Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is calling on NJ Transit to find a solution with the city poised to lose four A&C Bus routes on Halloween.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Route Nos. 30, 31, 32, and 33 are set to cease operations on October 31st with the company going out of business. Those routes service Society Hill, Montgomery Street and West Side Avenues, Route 440 Shopper, and Bergen Avenue.
“This transit option has provided an affordable alternative to driving for residents of the City for more than a century, with regular bus fares of $1.60 each way and only $0.80 each way for seniors. These routes have daily averages of hundreds of passengers,” Fulop wrote in a letter to A&C today.
“The A&C lines service 34 census tracts that meet the United States Department of Transportation’s definition of being a disadvantaged community. These four lines provide vital service to over 150,000 residents that live in neighborhoods within 1/4 mile that also have a low car ownership rate (nearly 40% of households own zero personal vehicles), with 33% of residents in this area with household incomes below the poverty line and nearly 80% of these residents identifying as a minority group.”
Continuing that the bus lines reduce traffic, pollution, and noise, Fulop further states that 6,492 new housing units, 54,044 square feet of office, and 180,626 square feet of retail are either completed or in the works on the West Side of the city.
“With limited alternative public transportation options within reasonable walking distance for most people, there is a need to identify a viable solution for residents to provide connectivity to work, grocery stores, leisure activities, and schools, including for public university students at New Jersey City University,” he added.
Given that NJ Transit has recently increased bus service frequency and reliability in Hudson County, Fulop, also a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, says they would be a natural fit to solve this problem.
“We respectfully request that NJ TRANSIT identifies a solution to fill this transit gap and/or provides a similar service that provides the critical transportation necessary for our community to function as soon as possible,” he concluded.
“Jersey City needs a sustainable, long-term solution to meet the travel needs of its residents, especially those who rely on public transit and have no other affordable options.”
Fulop joins fellow Jersey City electeds such as Assemblywoman AngelaMcKnight (D-31), also the Democratic nominee for state Senate, Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea (D-2), and Ward E Councilman Jame Solomon in pledging to rectify this issue before service is cut.
NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith said they are evaluating the “disappointing decision to discontinue bus service in Jersey City,” noting that they have already begun identifying alternatives.
He also said that it’s possible they may not be able to accomodate all four routes being discontinued.
“NJ Transit has already spoken to many stakeholders, including the Jersey City Mayor, and will continue to work with elected officials and communities, as well as private carriers, to investigate potential solutions,” Smith stated.
“However, NJ Transit may not have the resources necessary to replace all of the private bus services that are being discontinued.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith.