CARTERET—The borough will receive a new handicapped-accessible nine-passenger shuttle van through a New Jersey Transit grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mayor Dan Reiman and Councilman Dennis DiMascio announced. Carteret submitted an application to the competitive program in 2010.
The shuttle bus is valued at approximately $80,000, and will be the third vehicle awarded in to Carteret in recent years by N.J. Transit through this federal program.
The vehicle will allow for the continuation of localized Senior & Disabled Transportation Services, in particular its county-based Meals on Wheels program, and to continue to expand its services with the establishment of additional coordinated programs with Middlesex County through the partnership created in 2007.
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 1,000 senior and disabled residents benefit from the borough’s transportation services annually, according to the Carteret Office on Aging, providing over 20,000 trips annually through its various programs.
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 said. “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 Senator Bob Menendez 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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