Hackensack as a long-time transit hub - The River

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Hackensack as a long-time transit hub - The River

Journeys into Hackensack

In February, 2016 Hackensack became the 31st community in New Jersey to receive the designation Transit Village.

Most of those other transit village communities were so designated because of their connection to rail service. Though Hackensack has is blessed with two rights of way, and two stops along N.J. Transit's Pascack Valley line, the focal point of its designation was Hackensack Bus Terminal. The bus terminal provides access to 12 different NJ TRANSIT bus routes, and connects riders to the George Washington Bridge Bus Station as well as to Jersey City and Newark and many northern New Jersey locations.

The idea of the transit village is that it serves as an anchor Hackensack's downtown redevelopment plan for the area within a half-mile of the terminal. The plan promotes retail and commercial improvements and aims to create a connected community around all three transit facilities.

Notwithstanding the excitement this designation is creating, Hackensack has long been a transportation hub.

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We came across a wonderful source of information about Hackensack's history and it is very entertaining and easy to read ("Historic Facts about Hackensack", compiled and written by George Mercer Scudder, September, 1999). Part of it outlines Hackensack's changing role in transportation over the years. We share it with you here and highly recommend it to you. This is Part 1, dealing with the transportation on the Hackensack River:

The Hackensack River was a good navigable waterway in the 1600's, 1700's and 1800's, hauling cargo in and out as far north as the pier at River Edge (then Demarest Landing).

Schooners plied their trade up and down the Hackensack River until the early 1900's when the railroads and highway. travel became cheaper and less time consuming.

Records show that much lumber, farm produce and building materials were transported on the river during these years. In 1862 and 1863 it was reported that the schooners "John Anderson, "D.A. Berry", and "Haxall" out of Hackensack were moving clothing and supplies for the Union forces during the Civil War.

Image credit: Bergen County Historical Society