New Jersey Announces $190 Million for Newark Penn Station Upgrades

Newark Penn Station in 1935. (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

New Jersey is shelling out millions in taxpayer dollars to upgrade the historic Newark Penn Station.

Governor Phil Murphy announced a commitment of $190 million for the renovations. The work will begin immediately with $30 million in renovations and restorations, while $160 million in additional upgrades will take place over the next five years, officials said.

“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,” Murphy said in a news release. “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 classic 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 once again showcase the architecturally significant façade.

“Historic Newark Penn Station is one of our region’s busiest and most vital transportation hubs serving (NJ Transit) rail, bus and light rail customers, as well as Amtrak and PATH,” NJ DOT Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a news release. “It deserves this significant investment to see its grandeur restored, and at the same time we’ll be improving the overall customer experience at the station.”

In the bus lanes, new lighting and improved drainage will improve the rider experience. And improved directional and way-finding signage will help make sense of this station’s labyrinth of platforms and hallways.

“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,” state Sen. Ronald Rice, D-Newark, said in a news release. “Newark has seen considerable improvements in recent years and another way we can continue its revitalization is through projects enhancing this station.”

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