Both Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) have thrown their support behind building an aerial gondola that would connect the Peninsula City to Staten Island.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œThe City of Bayonne is always looking for innovative ways to improve our mass transit and
when the SIEDC presented this idea to me I was intrigued,” Davis said in a statement.
“Thanks to their flexibility and adaptability, aerial gondolas really do present the next frontier of regional transit for the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area and are ideal for an urban environment such as Bayonne.”
Recently, Davis, Chiaravalloti and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) met with representatives from the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) to discuss the project and how to advance it to the next phase â€“ an engineering and feasibility study for the system.
The SIEDC initiated the gondola effort over two years ago with the idea of connecting Staten Island to the rest of the region via an aerial cableway.
During that time, the SIEDC has conducted significant research and developed a network of supporters that believe the project is not only feasible – but essential.
â€œSIEDC is thrilled that Mayor Davis has signed on to support this effort. Staten Island and Bayonne share a number of economic and transportation similarities and we look forward to a prosperous partnership focused on how our communities can work in tandem to create a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship,” added SIEDC President/CEO Cesar Claro.
Furthermore, the SIEDC recently conducted a global design competition to determine the best system type, ideal route and proposed cost for the aerial gondola.
Leitner-Poma of America and their Staten Island to Bayonne route was selected as the winner which would connect Elm Park on Staten Island to Bayonne.
The estimated cost for the project would be $62 million and estimated ridership is as
high as 4,000 people per hour during peak periods.
â€œHudson County has been the economic engine of New Jersey. Part of our strength is our commitment to mass transit such as buses, ferries and light rail. As we look to the future, the potential development of an aerial gondola is a natural fit,” Chiaravalloti said.
Bayonne officials input will be critical in advancing the engineering study which will include
information related to vehicular traffic changes, connectivity opportunities to mass transit,
enhancements of services for commuters, residents and tourists.
There are also opportunities for catalytic development in the neighborhoods surrounding the stations.
Wisniewski, Chairman of the NJ Assembly Transportation Committee, who helped organize the meeting, added â€œBy virtue of our geography, New Jersey has always served as a vital link in the movement of people and goods along the East Coast.”