Earlier this week, BuzzFeed gleaned some fun facts about the Hudson River bridges and tunnels from a Port Authority data dump on the number of eastbound automobiles, buses, and trucks. If you took the numbers at face value, you might be left with the impression that cars are the most important thing moving around New York. But when you measure people instead of vehicles, the numbers look quite different.
BuzzFeed’s John Templon started off the nine-point listicle with a breakdown of vehicle traffic on the Port’s crossings:
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.
Buses are mentioned once again, and readers are left with the impression that they aren’t all that important, even at the crossing with the most bus traffic:
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%.
Barely more than one in ten vehicles coming from New Jersey in the Lincoln Tunnel is a bus. But what happens when you measure people, not vehicles?