Metropark station from the parking deck in April 2015.
|Location||100 Middlesex-Essex Turnpike|
Iselin, NJ 08830
|Owned by||New Jersey Transit|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Station code||MET (Amtrak only)|
|Fare zone||10 (New Jersey Transit)|
|Opened||November 14, 1971|
|Passengers (2012)||7,447 (average weekday) (NJT)|
|Passengers (2017)||369,088 0.57% (Amtrak)|
Metropark is a suburban train station in Iselin, New Jersey. It is served by Amtrak and NJ Transit trains on the Northeast Corridor. It provides commuter rail access for Iselin and several surrounding towns in Middlesex County.
The station opened on November 14, 1971, and built by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and the United States Department of Transportation. Its purpose was to provide a suburban park-and-ride stop for the then-new high-speed rail Metroliners.
The station is located in the Iselin section of Woodbridge and is one of three stations NJT operates in the township along with Avenel and Woodbridge stations. Metropark's property is set between Middlesex Essex Turnpike and NJ 27 and is located near Iselin's border with the Colonia section of Woodbridge and the township's border with neighboring Edison. It is reached via Exits 131 or 132 of the Garden State Parkway.
Metropark was one of two park-and-ride infill stations proposed in the 1960s for use by the new Metroliners, the other being Capital Beltway in Lanham, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.. The two stations were originally named Capital Beltway Metropark and Garden State Metropark, though these were shortened to Capital Beltway and Metropark, respectively. Both were conceived as public-private partnerships. Under a plan put forward in late 1968 by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) the state would contribute $648,000 toward the cost of the station, then estimated at $1,400,000.
Amtrak service to Metropark began on November 14, 1971. The new station's cost had increased to $2.6 million, shared by NJDOT and the United States Department of Transportation. It consisted of two 850-foot (260 m) high-level platforms and had 820 parking spaces. The location was right off of the Garden State Parkway to allow for easy access by automobile and a large business park was built next to the station to entice riders. Commuter trains continued to use a station in Iselin, New Jersey. Commuter trains began stopping at Metropark in 1972 and the nearby Iselin station was closed (and, a few years later, Colonia).
The station was renamed Harrison A. Williams Metropark Station in 1979, in recognition of US Senator Williams' (D-NJ) support for its construction. However, the name was removed from the station after his 1980 conviction for bribery and conspiracy in the Abscam scandal.
In January 2007 NJ Transit announced a nearly $30 million renovation plan for the station, to be completed by 2010. Reconstruction was completed in summer 2009, and cost $47 million. Climate-controlled shelters and LCD train information systems were installed, platforms and canopies were lengthened and the station building was enlarged as part of the project. New signage was also installed; all of the new signs refer to the station as "Metropark Station".
The station has two high-level side platforms. Amtrak's long-haul services and most Keystone Service trains that utilize the Northeast Corridor bypass the station via the inner tracks. Until 2005, the eastbound Pennsylvanian also stopped here.
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|Track 4||Northeast Corridor Line toward Jersey Avenue or Trenton (Metuchen)|
Northeast Regional toward Northern Virginia (New Brunswick or Philadelphia)
Acela Express toward Washington, DC (Philadelphia)
Keystone toward Harrisburg (New Brunswick or Philadelphia)
Palmetto toward Savannah (New Brunswick)
|Track 3||Northeast Corridor Line PM express service does not stop here|
Amtrak Northeast Corridor services do not stop here
|Side platform, doors will open on the right|
|G||Street level||Station building and parking garage|
Amtrak trains skip most other stations between Trenton and Newark Penn Station, but many trains stop at Metropark despite having to switch to the outside (local) tracks to do so. Pairs of crossovers (interlockings MENLO and ISELIN) before and after the station were added about 1984 to make this easier.
Since 2001 Metropark has been the busiest New Jersey Transit station apart from the city terminals. Many commuters from the South Shore of Staten Island utilize this station to commute to Manhattan. Along with Princeton Junction in 2006, Metropark was the first non-terminal station to have over 7,000 weekday boardings.
NJ Transit provides rush hour "loop" buses servicing office parks and other areas around Metropark, operated by Academy Express LLC out of their Perth Amboy garage under contract with NJT, and service on NJT 48.
Oak Tree Road
Woodbridge Corporate Park
Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridge Center OR
Woodbridge Railroad Station
Wood Ave/Inman Ave.
Menlo Park Mall OR
Ford Ave/Main St.
Metropark has a multi-story parking facility that is open at all times. The parking fee is $5 for up to 12 hours, $7 for up to 16 hours, and $9 for up to 24 hours. Annual, semi-annual, and quarterly parking permits are available for discounted rates ($70.00 per month). Drivers may park in either of the two multi-level parking decks using their proximity card for entry and exit. Daily parking users take a ticket upon entry, which must be paid for before exiting the facility. Several self-service kiosks within the garages allow users to pay their daily parking fee before returning to their vehicle.