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admin 27.02.2014

October 8, 2013 by Robert MunsonThis post is part of a series called North America’s Train Stations: What Makes Them Sustainable – or Not? Photo from City of Newark websiteA visual pleasure inside and out, Newark’s Penn Station is more than a pretty face. To distinguish Economic Engines from the highest category (called the Sustainables), a related theory assumes that stations centering well their mobility networks also boost property values with more Transit Oriented Development. Usually with too little residential, Economic Engines are less complete and only stimulate the commercial downtown; but should improve the network as steps toward our more robust category.
Newark’s Penn Station is a good test of this TOD theory that transit is an economic enabler and stimulant. For more details on Newark Penn, visit this website sponsored by Amtrak that helps citizens preserve their stations.
Overall, Newark’s employers are not much different than you would expect a former industrial and port town to have after four decades of disinvestment preceded by a particularly awful 1967 race riot and very rapid white flight. As Mayor for seven years, Newark’s Cory Booker has done much to refurbish his city’s image.
Newark has an under-utilized and effective transit network.  And second, Newark is an inexpensive place to live. And because it is in-land, Newark would cost substantially less to bulwark against hurricane flooding; possibly a show-stopping cost for Manhattan and Jersey City? So if all these assumptions make sense, the clincher is: what agency helps fix this match-made-in-Heaven between the first and second largest cities in the New York metropolitan area?
I’m not done having fun with this scenario… nor laying out its logic for Newark and, by analogy, how other central stations can serve as Economic Engines.
Photo by Robert MunsonIn 1935, the City of Newark had just split the cost of building the Station. Newark Penn is an Economic Engine for the downtown that is running at, let’s say, half capacity.
There is residential work going on downtown like office tower conversions and the teachers village.
I think part of the problem with Newark is that it’s on the wrong side of the tracks, no pun intended. Enter your email to get exclusive content not posted here delivered directly to your inbox. Links on this site may contain embedded “affiliate codes.” Purchases made through these links may result in a payment to me. This 4 star hotel, located in the Newark Central Business District area of Newark, is near Prudential Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Museum, and Branch Brook Park. Granted, the company I work for was reimbursing me for my expenses, but I had such high expectations from a Hilton!
My boyfriend and I stayed at the Hilton because it was my birthday weekend and we wanted to head into the City for a party and didn't want to drive in or out. Mass transit conveniently services Devils fans from locations around New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia via the train on NJ Transit, PATH, and AMTRAK.
Located at the corner of Mulberry Street and Edison Place in Newark, Prudential Center is just a two block walk from Newark’s Historic Penn Station and a short bus ride from Newark Broad Street Station. Restaurants and many businesses in Newark’s downtown and Ironbound districts are within walking distance from Newark Penn Station and are located along the Newark Light Rail system, which connects Newark Penn Station and Newark Broad Street Station.
The complimentary shuttle service from Newark Broad Street Station to Prudential Center has been discontinued. Alternatively, customers can ride Newark Light Rail between Newark Broad Street and Newark Penn stations. The North Jersey Coast Line provides daily service between Bay Head and Newark Penn Station. The Raritan Valley Line provides service from High Bridge to Newark Penn Station on weekdays, and from Raritan to Newark Penn Station on weekends and holidays.
The Morris & Essex Lines provides daily service to Newark Broad Street Station from Gladstone and Dover via Summit.
The Montclair-Boonton Line provides weekday service only to Newark Broad Street Station from Hackettstown via Montclair. Customers requiring an elevator to access street level from the Broad Street station should travel to the Frank R.
Simple rail connections are available at Secaucus Junction from Bergen, Passaic, Rockland and Orange counties via the Main, Bergen County and Port Jervis lines. Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line trains provide daily service between Penn Station New York and Newark Penn Station, an approximate 17 to 20-minute trip.
Newark Light Rail operates between Broad Street Station (adjacent to the Newark Broad Street Station) and Newark Penn Station and between Grove Street Station in Bloomfield and Newark Penn Station. Exit the station at Market Street, walking along Raymond Plaza West and turning right on Market Street.

