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Pablo M 201

Red & Tan threatens to discontinue No. 4 line

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NO. 4 BUS DOOMED?

Ridership has three months to improve

 

Monday, January 07, 2008

 

By N. CLARK JUDD

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

If ridership on the No. 4 bus through Greenville to the Jersey City waterfront isn't high enough in the next three months, the route's operator will shut it down, bus officials said.

 

Officials from bus operator Red & Tan in Hudson County have said service on the No. 4 bus through Greenville to Grove Street Station will be reduced beginning Jan. 14 - it will no longer pass Exchange Place.

 

That same day, NJ Transit will start giving Red & Tan 90 days of financial assistance to continue running the route, said John Emberson, a representative of Red & Tan's parent company, Coach USA.

 

"We will look at that line and see how its holding up and what the passenger count is looking like," Emberson said.

 

And if it's too low after state money runs out, he said, it'll be curtains for the No. 4.

 

This latest threat comes just days before two other Greenville routes, the No. 16 and No. 99, will be shut down completely, and months after a third line through Greenville, the No. 3 along Garfield Avenue, was also eliminated. All this comes after a summer route change that forced residents of Palisade Avenue in the Jersey City Heights to trek over to Central Avenue to catch the Red & Tan No. 99S bus to New York City.

 

Jaymie Martinez, waiting at Communipaw Avenue and Grand Street for the No. 4 to take her three kids to day care at Exchange Place, figures she'll now have to get to Grove Street and either take a Montgomery/West Side bus or NJ Transit's No. 81 Local to get to the waterfront. The transfer will add an extra 10 or 15 minutes to her commute, she said.

 

"I hardly make it on time to take them to school," Martinez said. After she drops off 5-year-old C.J. and his two sisters, Natalia, 3, and Amaya, 2, at day care, she'll have to get on the light rail to get to her job on Garfield Avenue, she said.

 

Moszelle Staggers, who was waiting for the No. 16 on Communipaw Avenue near Monticello on Friday morning, says she'll likely take NJ Transit's No. 1 bus to get to Exchange Place.

 

She could also take the No. 87 to Journal Square via the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and then get on the PATH, she said.

 

NJ Transit's No. 81 also serves Exchange Place from the Greenville/Bergen-Lafayette area.

 

Red & Tan also currently makes just over $77 an hour running a shuttle service between Port Liberty and the Grove Street PATH station on a contract from NJ Transit, he said.

 

Emberson, the Coach USA official, said the approximately 20 drivers on the affected routes would likely be reassigned to other routes.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1199689856160530.xml&coll=3

 

Mayor blasts bus co. over shutdowns

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has filed a scathing critique of one of Jersey City's largest bus operators and asked the state to intervene in Greenville's growing bus woes.

 

The letter, sent Thursday to state Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sharon Harrington, blasts bus operator Coach USA, which owns Red & Tan in Hudson County. Healy criticizes Red & Tan's operations and asks for the state to intervene in the company's decision to shut down its No. 16 and No. 99 bus lines in Greenville after Jan. 13.

 

Red & Tan recently announced that its No. 4 line may disappear 90 days after the closing date for the other two lines.

 

"We . receive constant complaints about spotty and unreliable service on their routes," Healy wrote, referring to Coach USA. "We are not satisfied with Coach USA's service and the abandonment of these lines."

 

"Complaints?" countered John Emberson, a Coach USA manager. "I don't know what they're talking about, to be honest with you. We get very few complaints on these lines at all. We've made a lot of investments in these last 15 months especially in field supervision."

 

In the letter, Healy goes on to call for Red & Tan's No. 4 line to be modified to "serve the constituencies of the No. 99 and the previously abandoned No. 3 and No. 5. This would entail an additional stop at the new Hudson County facility at the former Block Drug site and a stop closer to Journal Square than presently proposed.

 

"The state of New Jersey needs to help address this impending transit crisis before it severely affects our residents' ability to perform daily tasks."

 

An MVC spokeswoman has said that it can't force a private operator to stay open, but can work to ensure critical routes are covered.

 

N. CLARK JUDD

http://www.nj.com/jjournal/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-5/1199689852160530.xml&coll=3

 

I took this news in complete utter disbelief that I can't say much on the matter. Its just un-*******-believable what this company is doing.

 

Now, its completely un-understandable that they actually want to see a rise in ridership when ridership on the 4 is already high and even the numbers basically asked for more demand on its own. So what the hell is this company looking at? Can't they start waking the **** up. Cutting the 4 will basically leave me no options of transport except for the light rail, the 1 and 81 bus (slow buses), but what I mean is that I have no direct transportation.

 

But you know, like I've said to a few, it was only a matter of time.

 

BTW, heres another notice that led to this, http://transitstuff.iforumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=2937&mforum=transitstuff

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Sorry to read this, P-rad M. :D Maybe it's for the best. If this goes through, Jersey City will be mostly NJT with Montgomery And West Side, Bergen Avenue and the jitneys. Coach USA/Red And Tan In Hudson County, the company that started with such optimism will be but a single route. What will be their excuse then for the job they did?

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