According to the EPA, our personal cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all U.S. emissions — about 24 pounds of global warming gases for every gallon of gas. The U.S. transportation sector, which includes all vehicles, freight, planes, etc., produces nearly 30% of all US global warming emissions — more than any other sector (according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.) In New Jersey, emissions from cars and light-trucks account for about 30% of the total hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen emissions that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or “smog.”
Driving less — avoiding driving alone in a gasoline powered car or truck, especially for trips less than a mile — is one of the high impact individual actions you can take to reduce your carbon emissions and reduce global warming. Fortunately, in Jersey City, residents have multiple options for driving less:
Did you know that 47% of Jersey City residents use public transportation as their primary commuting mode? That’s compared to only 5% nationally. That’s good news for the climate because it is estimated that 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline are saved due to public transportation use in the United States.
The PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) Train is a convenient way to travel in Jersey City, as well as commute to NYC. The Exchange Place stop is less than 10 minutes from Manhattan. You can also take the PATH into Hoboken and Newark. (PATH Maps and Schedule)
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) connects the communities of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and North Bergen. (HBLR System Map)
New Jersey Transit Buses.
New Jersey Transit Buses have an extensive network connecting the neighborhoods of Jersey City and neighboring communities, including NYC. Tickets are available for purchase at many Jersey City stores. (NJ Transit Bus Map)
Consider walking when you have to travel short distances. Jersey City has adopted a vision zero policy as part of a complete streets transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users (pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.) The City Traffic Safety webpage has more information about the many initiatives underway to ensure Jersey City streets are safe and accessible to all.
Cycling to work, school or to run errands (as well as for fun on the weekends) has many benefits:
Connect with other riders, or ask a friend, family member, colleague or neighbor if they are interested in trying out riding with you. Please obey all traffic laws when you are cycling, and consider bike lanes as you select a safe and pleasant route for your ride.
Are you a cycling beginner?
Check the American League of Cyclists webpages for tips on bike commuting, gear, and cycling safety, or the NYTimes Beginners Guide to Bike Commuting. In Jersey City, BikeJC hosts cycling events, group rides, and offers bike maps and classes to help you ride smarter.
Don’t have a bike? Jersey City has a bike share system called Citibike. You can use a bike for a day with a credit card at the docking station, or sign up to be a member and get a access key for the year. It is the same system as NYC uses, so is very convenient if you also need to get around across the Hudson. Citibike memberships are available for a discounted rate to qualified residents.
Cities are preparing for a global shift towards electric, shared and autonomous mobility, in order to accommodate population increases and accessibility, and decrease air pollution, global warming, traffic, and parking problems. A recent 2018 World Economic Forum report, Electric vehicles for Smarter Cities: The Future of Energy and Mobility looks at the trends in mobility in cities across the world.
Instead of using gasoline, electric vehicles (EVs) run on electricity only — and are propelled by one or more electric motors powered by rechargeable battery packs. EVs emit no tailpipe pollutants and are more energy efficient than internal-combustion vehicles. The greenhouse gas emissions of electric vehicles depend on how the electricity is produced; here in New Jersey an EV emits 79% less CO2 than a conventional vehicle.
Did you know that there are already more EV charging stations in Manhattan than gas stations, and 677 EV charging points within a 30 mile radius of Jersey City? Electric vehicles registered in New Jersey increased over twenty-five times in five years — from 535 in 2012 to 15,685 in 2017. Bloomberg analysis of the industry predicts a dramatic increase in electric vehicle sales starting in 2020, when EVs are expected to be cost-competitive with internal-combustion vehicles (see chart above).
In Jersey City, there are electric car charging stations in parking lots and garages, apartment complexes, at individual employer parking garages, hotels and the Newport Mall. The City of Jersey City recently added 4 electrical vehicles to the fleet, and installed a public charging station by City Hall. The City will be putting in more public chargers in 2020 in an effort to make electric vehicle charging stations accessible to all residents.