Walk along the pedestrian walkway adjacent to the station building until you reach Raymond Plaza West and turn left.
This strategic goal helps explain why so many cities recently want to redevelop their central stations and, in the last third of the 20th Century, why preservationists succeeded so often in keeping alive their civic centerpieces. This creates a happy economic cycle for a growing middle class that uses transit more; raising both tax and farebox revenue, while creating savings from lowered household transportation costs and government road maintenance. If a station is designed well, its functions fall into place easier and are less costly to update. With a 1935 ribbon-cutting and carefully orchestrated promotion, this equal investment from the City and Pennsylvania RR promised to work well for everyone.
Integrating its three levels, one walks down from the almost airy platforms into a concourse with a relatively high ceiling so it doesn’t seem as if eight tracks could have trains rumbling above you. Of the recent large scale construction in all of New Jersey, one-third is in Newark; despite the City having 4% of the state’s population and the disadvantage of its per household income being 42% less than the state’s.
It has combined well with the tax breaks to build a downtown sports arena for its NHL team. I add that it probably took the largest life insurer (whose portfolio is invested heavily long-term in real estate) to recognize long-term value of a town with a great station and good transit. And transit should help rebuild Newark’s middle class to overcome downtown’s main drawbacks: it has very few residents, sparse retail and partial amenities that residents require. It has the second lowest rate of car ownership, after New York City.  In addition to transit, other assets should be leveraged for downtown residential.
Because some border the downtown and are stigmatized by housing projects, this remains an obstacle. Booker to serve as its next Mayor, Newark needs a strategy that persists past his dynamic persona and take its currently stymied “Living Downtown Plan” and make it a reality. The four small cities it serves have 620,000 residents for an impressive ratio of 3 residents for every 2 riders, highly concentrated. First, Midtown Manhattan has too many people for transit improvements to work cost-effectively. Wouldn’t the world’s main financial center benefit from a farm team eight miles away that already is the nation’s third largest insurance center?  And for the common sense and stability of our financial system, shouldn’t investment banking learn something from the nation’s largest life insurer that required zero public dollars to make it through the worst real estate market since The Great Depression?  And besides, didn’t banks just make its “Wall Street West” by bringing many players to Jersey City, Newark’s peer on the PATH? Solving transit’s problems are increasingly expensive and ineffective because of how we govern our urban areas. But over-time, they must be improved as they currently use public monies very ineffectively and these otherwise could get a much higher social and economic return if invested in infrastructure. Consider the exhibit created from a brochure promoting Newark Penn at its 1935 ribbon-cutting.
Who is failing to use that asset to serve public goals?  Let’s show politicians and transit bureaucrats the light.
Unfortunately the Gateway Complex that surrounds it is truly awful from a street perspective and deadens that side of downtown, even though many of the office workers take transit. I think for Newark to really prosper the downtown must be a great heart for the city, pumping and pulsating new life throughout the city in wave after wave of revitalization or some may say gentrification (probably not so much because the city lost 40% of its peak population). Unfortunately, this now is such a political disaster with New Jersey killing the ARC tunnel and Amtrak’s Gateway hanging in the balance of a broken federal government. Renn is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an opinion-leading urban analyst, writer, and speaker on a mission to help America’s cities thrive and find sustainable success in the 21st century.
The rate for one night (taxes included) in a mediocre room next to the ice machine was $300!! The van drivers were super friendly and offered to drive my friend and I anywhere in the city. SEPTA connections are available at Trenton Station for customers from the Philadelphia area. Lautenberg Rail Station at Secaucus Junction and connect with a Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast Line train to Newark Penn Station. Prudential Center customers should connect with a Northeast Corridor or North Jersey Coast Line train at the Frank R. Parking is available at Grove Street Station, however, spaces are limited during normal business hours on weekdays. Exit the station at the Market Street exit, following the directions noted from the main waiting room. Exit the station at the Market Street exit, following the directions noted for the main waiting room. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. Seemingly married to a special Destiny, this station was born in spite of the Great Depression and has endured as a leading Economic Engine; pulling its city through half a Century of hardship. This combination puts a network on the road to fiscal sustainability; particularly as discussed in this series’ earlier article on Philadelphia’s growing middle class that resides downtown.

