Superstorm Sandy

Trying the Trans-Hudson Commute: taking a late bus from Fort Lee to HBLR, bailing for PATH instead of the free ferry for fear of being late

Today I decided (without an Unlimited Ride MetroCard in my pocket) I would try the trans-Hudson commute, by taking the free Statue Cruises ferry from Liberty State Park to the Liberty Landing Marina, on my way to my internship that I need to arrive at around 10am.

I left the house at 7:40 and started walking over the George Washington Bridge, forgetting just how long the walk is made me wish immediately I had left earlier. I also knew that I could always bail out and take PATH across the Hudson if I didn’t feel like I have enough time to go all the way down to Liberty State Park for the Shuttle bus to the free ferry.

I get to Fort Lee at 8:20 to a crowd of commuters waiting for NJ Transit bus route #158 bound for the PBAT that I think will be the fastest bus route to get me to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. Soon a man in his car pulls up and asks if any one needs a ride into Manhattan. 3 people get into his SUV (I’ve never seen that before, I don’t think it helps him at an HOV lane). We keep waiting (there is supposed to be a bus at 8:30). A 188 comes and I asked the friendly driver if she goes to the Light rail. She asks me if I have [a monthly] bus pass, I say no and don’t board, NJT doesn’t issue single-ride trips with multiple transfers.

At 8:40 a #158 bus pulls in, its a crowded articulated. I pay my fare of $3.05 (a two zone bus fare plus a 70 cent transfer fee) which includes a transfer to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail as the river rips off the long line of receipts that are printed every time a monthly pass holder boards to give me mine that will become my POP for the light rail. We go down the steep road, River Road, down into Edgewater which is quite an adventure on an articulated bus. We pass 3 SEPTA buses (the destination signs say SEPTA in a generic way) that NJT is borrowing for emergency bus service and are weaving their way up River Road from Edgewater. The bus makes relatively few stops and at 9:04 I’m stepping off at the Port Imperial Ferry Light Rail Station.

At 9:07 a West Side Avenue-bound train comes in and I get on. We wend are way along the Palisades and pass the Hoboken Terminal which looks back to normal before getting to Pavonia-Newport at 9:20. I’m getting too nervous about being late specifically because I haven’t found an actual timetable for the ferry about how frequent it is running. I decide to bail on my ferry plan and walk over to the PATH station. I spend my last $1.30 tap to board PATH from a ten trip SmartLink card I bought a year ago before their last fare hike. I just make a crowded train at 9:20 which also is having manual announcements made and still has its destination signs off. It is an uneventful 13 minute ride with a few stop and goes beneath the Hudson, bypassing Christopher Street to 9th Street. The signs all say the station is exit only until 10am, but there wrong, it opens for passengers at 9:30am so I just miss experiencing an exit only PATH station. I have a nice walk south down 6th Avenue to my internship that I arrive quite early for