) or the S89 MTA operated bus from the 34th Street (Bayonne) Station over the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island (that accepts regular MetroCards).

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Last Updated: 10 September, 2015
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