This type of development is called an infill station, so called because it fills in a gap between existing stations.
Since it took over the statewide rail system, NJ Transit has built some very successful infill stations.
On the Northeast Corridor Line, some of the busiest stops were only recently built. Hamilton, with its massive parking structure, opened in 1999 and Newark Airport opened in 2001. The Raritan Valley Line’s last stop until Newark used to be Roselle Park until 2004, when Union station opened adjacent to Kean University. It’s now one of the busiest stops on the line.
NJT’s progress in building new infill stations has slowed in the past couple years as funding has dried up. The most recent infill station to open was the Pennsauken Transit Center, a connecting the Atlantic City Line and River Line, in 2013. It might be too early to judge the success of this station, but it was used by an average of 75 passengers per day in 2014.
There have been proposals for several other infill stations on the NJ Transit system:
1. North Brunswick This stop would be situated on the Northeast Corridor Line between Jersey Avenue and Princeton Junction- currently a gap of 14 miles between stations. The station depends on NJ Transit’s mid-line loop project, a proposed flyover that would allow trains to cross over all 4 tracks.
2. Wesmont will be a station in Wood-Ridge, NJ on the Bergen County Line, opening in 2015 or 2016. Construction on the station is mostly finished.
The nearest station is Garfield, one mile to the north. Like North Brunswick, this station would also be accompanied by a major transit-oriented development nearby.
3. 18th Street, Jersey City would be the an infill station on the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, near the border with Hoboken. In 2012, NJ Transit received $400,000 for a study on the new station.
The site is in an industrial, redevelopable area of Jersey City that has been branded “SoHo West” by real estate interests. The station would only be financially feasible if NJ Transit received a contribution from nearby developers.
4. 17th Street, Hoboken There is no street called 17th Street in Hoboken, but a developer, Rockefeller Group, proposed a large new complex including a 40-story office tower at the North End of Hoboken, which would include a new street and an HBLR station named after it. The station and the associated development were implicated in a scandal wherein Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Hurricane Sandy funds were being withheld from the city in order to secure approval of the project
The stop would fill in a gap between 9th Street and Lincoln Harbor.
5. Canal Crossing is a proposed new residential district in Jersey City, in a currently-industrial section south of Communipaw. The development would include 7,000 new housing units, a new street grid and a light rail station at Caven Point Avenue, on the HBLR line to Bayonne.
This is a long-term project for Jersey City and construction has not started.
6. Ampere In 2005, the City of East Orange commissioned a report on reopening Ampere Station on the Montclair Line, originally closed in 1991, finding that a new station would see about 500 riders a day. The station originally closed because of low ridership, when there was only limited rush hour service to Newark and Hoboken. Trains now run to New York and operate all day.
No progress on this proposal has been made since 2005.
7. South Street, Newark has never been formally proposed as an infill station, but it could potentially be an intermediate stop of the Port Authority’s PATH extension to Newark Airport.
South Street is about a mile south of Newark Penn Station and was the site of a small train station that served the Ironbound and Lincoln Park areas of Newark until 1974. Multiple commentators have proposed South Street as a stop on the new PATH extension, but the most likely outcome is that it will not be included in the project.
An infill station adds roughly 60-90 seconds to a train’s schedule, depending on the type of train and how many passengers use the stop. The inconvenience to other train passengers is minimal, but the benefit for passengers at the new station is significant. It’s a strategy to make better use out of the transit system we have, rather than spending millions of dollars on expensive extensions out into the fringes of suburbia.