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NJ Transit weighing Central Ave. bus route

By BONNIE FRIEDMAN, JERSEY JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

A new NJ Transit bus route could be coming to Central Avenue in Jersey City, but not for at least six weeks, agency officials said yesterday.

State and local officials met Monday with representatives from NJ Transit to urge the agency to launch bus service along Central Avenue. Coach USA discontinued its No. 231 bus route - which ran from Liberty State Park to Hague Street in Jersey City - on Jan. 28.

NJ Transit is considering adding a Central Avenue route, but that would mean diverting buses from somewhere else, agency spokesman Dan Stessel said. "We press into service every piece of equipment we have," he said. "But we will be able to find a solution toprovide service with minimal impact to our customers."

NJ Transit will monitor passenger flow on routes in the area for the next two weeks, Stessel said, and then will meet again to talk about route adjustments.

And if officials do decide on changing routes, it won't go into effect until at least 30 days after that, as customers have to be notified of the change.

Add it all up, Stessel said, and it means no changes for at least 45 to 60 days. In the meantime, city and county officials are trying to come up with short-term solutions to serve Central Avenue bus riders, such as a city recreation bus that could be pressed into service as a shuttle, or an old school bus that the Hudson County Improvement Authority could use to take seniors to the supermarket.