New Jersey local and state officials recently announced a commitment of $190 million for renovations and upgrades at historic Newark Penn Station.
The work is slated to begin immediately with $30 million in renovations and restorations, with additional upgrades scheduled over the next five years totaling $160 million, all funded by the state.
“Penn Station is a vital hub not just for those heading to New York City each day, but it is also a gateway to Newark and the resurgence that has taken place here over the past two decades,” said Gov. Murphy in announcing the funding in Newark. “We are thrilled to announce these renovations, which, when completed, will help restore this historic station to its former glory.”
The first phase of renovations will focus on aesthetics such as restoration of the benches in the waiting room, installation of brighter lighting, updating of the bathrooms, improved HVAC and air-handling, fresh paint and tile, and a deep clean of the limestone exterior to showcase the architecturally significant façade.
In the bus lanes, new lighting and improved drainage will improve the rider experience. Improved directional and way-finding signage will help those passing through the station’s labyrinth of platforms and hallways.
“After I secured $18 million in federal funding to improve Penn Station this year, I knew it would need state funding to provide safe and reliable transportation for millions of Americans in Newark and throughout the country,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. “This additional $190 million…will help the station survive the coronavirus global pandemic and improve the station for workers and commuters for years to come.”
Longer-term enhancements will focus on improving the station’s openness, light, and overall commuter and visitor experience. A future goal is to make Newark Penn Station more of a destination, with added dining and shopping in the concourse.
“Newark is the largest city in the state and Penn Station is a major gateway for commerce, employment, and economic development,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “It is good news that this administration understands the importance of this and are committed to ensuring that this critical piece of infrastructure has significant investment. This project is important for New Jersey as a whole, for our region, and for Newark particularly.”
Newark Penn Station is the seventh busiest rail station in North America and one of the busiest stations in the region, according to transit officials. The station is served by NJ Transit commuter trains, the Newark Light Rail, the PATH, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor services as well as serving as Newark’s main bus terminal.
Key Transit Hub
“Newark Penn Station is one of the most important, if not the most important, train station in the state. It is also one of the first things many people see when they arrive in Newark,” said State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-28). “Newark has seen considerable improvements in recent years and another way we can continue its revitalization is through projects enhancing this station.”
Opened in 1935, Newark Penn Station is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The station was originally designed and still operates pedestrian, taxi, bus and private vehicle traffic generated by the more than 50,000 transit customers who use the station each day.
“Newark Penn Station is a state and Northeast Corridor asset. It is one of the busiest rail stations in all of North America,” said State Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29). “New Jersey’s commitment to making this investment will benefit the country, the state, Newark, New Jersey but most importantly the commuters who use it as part of their daily lives.”