New Jersey Transit, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla and Hoboken officials today unveiled a series of improvements to bus service in Hoboken to increase capacity, create efficiencies, enhance convenience and reduce wait times. The No. 126 bus line in Hoboken, already one of the busiest NJ TRANSIT lines in the state, will now have the capacity to better serve its customers thanks to improvements including additional stops and new buses.
“Today, we celebrate a range of new improvements to NJ TRANSIT’s 126 bus route – an indispensable route for Hoboken residents traveling to New York City and one of the most heavily-used routes in our entire system,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “These improvements include the introduction of our new articulated buses on this route earlier this year, which adds much needed capacity and features many new customer amenities. We were pleased to partner with Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken to further improve the customer experience by making adjustments to bus stops along the route, which are expected to reduce wait times and promote distancing onboard to the greatest extent possible.”
“Hoboken is committed to working with our partners in government to improve our mass transit infrastructure, and we are thrilled to modernize our bus stops in partnership with NJ TRANSIT,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “Along with the new, articulated buses, Hoboken residents will have improved access and shorter wait times during rush hour and have more reliable transit into New York City. Thank you to President & CEO Corbett and his entire staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of our community.”
Also joining New Jersey Transit and Mayor Bhalla this morning for the announcement were Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, Councilman Phil Cohen, and Bike Hoboken President Chris Adair, who all spoke about the importance of mass transit improvements along the 126 bus line.
The improvement plan includes the following:
-Moving the stop at 6th and Clinton streets one block south to 5th Street. The new stop location is longer than the previous one at 6th, allowing more room for larger articulated buses, and boasts a wider sidewalk, allowing for a large shelter and other amenities. Moving from 6th Street to the new location at 5th Street also prevents buses from blocking the intersection and a private driveway, as well as the intersection’s pedestrian crosswalk. The new bus stop at 5th Street includes proper layover space for buses in an effort to help NJ TRANSIT improve service and reduce wait times during peak periods farther uptown along the 126 route on Clinton Street.
-Adding a stop on Clinton Street between 7th and 8th. With this additional stop, there will now be a stop every other block between Observer Highway and 11th Street. This site was chosen specifically to minimize the impact on curbside parking in the area.
-Formalizing the “courtesy stop” at Willow Avenue and 2nd Street. Previously an unsigned and unscheduled stop, the new stop will serve an area that had an unusually long distance between stops.
-Updated parking restrictions prohibiting parking during the 4 to 7 p.m. rush hour at bus stops. Until now, buses have often been unable to pull to the curb due to the presence of parked vehicles, leading to unsafe conditions and extra traffic congestion. “No parking” signage has been updated as part of this improvement.
Additionally, the new articulated buses being deployed on the route will increase onboard customer capacity by 65-percent compared to an average commuter bus.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, these larger buses allow for better distancing as a precaution against the spread of the virus. The new articulated buses include other features to improve service and accessibility, including low floors to speed up the boarding and alighting process; wheelchair ramps; an improved intercom system; USB charging ports; and camera systems to improve customer safety.
NJ TRANSIT is in the process of replacing all of the current 85 articulated buses in the fleet with the new buses while adding 25 additional articulated buses to expand the fleet to 110.
NJ TRANSIT worked in coordination with personnel from Hoboken’s Department of Transportation and Parking as well as the Office of the City Engineer culminating in a comprehensive plan to increase capacity and access along the route.
These upgrades come as the City of Hoboken makes its own streetscape improvements, including more signage, better striping and other pedestrian-safety features.