SECAUCUS AND BEYOND – NJ Transit plans to cut costs by discontinuing or altering bus service on 11 routes, some of which serve various parts of Hudson County, according to a release issued on Monday. Jersey City, Secaucus, and Union City are among the municipalities that will be affected by the changes that in total affect 3,200 riders.
NJ Transit projects more than $3 million in annual operation savings, which will be reflected in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2013 budget. The agency conducted a study to review metrics, including customers per hour, fare box recovery and subsidy per customer. The proposed initiative will go before the public in June, when two public hearings will be held in Newark and Wayne to solicit public input.
“The innovative Bus Service Optimization proposal announced today fulfills the call for government to provide smarter, more efficient services at less cost to customers and the taxpayers,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. “A measurable result of NJ Transit successful Scorecard initiative, Bus Service Optimization will ensure that NJ Transit uses its limited resources to provide the best service to the most customers—all while holding the line on fares.”
The agency plans to reinvest more than $1.02 million to expand and enhance bus service within the City of Newark, in addition to key corridors between Newark, Newark Airport and Elizabeth.
Eleven bus routes were reviewed for adjustment that were said to be underutilized, or directly compete with rail or light rail services. These routes average 16 customers per trip, in comparison to the system wide average of 35.
The routes include:
• No. 42 (Newark-18th Avenue): Discontinue service
• No. 43 (Newark-Jersey City): Discontinue service
• No. 56 (Elizabeth/Cranford/Winfield): Widen peak hour headway from 25/40 minutes to 60 minutes
• No. 57 (Elizabeth/Linden): Eliminate first/last round trips on weekdays
• No. 75 (Butler-Newark): Discontinue service
• No. 78 (Newark-Secaucus): Discontinue service
• No. 93 (Bloomfield-Newark Light Rail): Discontinue service
• No. 181 (Union City-NY/GWB): Discontinue Sunday service
• No. 258 (Bloomfield/Newark Airport): Eliminate University Heights Branch, adjust headway to 30 minutes all day
• No. 451 (Camden/Lindenwold PATCO): Eliminate service between Voorhees Town Center and Lindenwold PATCO
• No. 604 (Trenton/East Trenton): Eliminate some peak-hour service between Trenton Transit Center and Justice Complex
For these 11 separate routes, most customers will not be significantly impacted, as system access remains available with reasonable alternatives. In some cases, customers may need to walk a reasonable distance to access service, or be subject to a two-seat ride instead of a one-seat ride.