PANYNJ Approves Construction for Newark AirTrain Access and Northeast Corridor Station

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of Doppelmayr

NEWARK – PANYNJ approved construction for a $160 million project that will add a pedestrian bridge and Northeast Corridor station for Elizabeth and Newark residents.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved the start of construction that will allow access to a Newark AirTrain via a flying bridge over the rail line as well as a Northeast Corridor station for those who reside in Elizabeth and Newark, according to a report from

Port Authority commissioner Leecia Eve said this is “righting a wrong. . . In addition to all the economic benefits, we can’t fully quantify how truly game-changing this will be for people who call Elizabeth home and the South Ward home.”

The Newark Airport Railroad Station opened 23 years ago, but because it was designed to be accessible only to those who ride NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak, those who live in neighborhoods on the other side of the station do not have access. Now, the $160 million project will construct a pedestrian bridge that connects the station as well as a plaza that is accessible “to pedestrians, cyclists, and those being dropped off by car or bus.” The contract for construction is expected to be awarded next year with construction beginning in 2026.

Mayor of Elizabeth and Port Authority board commissioner Christian Bollwage said after talking to a few people, they said if they could “just drop people off at the AirTrain, it would be a huge improvement instead of driving through traffic to get to the airport terminals’.”

The report goes on to say that Newark’s AirTrain will also be replaced by the Port Authority starting next year in 2025 with service expected to start in 2029. As well, the pedestrian bridge project will allow residents access to public transportation by way of NJ TRANSIT’s Northeast Corridor train line. NJ Spotlight News says “The Port Authority predicts it could generate thousands of jobs and $290 million in economic activity. It’s part of the agency’s capital program that included the award-winning new Terminal A, and a proposed $570 million new air train around Newark Airport.”

New Jersey Director for the association, a nonprofit research and advocacy group said, “We’re really excited to see this project advance, because the Regional Plan Association has been advocating to expand transit access in this region of Newark for almost two decades, if not longer. . . It’s actually a good example of a difference between transportation and mobility, because this part of Newark is so different from the rest of the city because it has almost no transit service, very low car ownership rates and is literally surrounded by transportation assets – they’re just not accessible to people who don’t own cars.”

Bus transportation that travels from the aforementioned neighborhoods to Newark Liberty can take around an hour. Once the project is completed, these trips can be around seven minutes, a substantial decrease. Over the years, a PATH train extension to Newark Airport Railroad Station was discussed, but it “does not appear to be moving forward, though a right of way is being preserved in case it does get built.” This PATH extension would have given residents of Elizabeth and Newark a travel option to Hudson County and a cheaper alternative to New York City. 

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