Notice more traffic? Steady rise in driving is making NJ roads look back to normal
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Traffic levels between New Jersey and New York City are almost back to normal.
The number of cars crossing the Hudson River has been creeping to pre-pandemic levels for months and is now within reach, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Overall traffic at the Port Authority's four bridges and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels was down about 2% last month compared to June 2019, with truck traffic showing a 7% increase. Crossings at the George Washington Bridge, the heaviest-traveled span, dipped from January to February this year then rose more than 35% through May.
Meanwhile, public transit ridership continues to lag, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that reflect a regional trend with ridership on PATH trains down 63% compared to 2019.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has reported similar trends in recent months as subway and bus ridership remains below 50% of pre-pandemic levels. NJ Transit's rail ridership is around 50% of pre-pandemic levels, as weekends have shot up to nearly 80% of 2019 numbers. Bus ridership on NJ Transit is around 60%.
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Officials are concerned that public transit ridership may not rebound for years due to concerns over the coronavirus and that could lead to more gridlock on the roads.
The Port Authority also reported passenger volumes at JFK, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports were down about 62% in the first six months of 2021 compared to 2019, though June's numbers were down 47%.
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The ports that make up the Port of New York and New Jersey complex continued to handle high cargo volumes and have had 11 consecutive months of growth, according to the Port Authority. They set an all-time container record in June with roughly 750,000 20-foot equivalent units handled.
Staff Writer Colleen Wilson contributed to this story.