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Jersey City News

Central Ave. bus to return for rush hours

By KEN THORBOURNE, JERSEY JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Rush-hour weekday bus service along Central Avenue in the Heights section of Jersey City will resume on Monday after a 16-day hiatus, Jersey City and Coach USA bus company officials said yesterday.

But weekend and full-time service is still up in the air, they said.

Assemblyman Prieto"Everyone got together and we all worked hard, and they all compromised," said Mayor Jerramiah Healy at a news conference held at Bowers Street and Central Avenue.

Reached by phone, Coach USA District General Manager John Emberson said the private bus company was resuming service on a "trial basis."

"But we are going to work with Jersey City to try and make it work long term," Emberson said.

Coach USA abruptly halted service of the 231 bus along Central Avenue - one of the city's main commercial arteries - on Jan. 28, citing severe losses in ridership.

More than 300 residents attended a protest rally last Tuesday night, and 6,000 people signed a petition demanding service be resumed, said Michael Yun, president of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District.

The schedule, as outlined by city and bus company officials, is for buses to run every half hour, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. from Hague Street to Journal Square, and from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. from Journal Square to Hague Street.

In the afternoon, buses will run every half hour from Journal Square to Hague Street from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and from Hague Street to Journal Square from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

The city is working with the Hudson County Improvement Authority on a plan to resume weekend bus service and discussions are ongoing with NJ Transit to bring back full-time service, said City Councilman Bill Gaughan, who represents the Heights.

Heights resident Jean Spanarkel used the 231 bus to see her doctor at Christ Hospital and visit family in Bayonne. "God we missed it," Spanarkel said yesterday.