Business owners on Jersey City’s Central Avenue object to imminent end of 99S bus

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal The Jersey Journal

Business owners on Jersey City’s Central Avenue are “going crazy” over bus company Red & Tan’s imminent decision to halt the 99S bus, which runs along the business corridor.

Michael Yun, who owns Garden State news and heads the Central Avenue Special Improvement District board, said Red & Tan’s move will devastate businesses there, leaving shoppers no way to get to Central Avenue from other parts of the city.

“It’s a very critical issue for the business community,” Yun said.

The 99S bus starts in Bayonne, travels up Kennedy Boulevard to Journal Square, then north on Central Avenue and ends at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York. On Thursday, Red & Tan revealed they are halting the 99S after Nov. 6, as well as the 4 bus, which travels from Merritt Street to Newport Centre in Jersey City.

Jim Rutherford, who runs Red & Tan and other bus companies under the Coach USA umbrella, suggested yesterday that 99S riders use the company’s 10 bus, which runs from Bayonne to Journal Square and will be the company’s only bus line.

But that won’t help shoppers headed from Greenville to Central Avenue.

Central Avenue business owners are “going crazy,” according to Yun.

They may get some help from Hudson County’s Trenton delegation. State Sen. Nicholas Sacco, who heads the Senate Transportation Committee, said Red & Tan’s decision is another example of public transportation being “under assault” in the state.

“We should be encouraging people to take advantage of mass transit systems, not taking them away,” Sacco said in a statement.

Sacco said he and Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, who represents the 32nd Legislative District, are in talks with NJ Transit to see if they can extend service to Central Avenue.

“Hopefully a solution will be found,” Sacco said.