The Newark City Subway runs 4.3 miles through Newark, New Jersey
, in what used to be the bed of the Morris Canal
. After the canal was deemed a health hazard and ordered drained and filled, the Newark portion was authorized to become a right-of-way for streetcars
in 1927. Construction began in 1929, creating a new street (Raymond Boulevard
) after it was covered. Rail was laid down and the first streetcar travelled across it in 1934.
As a WPA project, it features several mosaics depicting the transformation from canal to subway. The mosaics are currently in the Penn Station, Broad Street, Washington Street, and Warren Street stations. The stations are being renovated for the new railcars, but the architecture and mosaics will stay mostly intact.
During its heyday in the 1930's, the subway operated eight (8) services, but were eventually replaced by bus services. Today, only the #7 line operates, from the Newark/Belleville border to Penn Station. Originally, Warren Street was the southernmost termnal, but an extension to Penn Station was completed in 1937.
The #7 route is bidirectional and is as follows:
Construction is currently underway to replace the Heller and Franklin stations with a single station, to be called Branch Brook Park Station.
NJ Transit operates fares on the subway on a proof-of-payment system. Tickets must be purchased and validated (stamped) before boarding. Tickets are randomly checked before boarding, on the subway car, and at stops. Tickets cost $1 for one-way, and $1.50 during rush hour. They are purchased from vending machines that give instructions in English and Spanish.
The subway cars were vintage 1940's trolley cars, but have been replaced with longer, accordian cars. The old cars had two sets of folding doors, two-person benches on the left, and one-person seats on the right. Even with the higher capacity and moderness of the new cars, I miss the old cars. Going below the street, sometimes it seemed like entering another time.