Home Hudson CountyBayonne The Ultimate Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Guide

The Ultimate Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Guide

by Christina Lombardi
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On any given day, there are plenty of ways to get around Hoboken and Jersey City.  The overabundance of transportation options in and around Hudson County is one of the many reasons why living in this area is so sought-after. Whether opting to walk, scooter, bike, or Uber (no judging!), traveling around town is relatively easy. When it comes to public transportation, most are familiar with the PATH and the NJ Transit Commuter Rail, but there is also the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail which ties together cities in Hudson and Bergen Counties. Whether you use it frequently to commute to work, or have never used it at all, we’ve got you covered on everything to know about the Light rail. Keep reading to learn more about this form of transportation that makes commuting in Hudson County super convenient.

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New Jersey’s Hudson-Bergen Light Rail began its passenger service back in April of 2000. It’s a fairly new railway service that spans 20.5 miles and ties together cities in New Jersey’s Hudson and Bergen Counties. Initially connecting Bayonne and Jersey City, it now reaches the Hoboken Terminal, the west side of Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen.  The Light rail features electric, low-floor cars that are comparable to trolley cars.  Future plans include extending westward toward the Hackensack River to accommodate the 8,000-unit Bayfront development planned between the river and Route 440.

Read More: The Best Apps to Use for Commuting in Hoboken + Jersey City

Service + Schedules

In total, there are 24 stations along the route. These include West Side Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive, Garfield Avenue, 8th Street in Bayonne, East 22nd Street in Bayonne, East 34th Street, East 45th Street, Danforth Avenue, Richard Street, Liberty State Park, Jersey Avenue, Marin Boulevard, Van Vorst Street, Essex Street, Exchange Place, Harborside, Harsimus Cove, Pavonia/Newport, Hoboken,  2nd Street, 9th Street/Congress Street, Lincoln Harbor, Port Imperial, Palisade Tunnel, Bergenline Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue.

The Light Rail runs from approximately 5AM to 1AM daily. During the week, it operates along three routes, with trains arriving every 5-15 minutes, depending on the destination. On the weekend, however, the Light Rail runs along two routes only and runs a little less frequently, so be sure to check the schedule for updates and delays.  Also, those traveling north of Hoboken Terminal are required to transfer to Pavonia-Newport to reach the terminal when commuting on the weekends. The schedule is available online at njtransit.com and also on your maps app.

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Pricing + Schedule

Light Rail tickets are available for purchase at ticket vending machines or on the NJ Transit App.  The system operates on a proof-of-payment system and tickets must be activated prior to boarding. Passengers must always be prepared to show their tickets to a Fare Enforcement Officer and passengers who do not cooperate with these rules may be fined up to $100.

Overall, the Light Rail is fairly inexpensive and a cost-saving option to get from one side of town to the other. There are various ticket options available for passengers at all different price points. For instance, a one-way ticket for adults costs $2.25, a one-way ticket for children costs $1.10, round-trip tickets for adults cost $4.50, and round-trip tickets for children costs $2.20.  If passengers prefer to purchase in bulk, a 10-trip ticket for adults $22.50, a flex pass ticket for adults costs $36 (and is valid for 30 days), and a monthly bundle $70. In addition, Reduced Fare Tickets are available for Seniors and customers with disabilities, children ages 5-11, students who live in New Jersey,  and Military personnel and their dependents. Furthermore, on weekends and holidays (from the day before a holiday until 6AM the day after a holiday), two children ages 5-11 may travel free with a passenger’s valid ticket.

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Attractions Along the Route

One of the many reasons we suggest utilizing the Light Rail service is because of the many attractions located along the route. For instance, the Liberty Science Center can be reached from the Liberty State Park station, and the Paulus Hook Historic District is within walking distance from the Essex Street station. The Goldman-Sachs Tower at the former Colgate-Palmolive Company Complex is near the Exchange Place station.  In addition, Jersey City Medical Center can be reached from the Garfield Avenue station and New Jersey City University’s campus is within walking distance of the West Side Avenue station. The Newport Mall and Target are other popular destinations for shoppers and are located a few short steps from the Newport station.

Food + Drink Along the Route

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Now, let’s talk food! There are many delicious bars and restaurants located along the Light Rail route that make it so convenient to get to for a night out, brunch, or a dinner date. For instance, DOMODOMO, Smorgasbar, Lokal, Hudson + Co, Porto Leggero, Maman, Porta, The Ashford, dullboy, Matthews Food + Drink, and Barcade, are easily accessible from Harborside or Exchange Place. In addition, Razza, Zeppelin Hall, and Taqueria Downtown, are all a short walk from the Jersey Avenue stop. In Hoboken, Northern Soul Kitchen + Bar is right off of the 2nd Street stop. In addition, the Monroe Center (the premier arts and business community), Panello, Black Rail, Shaka Kitchen, and Yuki’s Bakery + Coffee are just a stone’s throw away from 9th Street station. Also, if planning on food shopping, take the Harborside stop to reach Whole Foods in Jersey City, the Lincoln Harbor stop to go to Whole Foods in Weehawken, or the 9th Street stop to visit ShopRite.

See More: Top 6 Commuter Towns in Essex County  

Artwork Along the Route

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Another reason to take the Light Rail is to admire original artwork along the routes in Jersey City.  On the platform at Exchange Place, passengers can admire a 20-foot-long bronze relief map, designed by artist Gregg Le Fevre.  At the Liberty Science Center station, two large silver disks and a Saturn-like steel sculpture are mounted along the facility.  At the Garfield Station, life-sized porcelain and steel portraits taken from photographs of Jersey City residents by artist Grace Graupe-Pillard can be admired. Among the artworks at the Martin Luther King Drive station are engraved quotations from the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” and a sculpture of Dr. King by the artist Jonathan Shahn.  Also, a 5-by-16-foot enamel mural, “In Praise of Nature, Education, Life, and Spirit,” by former New Jersey City University professor and artist Ben Jones, is visible at the MLK Drive station as well.

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