Bayonne Mayor James Davis is excited to announce that he has signed on to support the proposed Staten Island to Bayonne Aerial Gondola. Recently, Mayor Davis and Assemblymen Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-31) and 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 –an engineering and feasibility study for the system.
“The 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. 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” said Mayor Davis.
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, SIEDC has conducted significant research and developed a network of supporters that believe the project is not only feasible – but essential. The addition of Mayor Davis to the list of supporters is a significant step forward for the project.
According to Cesar Claro, President & CEO of the SIEDC “SIEDC 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.”
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.
Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti noted that “Hudson 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.”
Mayor Davis’ support is 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.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Chairman of the NJ Assembly Transportation Committee, who helped organize the meeting added “By virtue of our geography, New Jersey has always served as a vital link in the movement of people and goods along the East Coast. The proposed Bayonne – Staten Island Aerial Gondola is an innovative and low cost way to link communities and people. I believe we should embrace the future of transportation and economic development than by linking Staten Island and Bayonne with this reliable, cost-effective and modern means of transport”