Metropark (NJT station)

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Metropark Station
Metropark Station.jpg
View from north/eastbound platform, facing SW in June 2014
Station statistics
Address 100 Middlesex-Essex Turnpike
Iselin, NJ 08830
Coordinates 40°34′05″N 74°19′47″W / 40.56808°N 74.329795°W / 40.56808; -74.329795Coordinates: 40°34′05″N 74°19′47″W / 40.56808°N 74.329795°W / 40.56808; -74.329795
Line(s)

Amtrak:

New Jersey Transit:

Connections NJT Bus NJT Bus: 48,
801–805 (Metropark loops)
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Parking 3,615 spaces
Other information
Opened 11 November 1971 (1971-11-11)
Rebuilt 2007–2010 (refurbishment)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code MET(Amtrak Only)
Owned by New Jersey Transit
Fare zone 10 (New Jersey Transit)
Traffic
Passengers (2012) 7,447 (average weekday)[1] (NJT)
Passengers (FY 2014) 381,178[2] Decrease 0.6% (Amtrak)
Services
Preceding station   BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak   Following station
Acela Express
toward Harrisburg
Keystone Service
Northeast Regional
Vermonter
weekends only
toward St. Albans
NJT logo.svg NJ Transit Rail
toward Trenton
Northeast Corridor Line

Metropark Station is a train station in Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, served by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains on the Northeast Corridor. It was built in 1971 by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the United States Department of Transportation. Its purpose was to provide a suburban park-and-ride stop for the new high-speed rail Metroliners.

Location[edit]

The station is located in the Iselin section of Woodbridge and is one of three stations NJT operates in the township along with Avenel and Woodbridge stations. Metropark's property is set between Middlesex Essex Turnpike and NJ 27 and is located near Iselin's border with the Colonia section of Woodbridge and the township's border with neighboring Edison. It is reached via Exits 130, 131, 131A, or 131B of the Garden State Parkway.

History[edit]

Metropark was one of two park-and-ride infill stations proposed in the 1960s for use by the new Metroliners, the other being Capital Beltway in Lanham, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.. The two stations were originally named Capital Beltway Metropark and Garden State Metropark, though these were shortened to Capital Beltway and Metropark, respectively. Both were conceived as public-private partnerships. Under a plan put forward in late 1968 by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) the state would contribute $648,000 toward the cost of the station, then estimated at $1,400,000.[3][4]

Amtrak service to Metropark began on November 11, 1971. The new station's cost had increased to $2.6 million, shared by NJDOT and the United States Department of Transportation. It consisted of two 850-foot (260 m) high-level platforms and had 820 parking spaces. The location was right off of the Garden State Parkway to allow for easy access by automobile and a large business park was built next to the station to entice riders. Commuter trains continued to use a station in Iselin, New Jersey.[5][6] Commuter trains began stopping at Metropark in 1972 and the nearby Iselin station was closed (and, a few years later, Colonia).[citation needed]

The station was renamed Harrison A. Williams Metropark Station in 1979, in recognition US Senator Williams' (D-NJ) support for its construction. However, the name was removed from the station after his 1980 conviction for bribery and conspiracy in the Abscam scandal.[7]

Renovation[edit]

In January 2007 NJ Transit announced a nearly $30 million renovation plan for the station, to be completed by 2010.[8] Reconstruction was completed in summer 2009, and cost $47 million. Climate-controlled shelters and LCD train information system were installed, platforms and canopies were lengthened and the station building was enlarged as part of the project. As part of the renovation new signage has been installed; all of the new signs refer to the station by its full name of "Metropark Station".

Available service[edit]

The Metropark station is served by New Jersey Transit's Northeast Corridor Line, as well as these Amtrak routes:

NJT bus route 48 also operates to the station, as well as routes 801-805, which are "loop" services connecting the station to nearby neighborhoods and towns and are operated by Academy Bus under contract with NJT.

Ridership[edit]

Amtrak[edit]

Amtrak trains skip most stations between Trenton and Newark Penn Station, but most Amtrak trains stop at Metropark despite having to switch to the outside (local) tracks to do so. Pairs of crossovers (interlockings MENLO and ISELIN) before and after the station were added about 1984 to make this easier.

New Jersey Transit[edit]

Since 2001 Metropark has been the busiest New Jersey Transit station apart from the city terminals.[9] Along with Princeton Junction in 2006, Metropark was the first non-terminal station to have over 7,000 weekday boardings.[9]

Metropark Loops[edit]

NJ Transit provides these rush hour "loop" buses servicing office parks and other areas around Metropark, operated by Academy Express LLC out of their Perth Amboy garage under contract with NJT,[10] and service on NJT 48.[11]

Route Serving Terminal
801 Lincoln Highway
Oak Tree Road
Edison
JFK Hospital
802 Green Street
Gill Lane
Woodbridge
Woodbridge Corporate Park
803 Gill Lane
Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge
Woodbridge Center OR
Woodbridge Railroad Station
804 Wood Avenue Edison
Wood Ave/Inman Ave.
805 Thornall Street
Ford Avenue
Edison
Menlo Park Mall OR
Ford Ave/Main St.

Parking[edit]

Metropark has a multi-story[12] parking facility that is open at all times. The parking fee is $5 for up to 12 hours, $7 for up to 16 hours, and $9 for up to 24 hours. Annual, semi-annual, and quarterly parking permits are available for discounted rates ($70.00 per month). Drivers may park in either of the two multi-level parking decks using their proximity card for entry and exit. Daily parking users take a ticket upon entry, which must be paid for before exiting the facility. Several self-service kiosks within the garages allow users to pay their daily parking fee before returning to their vehicle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "QUARTERLY RIDERSHIP TRENDS ANALYSIS". New Jersey Transit. December 27, 2012. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, FY2014, State of New Jersey" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Open Line". Penn Central Post. February 1969. 
  4. ^ "Commuter Rail Station in Jersey to Have Parking for 776 Cars". The New York Times. December 29, 1968. p. 54. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  5. ^ "New 'Metropark' in Northern N.J. Timed With Metroliner Extension". Bridgeport Telegram. November 6, 1971. p. 29. Retrieved October 2, 2014 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ Witkin, Richard (November 12, 1971). "A Park-and-Ride Rail Station Is Dedicated in Jersey". The New York Times. p. 49. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  7. ^ Bachrach, Judy. "Facing Expulsion from the Senate He Loves, Harrison Williams Finds Some Unlikely Supporters", People (magazine), February 1, 1982. Accessed March 5, 2011. "One of them, who asks for anonymity, recalls 'going over to Pete and Nancy's house in Westfield, N.J. and having coffee together. Pete looked about 80 years old—horrible.'"
  8. ^ Chang, Kathy (January 4, 2007). "Metropark to Get $30 Million Makeover". Edison-Metuchen Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  9. ^ a b "New Jersey Transit rail boarding numbers 2007-1999". Berkeley. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  10. ^ Metropark Loops
  11. ^ NJT 48
  12. ^ "Metropark Parking". Metropark Parking. Retrieved 2008-06-28. [dead link]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]