Reimagining The Hop as Hoboken’s Hyperlocal Transit Backbone

Access to transit is a major selling point for real estate developments. In Hoboken, an increasing number of residential buildings offer shuttles to the city’s main transit hub. These shuttles can streamline trips with luggage or strollers, and keep people dry during rainstorms, or warm in winter, but they also contribute to congestion on Hoboken’s Streets, aren’t open to everyone, and draw people away who might otherwise ride The Hop, Hoboken’s municipal shuttle. NJ.com reported that 2015 expenses for the Hop totaled $332,000, with a fare box recovery of $74,335, or 22%. That’s dismally low for a city in which 57.6% of residents use public transit, the highest percentage in the country.

Hoboken could make the Hop into an indispensable, hyperlocal transit backbone with expanded service, and an iconic fleet.

Hoboken could make the Hop into an indispensable, hyperlocal transit backbone with expanded service, and an iconic fleet.

Reimagined Hop service that is more frequent, reaches the residential developments that currently run private shuttles, and has extended operating hours beyond the current 7AM-8PM service could get real estate developments out of the business of running overlapping, redundant transit services, cut congestion on Hoboken’s streets, and provide significant benefits to both the general public and the residents of these developments. Continues…

Regional Transit Diagram: Good Start, but New York & New Jersey Need a Better Transit User Experience

In 2013, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey released a Regional Transit Diagram–dubbed the first of its kind for the region–to help fans and media visiting for Super Bowl XLVIII in early 2014. The diagram was designed by Yoshiki Waterhouse of Vignelli Associates, in a style reminiscent of the 1972 subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli. It depicts the New York City Subway, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North in Manhattan below 96th Street, and PATH, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, Newark Light Rail, and NJ Transit passenger rail service in Hoboken, Jersey City, Newark, and adjoining areas in New Jersey.

Regional Transit Diagram

Regional Transit Diagram

The Regional Transit Diagram represents the kind of collaboration that’s sorely needed among the key agencies for the nation’s most transit-rich region, but the diagram suffers from some limitations that show us why we need a better transit user experience. Continues…

Hudson Place: A New Public Plaza at Hoboken Terminal

Imagine stepping off your bus, ferry, or train at Hoboken Terminal and onto a new public plaza at Hudson Place. From spring to fall, you can shop at the downtown farmers’ market, and enjoy expanded outdoor seating at adjacent restaurants and bars. A pop-up holiday market brings cheer to the cold winter months. Year-round, Hoboken has a safe, and welcoming civic space at its namesake transit hub.

Hudson Place Pedestrian Plaza

Year-round, Hoboken has a new, safe, and welcoming civic space at its namesake transit hub.

It’s possible, if Hudson Place is closed to traffic between Hudson and River Streets. Creating the Hudson Place public plaza improves safety for the tens of thousands of pedestrians who use mass transit at Hoboken Terminal, and creates a better environment for the local businesses that depend on foot traffic. It improves transit access and traffic flow on the surrounding streets, provides safer space to drop off and pick up transit riders, and increases bicycle and vehicle parking. It is the result of a yearlong study of traffic patterns, pedestrian volumes, sidewalk infrastructure, and development plans for southeast Hoboken. Continues…

What’s Involved in Upgrading a Century-old Subway Signal System?

Transit systems like PATH and the New York City Subway need ongoing maintenance to maintain frequent and reliable service. Since both operate 24/7, work is often squeezed in during nights and weekends when passenger demand is lighter. But sometimes larger work periods are needed for major projects like the complete overhaul of a century-old signal system, deep cleaning and repair of tunnels damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and construction of new stations, like the World Trade Center Transportation Hub built to replace the one lost on September 11, 2001.

Diagram of PATH routes designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects

Over the past several years, PATH service has been suspended in segments of the subway system connecting NY & NJ on weekends to give crews the longer time blocks necessary to make major repairs and upgrades. In 2014 and 2015, service between Exchange Place in Jersey City and the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan was suspended on some weekends from 11PM Friday-5AM Monday, and in 2016 Hoboken-33rd Street service was suspended for 17 weekends between August and December. Continues…

Towers & Transit: Real Estate Projects Should Help Pay for Transportation Improvements

The Wall Street Journal article PATH Strains Under Housing Boom examines an important issue: the interplay between transit capacity and real estate development, with a focus on PATH ridership growth as neighborhoods in Jersey City and Hoboken served by the subway connecting NY & NJ continue to experience strong growth.

7 Extension - 34 St Hudson Yards exterior

The 7 Train extension to Hudson Yards was funded by New York City using bonds backed by future tax revenues from the new Hudson Yards neighborhood.

Port Authority chairman John Degnan noted that the agency is looking to the cities served by PATH, and the real estate developers who build new projects in close proximity to PATH stations, to help fund capacity upgrades. Continues…

Joy, Reflection Mark Opening of WTC Hub and Subway-PATH Connection

A few weeks before the opening of the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, PATH invited journalists and members of the PATH Riders Council for a behind-the-scenes tour.

WTC Transportation Hub at night

WTC Transportation Hub at night

The new Transportation Hub is the fourth station to occupy the site. The first, built in 1909 as the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad’s Hudson Terminal, was replaced by a new station in 1971 under the original World Trade Center twin towers. After that station was destroyed on September 11, 2001, a temporary station opened in 2003. In October 2013, the West Concourse – the first portion of the new Hub – opened, connecting the Transportation Hub and Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center). Platform A opened to regular PATH service in February 2014, followed by Platform B in May 2015. Continues…

What’s the Best Use of Street Space in an Urban Area?

UPDATE: You spoke, and the City Council listened. Enough residents spoke at the April 26, 2016 meeting to convince the City Council to vote to approve a resolution to convert parking spaces to accommodate deliveries. The new Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open in May 2017.

Hoboken, Inc. reports that the fate of a much-anticipated Trader Joe’s supermarket in the north end of Hoboken may come down to 24 on-street parking spaces.

Trader Joe's Hoboken Harlow

Trader Joe’s will occupy the ground floor space in Harlow, a mixed-use development at the corner of 14th Street and Willow Avenue in Hoboken.

Roads and streets existed long before cars, and the notion that a public good should be made available for free or below market prices to a single class of private users is a pretty unfair distribution of public resources. The idea that a small reduction in on-street parking could be an obstacle to the addition of a much-desired and much-needed business shows just how much we miss the mark when parking is considered the highest-priority use of street space in an urban area. Continues…

Berlin’s Two Transit Agencies Appear on a Single Subway Map

New York & New Jersey Subway Map shows how we can give people a comprehensive view of transit options in the NYC region. The map generated lively discussion on SubChat, a popular transit discussion board, and commenter AEM-7AC #901 noted that the official rail rapid transit map in Berlin displays services provided by two agencies.

SU-Bahn-Ausschnitt_AB

Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn have different owners, BVG and DB respectively, yet somehow, the concept of leaving the other off the map is seen as silly. The notion that we should only have an “MTA map” with MTA services is rather silly, especially when the bus maps in Queens listed the private bus lines on the NYCTA maps when they operated. I just don’t see the need to pretend that PATH doesn’t exist just because it goes to that place where “dragons may be” and has “train engineers” in lieu of train operators on what are essentially smaller versions of an R-160. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the subway to Hoboken, Jersey City, and Newark.

Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is the main public transport agency in Berlin, which manages the U-Bahn subway, as well as bus, ferry, and tram networks. Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the German national railway company, which manages the S-Bahn regional rail service. They appear together on the city’s official transit map, and operate with a unified fare structure and payment system. Continues…

99 Hudson Street: Jersey City’s Tallest Tower to be Built at Transit Nexus

Ground was broken on January 28th, 2016 for a 900-foot-tall residential tower in Jersey City, at 99 Hudson Street. The tower will be the tallest in both Jersey City and New Jersey, and it is located at the Exchange Place transit hub, with PATH subway, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and ferry service within two blocks. Future residents will have multiple transit options, and commute times ranging from 5-10 minutes to Downtown Manhattan, and 15 minutes to Midtown.

99 Hudson St & Jersey City Skyline at Dusk

According to a press release issued in January 2015 from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s office, the tower would contain 760 condominium units. A residential project of this size reflects the growing interest in urban neighborhoods in close proximity to Manhattan, and this project adds significant momentum to the already robust residential development on the Hudson Waterfront that in 2014 surpassed the previous peak seen in 2008. Continues…

Plan B for Penn Station Expansion?

Could Penn Station finally get a grand new entrance on Eighth Avenue? In December 2015, Charles V. Bagli reported in the New York Times that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was considering ways to jumpstart the long-running project to overhaul Penn Station.

Perhaps with an eye toward an announcement at the governor’s State of the State speech in January, state officials are considering a Plan B, including reviving the idea of moving the 5,600-seat theater beneath Madison Square Garden…That would allow for an expansion of Penn Station and new entrances on Eighth Avenue.

On January 6, 2016, Cuomo announced the project, dubbed the Empire Station Complex, as part of his 2016 agenda. Continues…

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