pateljones wrote: ↑Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:27 pm
Thank you for your well thought and well stated post. I favor investing in new transit services where none exist currently and not a project that will hurt existing public transit. You expressed my idea much better.
Anytime. Thanks for the positive comment. I thought that it would be good to back up my claim with facts from comparing the NJT parallel bus routes to the PVL Line. Now let's discuss the M&BCL lines by comparing the train travel times to bus travel times from a new towns to Manhattan. From Suffern to NYP on a local train counting a transfer at Secaucus Junction, it takes about an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half. The Pt. Jervis express trains from Suffern to NYP take between 50 minutes to an hour. Coach USA Shortline buses take just about the same amount of time to NYC from Suffern that it takes on an express train from Suffern to Penn Station counting a transfer at Secaucus Jct. On weekdays, in addition to rush hour, the Coach USA Shortline bus that serves Suffern runs every 30 minutes throughout the day where the NJT trains run at least once an hour with some twice an hour gaps and of course, a lot more trains during the rush hour. During the week, the NJT trains serving stations between Mahwah and Waldwick stop pretty much once an hour during off peak hours and weekend days with a few bihourly gaps as well as twice an hour gaps. Coach USA bus from Allendale to the Port Authority during the off peak hours and on weekends takes 38 minutes. From having ridden trains on the Main & Bergen County Line north of Ridgewood several times during off peak hours and on weekends, I have noticed that ridership is hit or miss. There's probably more people who use Coach USA Shortline from the towns along Franklin Turnpike but the trains see pretty healthy ridership. During rush hour, many of the trains that stop in Suffern are some sort of express(all stops to Ridgewood and then express from there to SEC or the expresses that originate in Pt. Jervis and after Suffern, make very few stops like Ramsey Rt 17 and Ridgewood).
Ridgewood, NJ is a true public transportation hub in Bergen County. Being that numerous trains don't venture north of Waldwick and you have the trains that start out in Suffern and Pt. Jervis serve Ridgewood, we can say that several trains stop there and ridership is very strong on the rails there. When coming from NYP and heading to Ridgewood on a local train, the ride takes 55 minutes to an hour depending on whether if your train takes the County or the Main Line. If you take an express train from Ridgewood to NYP, that takes anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes. Now for the bus-NJT's 163 and 164 combined serve Ridgewood during the rush hour probably on average about 15 minutes. Overall, the ride on the NJT 163 and 164 buses are slower than the trains. Outside of rush hour, the frequencies are two to three times an hour with some of those buses running right behind each other. I believe that Coach USA Shortline runs a faster service but it doesn't serve Downtown Ridgewood. You have to go to Rt. 17 to a Park n Ride Lot at, I think, Racetrack Road. It's safe to say that the majority of people traveling to NYC from Ridgewood are taking the train.
From doing my research about whether we need the Secaucus Loop or not, my answer is no. While the train works for many communities in North Jersey including Ridgewood as well as Suffern, NY, there are many communities in North Jersey, especially along the PVL where the bus is more convenient. What I would like to see at Secaucus Junction is elevators that bring people from the NEC platforms to the lower level platforms. That would probably be more cheaper than building the loop. Plus, it would save them time from having to go upstairs again and then back downstairs.