HBLR Green Route

Hoboken Terminal to Tonnelle Ave

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has three routes, labeled by their colors, each serving the different branches of the system. The Blue Route runs from Hoboken Terminal to 8th Street, the Gold Route runs from West Side Ave to Tonnelle Ave, and this, the Green Route, runs from Hoboken Terminal to Tonnelle Ave. It is an oddity in the system, running weekdays only, as well as being the only route to use single-car trains. I rode it on a very rainy Tuesday afternoon, so apologies in advance for the blurry photos to come. Without any further ado, let's start the review!

I boarded our little single-car train at Hoboken Terminal, and we headed out of the station, passing the massive NJT Hoboken rail yard. We crossed over a small inlet of the Hudson River, and proceeded onto a viaduct, where we passed through Hoboken Junction, a wye which all the light rail routes use.

My train at Hoboken Terminal

Hoboken Junction

We soon turned onto the former Conrail River Line, which NJT bought to operate the light rail on. We crossed Paterson Plank Rd, and headed north, stopping at 2nd St station. North of this station, we hugged the base of the Palisades, running in a narrow space between them and the city of Hoboken.

Turning north onto the former River Line

Crossing Paterson Plank Rd

We made a quick stop at 9th St station, before passing a middle layup track and passing under the 14th St viaduct. We then turned east, exiting Hoboken, and crossing under Willow and Park Aves. We then turned north, now in Weehawken, and crossed 19th St.

9th St station

Crossing under Willow Ave

We pulled into Lincoln Harbor station, where quite a few people got off, and then passed under the Lincoln Tunnel Helix, crossed over Baldwin Av, and passed by the Lincoln Tunnel Ventilation Building, now running right next to Port Imperial Blvd.

Lincoln Harbor station

Crossing over Baldwin Av

We pulled into Port Imperial station, (oddly signed as Port Imperial Ferry) and then entered the Weehawken Tunnel, originally opened in 1886, closed in 1959, then repurposed for the light rail in 2006. Midway through the tunnel, we stopped at Bergenline Ave.

Port Imperial station

A...slanted...view of Bergenline Ave station

After a lot of people got both on and off at Bergenline Ave, we continued through the tunnel, eventually surfacing in an open cut. We switched tracks, then headed uphill towards the CSX yard, but stopped just short by pulling into Tonnelle Ave station, the last stop.

Switching tracks

Tonelle Ave station

I forgot to get a pic at Tonnelle Ave, so here's a different train on Essex Street in Jersey City

Route: HBLR Green Route (Hoboken Terminal to Tonnelle Ave)

Ridership: The entire system got 51,939 riders per weekday in 2017, and since the route operates on about 1/3 of the total track mileage, and all stations are shared with another route, divide 51,939 by 6 to get a rough estimate of 8,656 people per day. That is quite good for a light rail line, and amazing compared to bus services in the area.

Pros: It is incredibly fast, and it, along with the other two routes, connect Hudson County very well. Also, the frequencies on weekdays are very good, and while this route doesn't run on weekends, the other routes aren't horrible on weekends either, which is a nice change of pace compared to some transit systems.

Cons: They should run this on weekends, and the system should probably be extended north to Bergen County

Nearby and Noteworthy: Union City, accessed by the Bergenline Av stop, has a strong Latin American influence, and you can find some great food there!

Final Verdict: 9.5/10

Seriously, this would get a 10 if it ran on weekends. That's my only complaint. HBLR, good job.