NJ Transit just announced an “emergency stabilization service” for A&C Bus riders that will go into effect next month after the private business closes.
“Beginning Saturday, October 28th, NJ TRANSIT will provide emergency bus services to support customers impacted by the discontinuation of the A&C #30, #31, #32 and #33 routes. NJ TRANSIT will maintain the same route patterns and spans,” the transportation company said in a statement minutes ago.
A&C Bus Routes 30, 31, 32 and 33 that service the west side of the city, as well as a small portion of the south side, will go out of service when the company folds on Halloween, citing low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic and surging insurance costs.
For starters, NJ Transit will have their 80 line fill in for A&C’s 30 route.
“Increased NJ TRANSIT #80 line service along West Side Avenue from Danforth Avenue to Sip Avenue, and along Sip Avenue from West Side Avenue to Journal Square. Provides connections to HBLR at West Side Avenue Station and PATH at JSQ,” a description says, also noting that service beginning and ending at Society Hill will operate on this line.
Similar, NJ Transit’s 9 line will replace A&C’s 31 route, servicing Montgomery Street and West Side Avenue, the only public transit option to connect Journal Square and Communipaw Avenue.
Furthermore, NJ Transit’s 14 line will take over A&C’s 32 route, servicing portions of Duncan and Mallory Avenues, as well as Route 440, connecting Route 440 to Hudson Mall and Stadium Plaza.
Finally, NJ Transit’s 8 line will fill in for A&C’s 33 route on Bergen Avenue, connecting to the PATH station at Journal Square. The frequency and other developing details for each route can be found here.
Jersey City electeds and activists alike had been pushing for a resolution since July when A&C confirmed they’d be closing by the end of October.
Amy Wilson, who started a grassroots effort by appealing to state leaders last month, expressed enthusiasm with the outcome.
“This is a tremendous relief for all of us on the West Side. I am so grateful that NJ Transit has agreed to pick up this vital service to our neighborhood with no interruption in service, which provides a lifeline to my neighborhood and connects us to school, work, and other essential services.”
Both the Jersey City Council and Hudson County Board Commissioners had sponsored resolutions urging state leaders to take action on the matter, while Mayor Steven Fulop wrote a letter urging NJ Transit to find a solution.
“I think it’s not perfect, but it’s good. The areas that otherwise would have no coverage now have it … this should address about 90 percent of the concerns,” O’Dea said over the phone.
“I really want to commend the community, because I felt their response was effective and not over the top … I thought it was done in a way that made the point but didn’t tick anyone off in the process.”
City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione also expressed thanks for the efforts to get here, as well as mentioning that Fulop, the only declared candidate for governor, has called for getting away from municipalities relying on private bus services.
“We share the community’s gratitude for NJ Transit’s fulfillment of the bus routes canceled by A&C, which are critical lifelines for so many residents,” she said.
“As Mayor Fulop has said from the start, there is also a broader concern here regarding private bus carriers abandoning bus services and the need for accountability and other measures to ensure this does not happen anywhere else.”
U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8), who brought the issue up to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, thanked NJ Transit for finding solutions for A&C and Coach USA as well (Newark and Elizabeth are also in his district).
“NJ TRANSIT’s new and extended bus routes will ensure that working families in these Eighth Congressional District communities will still be able to get to where they need to go, whether it is work, school, grocery shopping, or the many other places that they rely on available bus service to travel to,” he added.
“Last week, I spoke with United States Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg directly to request additional support for state and local governments that are navigating private bus company closures and transit deserts. I will continue to work within Congress and with the Biden Administration on these critical solutions.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez (D-8).