How It All Began

Happy 42nd Birthday NJ TRANSIT!
We would like to share how NJ TRANSIT was born! It all started on July 17, 1979, with the Public Transportation Act of 1979, which established NJ TRANSIT to “acquire, operate and contract for transportation service in the public interest.” 

In January 1980, NJ TRANSIT purchased Transport of New Jersey, which was the state’s largest private bus company at the time. That also included the purchase of the Newark City Subway. 


On January 1, 1983, NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations, Inc. was launched to assume operations of commuter rail service in the state after Congress ordered Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) to cease its passenger operations. Lastly, a third subsidiary, NJ TRANSIT Mercer, Inc., was established in 1984 when the agency assumed operation of bus service in the Trenton/Mercer County area. In 1992, all three subsidiaries were unified, and operations were streamlined. 

In January 1983, the New Jersey Transit Police Department was created. Today, the New Jersey Transit Police Department is the only transit policing agency in the country with statewide authority and jurisdiction.

We’ve had many successes along the way. Among them is the June 1996 launch of MidTOWN DIRECT service on the Morris & Essex Lines. The direct connection of our rail system’s Hoboken Division to Penn Station New York was a pivotal point in the history of the agency and set the upward trend in rail ridership experienced for more than two decades.

In 2003, we opened Secaucus Junction. The historic $450 million station connects 10 of NJ TRANSIT’s 11 rail lines. Secaucus Junction provides rail customers with travel options to popular destinations such as New York City, Newark Liberty International Airport, downtown Newark, Trenton, eight New Jersey Universities, and the Jersey Shore.

Other major projects throughout the years included the opening of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR). The HBLR connects the communities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen. 

NJ TRANSIT’s success story isn’t over yet. In fact, over the last three years, we’ve been busy making a number of improvements that will have long-lasting benefits for customers for years to come. Check out our list of accomplishments in the “While You’ve Been Away” campaign.
Today, NJ TRANSIT covers a service area of 5,325 square miles and is the nation's third largest provider of bus, rail, and light rail transit, linking major points in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. The agency operates 253 bus routes, 12 rail lines, and three light rail lines statewide, as well as Access Link (paratransit service), providing nearly 270 million passenger trips each year.