• Gateway without the Secaucus loop

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by Roadgeek Adam
 
pateljones wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 8:51 am
EuroStar wrote: Fri Mar 13, 2020 8:34 am Assuming comparable prices the train will always be a more comfortable and preferred ride than the bus.
I do not agree. If one works closer to the PABT, he will take the bus. Many ride Red and Tan or NJT buses from towns along the PVL. I do not see a need for the loop. Do you want to put Red&Tan out of business? That is bad public policy. A second XBL lane at the Lincoln Tunnel is a better investment. The helix is being rebuilt. Put the loop money into new rail service on the Lackawanna Cutoff that is under construction to Pennsylvania.

..............

Can we please quit with the Cut-Off talk? It's clear that we locked one thread due to it.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Many of the office jobs in Midtown Manhattan are located between the 40's streets and 59th St and many of those are located closer to the Port Authority than Penn Station. Many people who work closer to Port Authority may prefer to take the bus. As I mentioned before, many people who live in the PVL towns take the bus. Let's look at Westwood for example. NJT runs almost a "NYC subway" frequency of 165 buses heading into the city during the rush hour in the morning and then coming out from the city in the late afternoon/early evening. Several of those buses are supposed to do the trip in a little under an hour. Rockland Coaches runs buses to NY Port Authority that serve Westwood and the trip is done in just under an hour daily. Many of the NJT 165 buses that run local take an hour and twenty minutes from SEC-Port Authority Bus terminal. During the off peak hours and weekends, the 165 bus runs quite frequently for a commuter bus route. Some days are more frequent than others-weekdays and Saturdays over Sundays. Not all of the 165 buses run past Oradell though. Taking an NJT train from Westwood to Midtown Manhattan counting the transfer at Secaucus will take anywhere from 50 minutes to almost an hour, depending on how many stops the PVL train makes and of course, layover time between trains at Secaucus. I would prefer to take the train but if my job was closer to Port Authority and I left at Westwood at a time when there isn't too much traffic, then I may look into taking the bus.
Let's look at comparing times of bus trips verses train trips from Hackensack to Midtown Manhattan-the NJT 164 bus connects NYC Port Authority to Hackensack daily but not so much during the rush hour. During the rush hour, it seems like the 165 does many of the trips into the city in the am rush and then out again during the pm. There are express 165 buses that do the trip in 35-40 minutes from NYC PABT to Hackensack. A PVL line local train takes about 10 minutes longer than a 165 bus. On weekends, the 164 bus functions as the express bus and the ride takes anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes when traveling from Hackensack to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
There needs to be dedicated lanes for buses in both directions. It's also important that the Port Authority gets expanded to be able to handle more buses. It's way above capacity for buses. Much of the destinations in Midtown like Broadway Shows, classic shops, Times Sq are closer to Port Authority Bus Terminal.
  by pateljones
 
njt/mnrr buff,
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.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
[quote=pateljones post_id=1536794 time=1584311228 user_id=3831]
njt/mnrr buff,
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.
[/quote]

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.
  by CentralValleyRail
 
njt/mnrrbuff wrote: Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:37 pm Many of the office jobs in Midtown Manhattan are located between the 40's streets and 59th St and many of those are located closer to the Port Authority than Penn Station. Many people who work closer to Port Authority may prefer to take the bus. As I mentioned before, many people who live in the PVL towns take the bus. Let's look at Westwood for example. NJT runs almost a "NYC subway" frequency of 165 buses heading into the city during the rush hour in the morning and then coming out from the city in the late afternoon/early evening. Several of those buses are supposed to do the trip in a little under an hour. Rockland Coaches runs buses to NY Port Authority that serve Westwood and the trip is done in just under an hour daily. Many of the NJT 165 buses that run local take an hour and twenty minutes from SEC-Port Authority Bus terminal. During the off peak hours and weekends, the 165 bus runs quite frequently for a commuter bus route. Some days are more frequent than others-weekdays and Saturdays over Sundays. Not all of the 165 buses run past Oradell though. Taking an NJT train from Westwood to Midtown Manhattan counting the transfer at Secaucus will take anywhere from 50 minutes to almost an hour, depending on how many stops the PVL train makes and of course, layover time between trains at Secaucus. I would prefer to take the train but if my job was closer to Port Authority and I left at Westwood at a time when there isn't too much traffic, then I may look into taking the bus.
Let's look at comparing times of bus trips verses train trips from Hackensack to Midtown Manhattan-the NJT 164 bus connects NYC Port Authority to Hackensack daily but not so much during the rush hour. During the rush hour, it seems like the 165 does many of the trips into the city in the am rush and then out again during the pm. There are express 165 buses that do the trip in 35-40 minutes from NYC PABT to Hackensack. A PVL line local train takes about 10 minutes longer than a 165 bus. On weekends, the 164 bus functions as the express bus and the ride takes anywhere from 35 to 40 minutes when traveling from Hackensack to the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
There needs to be dedicated lanes for buses in both directions. It's also important that the Port Authority gets expanded to be able to handle more buses. It's way above capacity for buses. Much of the destinations in Midtown like Broadway Shows, classic shops, Times Sq are closer to Port Authority Bus Terminal.
No ones prefers to take the bus. It's just what they have available to them. People are sheep and they go wherever is easiest and offers the path of least resistance to get to. They moan and groan but they don't do anything to get a change warranted.

