NEWARK, NJ – New Jersey is investing $ 190 million in a massive renovation of Newark Penn Station, officials said Tuesday.
During a press conference at the station, Governor Phil Murphy said the state is releasing $ 30 million to undertake the immediate restoration of the busy transit center.
The funds will go to work such as improving the lighting and drainage of bus lanes, repairing platform screen doors, restoring benches in the station’s historic waiting room, installing LED lighting, renovating bathrooms, improving HVAC and air treatment, installing more passenger signs, painting, and power washing the limestone exterior.
Another $ 160 million in upgrades are planned over the next five years, officials said.
Longer term improvements will focus on improving “openness, light and the general commuter and visitor experience”. Officials also hope to make Newark Penn Station “more of a destination” and add more dining and shopping in the concourse.
According to state officials, Newark Penn is the seventh largest train station in North America. The station is served by the NJ Transit, Newark Light Rail, PATH, and Amtrak Northeast Corridor. The station also serves as Newark’s main bus station.
Opened in 1935, Newark Penn Station is listed on both the state and the National Register of Historic Places. The station was originally designed as an intermodal facility and is still operating to serve an increase in pedestrian, taxi, bus and individual traffic from more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station on a daily basis.
“In addition to being a major hub for those who travel to New York City every day, Penn Station is a gateway to Newark and the resurgence that has taken place here for the past two decades,” Murphy said, adding That the renovations will take place will help restore the historic station to its former glory.
We’re proud to announce $ 190 million for the renovation, restoration and improvement of Newark Penn Station, adding to the appeal of historic Newark and securing the economic future of our state. Https://t.co/VCeInyz8AE pic. twitter.com/x2yNxhRfiu
– Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) December 8, 2020
Tuesday’s announcement was greeted with enthusiastic applause from a high-ranking list of elected transportation officials and executives.
Governor Sheila Oliver – “There is no more iconic or visited landmark in the state than Newark Penn Station, and it is long overdue for it to receive the critical repairs and upgrades it needs. I’m delighted that Governor Murphy and NJ Transit are doing great. “Investing in our state’s infrastructure that not only serves our commuters, but also creates the kind of economic recovery that Newark and the surrounding communities need to thrive.”
U.S. MP Donald Payne Jr.- “After securing $ 18 million in federal funding this year to improve Penn Station, I knew it would take government funding to keep transportation safe and reliable for millions of Americans in Newark and across the country. This additional $ 190 million in renovations and restorations will help. “The station survives the global coronavirus pandemic and improves the station for workers and commuters for years to come.”
Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka – “Newark is the state’s largest city and Penn Station is a major gateway for trade, employment and economic development. It is good news that this government understands the importance of this fact and is committed to making this critical piece of infrastructure important . ” We applaud Governor Murphy’s $ 190 million federally funded program to upgrade, renovate, rebuild, and remodel Newark Penn Station. This project is important to New Jersey as a whole, to our region, and especially to Newark. “
Senator Teresa Ruiz – “Newark Penn Station is a state and Northeast Corridor asset. It is one of the busiest train stations in North America. New Jersey’s commitment to this investment will benefit the state, the largest city in Newark, New Jersey especially the commuters who use it as part of their daily lives. I commend Governor Murphy’s commitment to improving our infrastructure and look forward to seeing the impact on our city and beyond. “
Senator Ronald Reis – “Newark Penn Station is one of the most important, if not the most important, train stations in the state. It’s also one of the first things many people see when they arrive in Newark. [The city] has seen significant improvements in recent years, and another way to continue revitalization is through projects to improve this station. “
Senator Richard Codey – “I am excited to hear about upcoming improvements to Newark Penn Station, one of the busiest transportation hubs in the country and a key transportation source for many local residents. These improvements will improve the experience of every driver who passes this station. With all of the advances made in Newark under Mayor Baraka, the city is well on the way to becoming the next Jersey City in 10 years. “
NJ DOT Commissioner / Chair of the NJ Transit Board Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti – “Historic Newark Penn Station is one of the busiest and most important transportation hubs in our region, serving NJ TRANSIT rail, bus and light rail customers, as well as Amtrak and PATH. We will improve the overall station experience.”
Kevin Corbett, President and CEO of NJ Transit – “We are grateful to Governor Murphy and Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti for this generous financial commitment that has enabled us to restore this historic station to its former glory, in line with the goals set out in our recently published 10-year strategic plan NJT2030, this additional funding will allow us to do the work necessary to improve the travel experience for the thousands of customers who travel through Newark Penn Station every day. “
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr.- “Newark Penn Station is a major transportation hub and its vitality has a direct impact on the local economies in Newark and Essex Counties. The long- and short-term improvements to the station outlined by Governor Murphy will improve travel for commuters and visitors with much-needed upgrades.” on facilities and infrastructure. “
Brendan Gill, President of the Essex County Board of Commissioners – Penn Station has always been the crown jewel and centerpiece of Newark and Essex Counties. Upon arrival, guests of this historic terminal are within walking distance of major sporting events at the Prudential Center and can enjoy a memorable concert at the New Jersey Performance Arts Center for Newark and all of Essex County, that major renovations will begin in the near future, and I am also pleased with the state’s financial commitment to continue the renovations for the next five years. “
SMART-TD Local 60 Chairman General Jerome Johnson – “This is a 90 year old train station, and it further shows the Commissioner that this governor will have to deal with infrastructure problems in the state of New Jersey to open the railways to more commuters once we are out of this pandemic. Newark Penn Station, with the governor’s leadership, along with the mayor helping to revive the Newark renaissance, is just another part of the line in making this a better place. “
State Assembly members Eliana Pintor-Marin, Shanique Speight, Mila Jasey, John McKeon, Ralph Caputo, Cleopatra Tucker, Tom Giblin and Britnee Timberlake also released a joint statement in support of the massive investment in Newark Penn Station.
It is reading:
“Convenience, comfort, safety and accessibility are key components of any modern transportation hub. These planned upgrades will give Newark Penn a much-needed boost in all of these areas to improve the visitor and commuter experience who use Newark Penn Station every day.” Day and lead the train station into the 21st century … An investment in our public transport infrastructure is an investment in our economy and our communities. “
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said it was a good sign that New Jersey is investing in mass transportationnsit.
“It is important that the state repairs and renovates Newark Penn Station. That $ 190 million will help modernize one of our busiest train stations. This is a long-needed upgrade to get commuters on their way. You want to upgrade the platforms and facilitate access to various platforms, which is important for mobility. The use of LEDs helps make the train station more energy efficient The HVAC system will help cope with the critical commuting after the coronavirus. These renovations will help protect commuters during the coronavirus pandemic, avoid delays and streamline the train station. “
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