NEWARK — NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein unveiled a plan designed to optimize bus operations on Monday.
“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. “… 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.”
As part of the Bus Service Optimization process, routes were broken down into 17 groupings or geographic markets and reviewed using 20 separate 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.
As a result of extensive study and analysis, NJ Transit’s Bus Service Optimization initiative forecasts more than $3 million in annual operation savings. These savings will be reflected in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2013 budget and will be utilized to help keep fares stable for the nearly 250 million customers who utilize NJ TRANSIT services on an annual basis.
Of this savings, NJ TRANSIT will be immediately reinvesting 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.
This reinvestment of savings will be reflected in:
- The restructuring of Route No. 62 (Newark-Woodbridge-Perth Amboy) into two separate routes, allowing for the creation of 24/7 service between the heavily-travelled Newark-Newark Airport and Elizabeth Corridor. Optimization reinvestment will increase bus service reliability, balance resources and help spur job access at the airport.
- The extension of Route No. 99 (Newark-Hillside Cross-town) to the Branch Brook Park Newark Light Rail Station. Reinvestment will provide Newark residents and employees with connections to more than a dozen routes and access to the light rail system. It will also improve service to major medical facilities, schools and universities.
Eleven bus routes were reviewed for adjustment following this comprehensive process. These routes are either largely underutilized, or directly compete with NJ Transit 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
According to NJ Transit, most customers will not be significantly impacted by the changes to these routes because 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.
NJ TRANSIT invites members of the public to offer their feedback on the Bus Service Optimization initiative. Interested parties are invited to visit njtransit.com, contact the Customer Service hotline at 1-973-275-5555, or attend one of the following two public hearings to offer their feedback in person:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Public Information Session)
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
NJ Transit Headquarters, One Penn Plaza East, Newark
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Wayne Municipal Complex, 475 Valley Road, Wayne