CARTERET – The borough will receive a new 30-passenger shuttle bus through a New Jersey Transit grant program, Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Jorge Diaz announced last week.
The shuttle bus is valued at approximately $115,000, and will be the second awarded to Carteret through the federal program. It will be used for departments that implement public transportation, such as the Office on Aging, the Carteret Specials, and the Department of Recreation. Many of these provide services daily, but with constrictions due to the borough’s limited transportation resources.
Carteret offers transportation to senior residents to and from the borough’s community center. The town also uses town buses for its Meals on Wheels program, coordinating with Middlesex County. The borough’s Office for the Disabled has utilized town buses frequently for its many social and athletic events. More recently, the Department of Recreation has included transportation for some of its summer sports programs, and special events such as Carteret’s popular Independence Day celebration at Waterfront Park.
Over 600 seniors benefit from the borough’s transportation services annually, according to the Carteret Office on Aging.
Prior to Carteret’s submission to the state, it entered into a contract with the Middlesex Department of Transportation, allowing the county to benefit from use of awarded shuttle buses when not being utilized by the borough.
Shared services have become an integral part of State funded programs in maximizing the use of public resources, according to Reiman
“With an unprecedented number of senior and disabled residents, Carteret relies more than ever on its specialized transportation services” Reiman has stated. “These various services have grown to meet the increasing demand of area residents, but have also led to a need for additional vehicles. NJ Transit’s 5310 program and the support of Congressman Albio Sires has allowed us to expand these services in proportion to our growing population of seniors, and eased the costs and challenges of everyday living for over 1,000 of our residents.”
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