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More NJ Residents Are Commuting to Manhattan

In addition to strict population growth, a number of counties throughout the metropolitan region have also seen increases to the percentage of their residents commuting to work in Manhattan. This growth rate has been most pronounced in Essex, Passaic, and Hudson Counties, which have grown at respective rates of 27.3%, 28.9%, and 32.2% from 2002 to 2009. This growth rate can largely be attributed to the introduction of new transit options that have become available to resident populations over the past two decades, including the linking of Hoboken Division trains to Newark Division tracks to Manhattan via the Kearny Connection in 1996, the construction of the various phases of Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in from 2000 to 2011, and the construction of Secaucus Junction in 2003. In addition, the increase in county residents commuting to Manhattan is much greater than the pure population increase of residents living in a given county over the same period of time. For example, from 2000 to 2010, Bergen County grew by 2.7%, yet during the same period of time, the number of Bergen County residents commuting to Manhattan grew by 18.8%. Similarly, Essex County, NJ actually saw a decrease in population of 1.2%, yet grew by over 27% in the percentage of its residents working in Manhattan.

In contrast to the growth of Manhattan commuters within northern New Jersey counties, New York counties, including Richmond, Kings, Queens, Bronx, and Nassau counties, have all seen the percentage of their residents commuting to Manhattan drop from 2002 to 2009. Nassau County, whose population grew by approximately 0.4% from 2000 to 2010, lost close to 9% of its Manhattan commuters over the same period of time. Even Suffolk County, which grew by 5.2% from 2000 to 2010, gained only 3.4% more commuters to Manhattan, less than its total population growth over the same period of time. The only New York counties whose commuter growth eclipsed their population growth from 2002 to 2009 were Orange County, NY and Putnam County, NY, which each gained Manhattan commuters at a rate approximately double their population growth.

Next: Comparative Access to Trains Terminating in Manhattan...