While having some diverse neighborhoods, Newark still has the highest poverty rate (25%) of any American city.
If a station functions well, it gets used more and it is more possible for a downtown to flourish.
The concourse then smoothly distributes passengers to parking, taxis, buses or the exquisite Art Deco detail of the waiting room pictured above all on the street level. For example, four major institutions (Rutgers-Newark, NJ Institute of Technology, the nation’s largest health service university and a community college) bring some 50,000 students to downtown’s University Heights. In this series on how stations lead transit systems that support a middle class, I cannot start or finish the argument that we have a welfare regime that perpetuates poor people’s plight.
If we are to compete in an era of sustainability and if that model rebuilds regions with mega-centers (instead of one over-crowded midtown), then the New York metro needs to take advantage of Newark’s assets and Newark needs New York’s investments. As a drain, urban poverty is a strategic obstacle that prevents transit systems from getting on a path to fiscal sustainability. It was designed in the wake of the riots with a series of skywalks, parking decks, (bad) retail, and large 6-8 lane surface roads. I’d like to explore through-routing in the future, but the politics are so convoluted and discouraging that correct concepts applied in advanced transit seem too speculative here. The New Jersey suburbs are really no less wealthy than their Long Island counterparts – ever been to Montlcair or Morristown?
The name "Hilton" has a fine reputation and this facility is convenient to the train station. As we took a shuttle to the airport from the car rental store, we saw a rainbow over the airport. After walking a few blocks in the general direction of Central Park we came across a busy stretch of road which was the run up to Times Square, a tour guide selling bus tours (of which there are hundreds) pointed us in the direction of where to get a decent breakfast advising us to avoid the "Tourist Trap" of Times Square, something which I wish we had noted for later. Light Rail service operates approximately every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 20 minutes on weekends. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. So if Newark turns around that statistic by using its transit advantage to rebuild its middle class, it further makes the social argument for every other city to invest in its station and reinvent its mobility network. The basement is a light-rail subway; a short ride connecting to universities, medical centers and the Broad Street Station. While lures other than tax breaks are used, transit is the key amenity; and Newark and New Jersey know how to use it. Mayor Booker, an African-American, has been a frontline advocate for restoring public safety.
But, we should not forget that transit is one of the easiest ways to reduce household costs; enough so every family can save more and move up the ladder.
In ways politicians obviously don’t understand, cooperation will pay great dividends to everyone. Reading this one panel below, it is clear that the Pennsylvania Railroad saw something worth promoting and, in so doing, defined this Station’s destiny.
This is a great public value and should make taxpayers feel good (something that doesn’t happen often enough). Security is a real factor in Newark, I know, but I was expecting something more attractive and comfortable for the rate charged! The front desk rarely answered my calls, and people calling me mentioned the "incompetency" of the staff numerous times.
The best part about the hotel though was definitely the service.The workers were willing to go out of their way to help you find your way around, or even give you a ride to where you needed to go. For anyone that is familiar with the comedian Patton Oswalt, all I could hear was Patton's voice saying "I want all the ham." Sparky the seat mate proceeded to **** the balance of the trip. Until that happy day, other cites can be well served by this analysis of Newark’s main station and how it encourages one of the nation’s better transit systems. This needs to continue if the downtown is to attract enough residents.  Yet continuation depends on his successor, as Mr. As the state’s largest city, Newark should be a natural mega-hub for the New York metropolis. For me, the Color Blue installation (3000 blue squares, each representing a death and each one a different hue of blue to recollect the sky that morning) was the most poignant thing there. If you are not using a rail ticket or pass to travel on connecting bus service, be sure to check NJ TRANSIT’s website or a bus schedule to determine the fare prior to traveling.

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