Wider GWB paths and a connected grid can draw down trips into the PABT, reduce congestion and provide critical resilience should we lose the Hudson rail tunnels.
The problem is detailed in the PA’s Trans-Hudson Commuting Capacity Study, along with criteria for strategies to reduce demand. Cycling across the GWB meets all those criteria.
- It should serve a “bus market”
- Compete on cost and travel time
- Be operationally and politically feasible
- Enhance resilience and sustainability
- Reduce “latent demand”
- Have an immediate and durable impact
- Emulate best practices
- Complement other demand reduction strategies
- Leverage secular trends
Serve a “bus market”
29K Bergen residents commute by bus to New York City. That’s 36% of all Bergen-NYC commuters and 30% of total PABT demand.
Compete on cost and travel time
Cyclists comprise all income groups while 40% of bus and 80% of ferry riders earn $100K.
Be operationally and politically feasible
Manhattan already has a robust infrastructure.
A grid across Bergen would cost a few million dollars.
170 organizations, businesses and public officials have called for wider GWB paths, including NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy and the so called “bus market” boroughs of Cliffside Park, Edgewater and Fort Lee.
Reduce latent demand
It offers a safe, healthful, fun commuting option to 51K Bergen commuters who don’t bus now, but who might with improved service.
Have an immediate and durable impact
New capacity would be online by 2020 and through 2100, reducing demand on current and replacement Terminals.
Emulate best practices
Facilitate other demand reduction strategies
Encouraging cycling, particularly with folding bikes, will increase multi-modal trips.
And the GWB wouldn’t be alone. The new Goethals will afford locals a 75 minute commute to Wall Street via the Staten Island Ferry. And the new Bayonne an hour’s.
Leverage secular trends
- Demand for all transit modes exceeds capacity.
- The region continues to build out cycling infrastructure.
- Implementation of regional imperatives to reduce GHG emissions.
- Increased use of E-bikes will extend range and shorten travel times.
- The business district expands to Upper Manhattan.
Wider GWB paths will spur new connected bikeways, expand the constituency and reduce active and latent demand on current and replacement terminals.
Does the Agency want to spend ten billion dollars on a new Terminal and have to tell travelers to “stay home”? I don’t think so.
 The 2013 US Census Journey to Work dataset puts the total size of the market for commuters from Bergen County to NYC at 80,002 people. Multiplying by an estimated bus modal share of 36.3% leaves 29,041 Bergen-NYC bus commuters, PANYNJ, THCCS, B22
 83% of ferry riders and 40% of bus customers earn $100K per year, PANYNJ, THCCS, B19
 According to the 2012 Interstate Bus Analysis, bus customers overwhelmingly walk (48.5%) or take a connecting subway (44.8%) to access their final destination. PANYNJ, THCCS, A23, B24
Note: If the replacement PABT is moved west and the surrounding neighborhood becomes more congested, that will further increase walk times.
 New York City’s bike grid has grown to 1000 miles and bike share use to 10 million trips per year. 850,000, or 10% of residents, now bike three or more times per month., Cycling in the City, NACTO-NYCDOT p. 11, http://tinyurl.com/ho9gvy5
 $13K per mile (stripes and sharrows) times 175 miles (40% of all County roads) = $2.3 million
 “Latent demand is desire for transportation unmet by existing supply. It generally cannot be observed, but can become real growth after capacity is increased.”, PANYNJ, THCCS, A44
 Aggressive implementation of a pro-cycling agenda, including bike grids, bike share, e-bikes and cycling-friendly legislation would globally reduce CO2 emissions from transport 47% by 2050 and annual transportation costs by $700 billion., A Global High Shift Cycling Scenario, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy at UC Davis, http://tinyurl.com/grrhx2s
 “(The GWB) is a fast and potentially attractive link for destinations on the Upper East Side such as Hunter College, Rockefeller University, Lenox Hill Hospital, the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as well as the major employment center of Midtown East.”, PANYNJ, THCCS, A31, B9
 MTA Travel ‘Ban’, New York Post, 6/12/17, P7