Even with a new PABT terminal that is likely 2x further into the future than the Gateway project you still have the glorious Lincoln Tunnel which can take between 5 minutes and 3 hours to pass thru. At least with the train you have a 90% shot of being on-time the Lincoln Tunnel is like 30%.
  by rr503
 
There's a lot more that could be done to make the PVL more attractive.

-Integrating PATH fares with NJT would make it cheaper/easier to commute via Hoboken (and really, why should you have to pay for the inconvenience of transferring). Even more pie-in-the-sky, but no less reasonable given that this is the practice in ~all other developed countries, would be integrating NJT, MTA, PATH + NY suburban bus systems into a single fare union.

-Cutting crew costs by moving to PoP ticketing could allow more service to be run cheaply, provided of course, that you build the necessary sidings.

-EMUs on lines with close stop spacing can easily be 25-50% faster than diesel hauled consists. It's really time to wire the rest of NJT.

-Positioning future sidings to allow for clockface headways is a low-cost way to make transit a lot easier to navigate. If I can rely on the fact that the train comes on the 8s and 38s all day long, it requires that much less effort to catch it.

-Beyond the prerogative of building transit ridership in general, using buses on high volume corridors (like Bergen County-PABT) is inefficient. Each bus of 50-odd people requires a driver; 1 train car can carry about twice the load. The more people you get on trains, the more $$$ you save.
  by lensovet
 
the bus is a hell of a lot cheaper though.

pop ticketing is almost certain to result in lost revenue in excess of whatever savings you get from job cuts
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
Many of the stops on the PVL are very close to each other but I don't think those communities will want to see catenary poles and wires strung in their towns. What would have been nice years ago was after the Comet I low doors were retired, NJT convert as many of those stations as possible from low level to high level platforms-start off with the stations in Hackensack and Westwood. This would help ease dwell times a little bit which would help make the train a little more attractive from the PVL stations. If NJT wants to build another siding in Oradell or somewhere else, then I'm fine with that but won't make much of a big deal out of it if it's not built.
  by Roadgeek Adam
 
rr503 wrote: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:26 pm There's a lot more that could be done to make the PVL more attractive.

-Integrating PATH fares with NJT would make it cheaper/easier to commute via Hoboken (and really, why should you have to pay for the inconvenience of transferring). Even more pie-in-the-sky, but no less reasonable given that this is the practice in ~all other developed countries, would be integrating NJT, MTA, PATH + NY suburban bus systems into a single fare union.
Your idea isn't as pie in the sky, but of course, the Raritan Valley Line is the line this would've happened on. They wanted to make that line a PATH extension to Plainfield. Never ended up happening.
  by rr503
 
lensovet wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:16 am the bus is a hell of a lot cheaper though.

pop ticketing is almost certain to result in lost revenue in excess of whatever savings you get from job cuts
Approximately the entire rest of the world uses PoP, never mind most new American rail transit systems. New York isn’t special.
Roadgeek Adam wrote: Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:47 pm
Your idea isn't as pie in the sky, but of course, the Raritan Valley Line is the line this would've happened on. They wanted to make that line a PATH extension to Plainfield. Never ended up happening.
Ah yes, I remember reading about that proposal. An interesting idea, though I’m glad it never happened — PATH sure doesn’t have the capacity to spare.

I guess where I get hung up on the supposition that fare integration is some pie in the sky is a) the fact that interagency fare coordination is an issue with multiple successful resolutions in other cities and b) the fact that we/the region is quite happy to shell out the big bucks for capital projects, but seemingly just ignore operations fixes that almost always have massively higher returns to investment.

Re: PVL and catenary, if we’re allowing the _potential_ for aesthetic objections to high impact/low cost infrastructure to guide planning, well gee, we may as well all quit and go home.