By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal The Jersey Journal
In a move that will delight commuters, local shoppers and Jersey City business owners, NJ Transit and A&C Bus will take up the bus routes that Red & Tan bus company announced last week it is discontinuing, and there will be no lapse in service, state and local officials said today.
A&C will take over Red & Tan’s 4 bus, which runs from Merritt Street to the Newport Center mall, according to Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who just emerged from a meeting with state officials called to discuss the matter.
There will be no lapse in service, and the route will remain the same, Healy said. The 4 bus was one of two lines that Red & Tan, citing low ridership, announced last week they are discontinuing after November 6.
Red & Tan’s 99S bus, which runs from Bayonne to Journal Square and then runs up Central Avenue before heading to Port Authority bus terminal in New York, will be taken over by NJ Transit, Healy said. The state agency will contract with Academy Bus line to provide the service.
Academy will operate the line with its 119 bus, which will operate during peak hours — from 5 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 10 p.m. — on the current 99S route. In between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., NJ Transit’s 88 bus will leave the Journal Square bus terminal and travel along Central Avenue instead of Palisade Avenue before turning north, to give shoppers a way to get to stores along Central Avenue.
Central Avenue business owners said last week they were fuming over Red & Tan’s decision to halt the 4 and 99S lines. The 99S line was the only way for shoppers in some parts of Jersey City to travel to Central Avenue’s business corridor, they said.
“Jersey City residents rely on bus service as a means of transportation to work, to school, to church, to shopping and to perform other daily activities,” said Healy in a statement. “We were able to take quick action by meeting with our state legislators and NJ Transit to resolve this matter. In these challenging economic times, our residents certainly could not afford to lose another vital service in our city and we are pleased that we were able to all come together to bring a swift resolution to this matter.”