NJ Transit receives federal grant to study Newark Light Rail modernization

Funding will help review station design and improve ADA compliance

A modernization study that will examine options for improving New Jersey Transit‘s Newark Light Rail will be made possible through a $519,750 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, according to a Tuesday announcement.

The study will look at options for improving station design and customer experience as well as making four stations accessible to people with disabilities.

“Reliable and accessible public transportation is a lifeline for underserved communities in New Jersey,” New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti stated. “These federal funds will help ensure that Newark Light Rail customers have optimal access to public transportation.”

This study was one of 40 projects from 32 states and two territories selected to share $16.2 million to help reassess, redesign and improve transportation services in marginalized communities across the country.

This grant will assist NJ Transit in its ongoing effort to engage and expand inclusion for customers with disabilities. This study will look to make Military Park, Warren Street/NJIT, Norfolk Street and Park Avenue stations accessible to people with disabilities as well as identify other customer experience improvements. All stations currently accessible are shown on the system map with the international symbol of accessibility.

“NJ Transit will now leverage these funds as a first step in implementing a series of accessibility, service and customer experience improvements on our vital Newark Light Rail system, which the many residents of our state’s largest city rely on as their primary travel option,” NJ Transit CEO and President Kevin Corbett said. “As NJ Transit continues to aggressively pursue federal grant opportunities, we are pleased to once again be the recipient of a critically important FTA grant.”

The grant is provided through the FTA’s Areas of Persistent Poverty program. AoPP grants are awarded for planning, engineering and technical studies or financial plans to improve transit in Census-defined low-income areas. The program also supports coordinated human service transportation planning to improve transit service or provide new services, including paratransit.