Think New Jersey Isn’t Tops for Transit? Think Again.

10 Jan

Forbes just came out with a list of America’s “Top Public Transportation Cities” and, what might come as a surprise to some (but not us!), the city of Hoboken tops the list, thanks to the fact that the city’s public transportation use is higher than any other city in the country, with an estimated 56% of Hoboken’s workforce commuting each day via public transportation.

The city’s aggressive promotion of public transit as well as walking and biking is becoming the stuff of transportation-nerd legend; we’ve written about their terrific initiatives before. Hoboken is so serious about reducing the role of the personal automobile that it partnered with Hertz to initiate the nation’s first car sharing program, which now boasts 42 vehicles and 1,600 members. There are three shuttle bus services running through town and city employees can’t keep up with the demand for bike racks at Hoboken’s PATH station.

Realistically, the current land use patterns in GMTMA’s region aren’t going to get it to the top of this kind of list any time soon. Still, our region is quite transit-rich, with multiple train lines and a large number of bus routes frequenting the area, not to mention all of the various shuttles and vanpools available. To learn more about ways to make your commute less auto-centric, check out our website.

 To determine America’s top public transportation cities, Forbes looked at estimates of the percent of workers 16 years of age or older who traveled from their community to work by public transportation from 2005 to 2009, provided in the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey. With an estimated 54.7% of its workers using public transportation, New York has the second-highest rate of public transportation use in the nation. (The reason New York is not number one is largely due to its less urbanized areas like Staten Island.) Still, the New York region is by far more dependent on public transportation than any other section of the U.S. — New York and its suburbs represent about one quarter of the nation’s public transportation sector and eight of the top ten public transportation cities in America. Five of those towns—Hoboken, Jersey City, West New York, Guttenberg and Union City—are clustered on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. All these places are linked together with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and have access to N.Y. Waterway ferry docks. The PATH network also plays a significant role in the commutes of many people who live on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.

 

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