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Mass transit plan on track for Prudential Center opening

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Devils Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek at Tuesday's press conference to unveil enhanced mass transit options for Prudential Center events.

Click here to plan your trip to Prudential Center using mass transit. – Devils fans, your ride is ready.

Devils Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek on Tuesday joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker
to announce all-new transit plans that will take effect for the opening of Prudential Center later this month.

NJ Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Executive Director Susan Bass Levin also attended the event, held at Newark's historic Penn Station.

"These are exciting times for the city of Newark, as we are just 18 days away from the opening of Prudential Center," Mayor Booker said. "Right now we are preparing in every single way. One of the challenges we are going to have is transportation, but we are very blessed already with the region's best transportation super-structure.

In response to growing ridership in Newark, NJ Transit will add new late-evening express service on several rail lines, which will also provide arena guests more convenient travel options after Devils games, concerts and other events.

"On October 25, Newark will join a select group of cities whose arenas enjoy direct access to world-class public transportation,” Vanderbeek said. “We encourage guests to take advantage of the robust train, bus and light rail service within steps of Prudential Center.
Between the city of Newark, the Port Authority and New Jersey Transit, I could not have asked for a better partnership.

Newark's Penn Station will be a vital transportation hub for Prudential Center visitors.
The City of Newark is served by six of NJ Transit's 11 rail lines, more than two dozen bus routes and the Newark Light Rail system, making it possible to travel to Prudential Center from communities throughout New Jersey and the region. Prudential Center is located two blocks from Newark Penn Station and is just a short bus ride from Newark Broad Street Station.

To meet growing demand and to provide additional travel options for customers returning home from evening events, NJ Transit announced that it would add new late-evening weekday express service on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) when new timetables take effect on October 28.

Four new express trains will be added to the Northeast Corridor schedule after 9:20 p.m., serving Newark Liberty International Airport, then expressing to New Brunswick, Princeton Junction, Hamilton and Trenton.

Three new express trains to Long Branch will be added to the North Jersey Coast Line schedule, in addition to local trains terminating in South Amboy. Between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., NJCL customers will now enjoy at least two departures per hour from New York and Newark.  Currently, NJ Transit operates one train per hour after 9 p.m. 

These new trains will originate at New York Penn Station, benefiting customers returning home from late-evening activities in Manhattan, and will operate Monday through Friday, regardless of whether there is an event at Prudential Center.

On the Raritan Valley Line, train 5457, the 11:07 p.m. departure from Newark Penn Station will be extended to High Bridge and renumbered as train 5757.  (Train 5457 currently terminates in Raritan.)
To ensure that arena visitors have up-to-the-minute train information for their return trip, NJ Transit has worked with the Prudential Center to provide real-time departure information for Newark Penn and Newark Broad Street stations within the arena. The departure information will be displayed on LCD screens on the arena concourse, enabling guests to check the status of their train and determine the track number prior to walking to the station.

NJ Transit has also announced that it would extend the hours of operation for the ticket windows, information booth and waiting room at Newark Penn Station.  The ticket windows and information booth will remain open until 11 p.m. nightly, an hour later than today, while the waiting room will remain open until midnight.  On nights with arena events, the customer service office will remain open until midnight.  (Currently, customer service representatives are available until 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 8 p.m. on weekends.)
Other NJ Transit improvements include:
  • New information kiosks will be installed at Newark Penn Station displaying Downtown Newark maps.
  • More than 500 NJ Transit buses will have their electronic displays reprogrammed to read “VIA PRUDENTIAL CTR” if the bus serves the new arena.
  • A ticket vending machine will be installed within the Prudential Center, adjacent to the Box Office.
Mayor Booker announced that Newark would issue an alert to motorists – called a “SlowGo Traffic Advisory" – on certain days when arena events and normal downtown traffic could result in significant traffic congestion.  On these days in particular, the Mayor said, motorists would be urged to use public transportation to access Newark’s Central Business District, an area bound by Newark Penn Station, Newark Broad Street Station, Broad Street and Market Street.
The City of Newark has issued SlowGo advisories for the following dates: 
Thursday, October 25 (Bon Jovi concert at 7:30 p.m.)
Friday, October 26 (Bon Jovi concert at 7:30 p.m.)
Saturday, October 27 (Devils vs. Ottawa at 7:00 p.m.)
Monday, October 29 (Bon Jovi concert at 7:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, October 30 (
Bon Jovi concert at 7:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, October 31 (
Devils vs. Tampa Bay at 7:00 p.m.)
Friday, November 2 (Devils vs. Toronto at 7:00 p.m.)
NJ Transit is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 865,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

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