The recent investment (estimated at $2.6 billion) in Newark real estate development will have a significant impact on Newark Light Rail and Rail ridership. This proposed study will assess ridership and current service, analyze potential growth, and allow for future adjustments to address service needs.
Mayor Baraka has expressed an interest in the redevelopment of Newark and in the investment in transportation. This is a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with the NJ TRANSIT, the City of Newark, local businesses, and other stakeholders to identify needs and to proactively address the challenges the recent real estate investments poses.
The revitalization of Newark will have a significant impact on the downtown area, particularly to Newark Broad Street and along the Morris & Essex rail line. While ridership increases are anticipated on Newark Light Rail, (as a conveyance between Newark Broad Street and Newark Penn Station) we can also expect additional ridership on local buses. Detailed data will be gathered and used with existing data already available. An assessment of current schedules, origin/destination data (that is anticipated to be collected in 2019), ridership, and hours of operation, will be performed. Demographic data, ongoing development projects, and existing land use will be reviewed. The research team will work with the key NJT staff including staff from Light Rail and Demand Forecasting group to utilize the data in NJT's demand forecasting model to identify future ridership growth that will inform decision making for future requirements and improvements.