More than 220 vehicles cross from New Jersey into New York City per minute, or almost 290,000 per day.
Those statistics come from a wonderfully geeky new data dump by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which last week released monthly traffic and E-ZPass usage information for 2011 through April of 2014. The data covers eastbound traffic, where tolls are collected, on the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing, and Bayonne Bridge.
BuzzFeed crunched the numbers and found:
1. It’s almost all cars.
Automobile traffic consistently makes up around 91% of the total vehicles going over and through the bridges and tunnels in a month. Trucks make up between 6 and 7 percent, and buses account for the final 2 to 3 percent.
2. The George Washington Bridge is really popular.
In 2013, 49.4 million vehicles took the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey into Manhattan. That’s more than 135,000 per day, on average.
3. Like really popular.
The George Washington Bridge takes more vehicles into Manhattan per day than the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels combined. That’s three times the volume in the Holland Tunnel and more than double the volume going through the Lincoln Tunnel.
4. E-ZPass usage keeps on growing.
The percentage of E-ZPass hit a high of 82.9% in January, up from 76.6% in January of 2011. Overall, 82% of vehicles crossing Port Authority tolls have used E-ZPass this year. The Bayonne Bridge has the highest usage, at 88%, while just 79% of Holland Tunnel toll-payers have used E-ZPass in 2014.
5. Hotter months mean more traffic and more waiting.
Bridge and tunnel use peaks during the summer months, typically either in June or August. Also, the overall percentage of E-ZPass users is the lowest during those months.
6. Buses love the Lincoln Tunnel.
Buses accounted for 11.4% of all vehicles taking the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan in 2013. (Port Authority is right around the corner.) That proportion is 10 times greater than any other eastbound crossing. Next is the Holland Tunnel, at just 1.4%.
7. Mother Nature is powerful.
In November 2012, the month after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City, 305,045 fewer cars took the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan than in the previous November. (From October 29 to November 7, the tunnel was closed to cars.)
8. So is construction.
Since January, the Port Authority has been conducting construction to raise the Bayonne Bridge 64-feet in the air, slowing the flow of traffic. Overall usage dropped 15% during the first four months of 2014 compared to 2013, with even bigger decreases for trucks and buses (both down 22%).
9. Even at night.
When the Port Authority shut down the Outerbridge Crossing at night in July through October 2013, overall traffic decreased 8%.