Bus Route 99s Moves to Central Avenue
Jersey City, NJ – When Coach USA Red & Tan of Hudson County’s announced that the 231 bus route would cease operations on August 27, 2007, Jersey City’s Central Avenue business district faced the loss of its sole mass transit provider for a second time. But thanks to the responsiveness of elected officials, the Central Avenue Special Improvement District Management Corporation (CASID) and Coach USA, the number 10 & 99s routes will bring improved service to the Jersey City Heights.
Coach USA officials indicated that the cancellation of route 231 as well as routes 3 and 5 is the result of changes in ridership caused by new development and the success of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. The 231 service was cancelled once before in early 2006, only to be returned on a limited basis after public outcry. During the brief period without service, the CASID received numerous complaints from local residents unable to access doctors’ offices and other essential services on Central Avenue, and Central Avenue businesses estimated a 30% loss in business.
Having lost mass transit services once already, the CASID is very conscious of the sensitive relationship between pedestrian traffic and small businesses on Central Avenue. With this in mind, the CASID arranged a meeting between Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, Mayor Jerramiah Healy, Councilman William Gaughan, and Coach USA Red & Tan of Hudson County managers John Emberson and Jim Rutherford. Working together, these representatives reached an agreement that is satisfactory to all parties: CoachUSA’s number 10 & 99s routes, which runs every 30 minutes between Bayonne and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan via Journal Square, will be rerouted to busy Central Avenue from a residential stretch on Palisade Avenue. The bus could service Central Avenue 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The fare to travel locally within Jersey City is $1.40, and NJ Transit passes will be honored on all trips except those to New York City, which cost $3.25 from any origin.
“This is a positive development for local residents, Central Avenue businesses, Coach USA and Jersey City,” said Central Avenue SID President Michael Yun. “The 99s & number 10 will connect shoppers and commuters from Bayonne to Manhattan with all that Central Avenue has to offer.” However, Yun acknowledges that some Heights residents will continue to be underserved by public transit even after the new service begins running. “The 99s and number 10 is a good first step, but we will continue working with the city and transit providers to ensure that all the residents of Jersey City Heights have reliable bus access in the future,” he said.
Local residents using the new number 10 & 99s route will benefit from the excellent lighting and security on Central Avenue, the convenient access to businesses, and the increased frequency of service. Manhattan will now be only minutes away for residents close to Central Avenue. “This is great news for seniors. We won’t have to wait as long as we do now. And I’ll be able to do all my shopping on my way home from the bus stop, even if it’s late,” said Doris Stoldt, Heights resident and president of AARP Chapter 5102.
The Central Avenue SID is teaming up with the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation and the Hudson County Transportation Management Association to promote the number 10 & 99s lines to the public. The City of Jersey City is supporting the new routes by assisting in the installation of new signage at bus stops along Central Avenue and cracking down on illegal jitney operations that undercut ridership on legitimate routes.
The Central Avenue SID will host a press conference to celebrate the coming of the 99s & number 10 to Central Avenue on Wednesday, August 22 at 4 pm at the corner of Bowers Street and Central Avenue. Speaking will be Assemblyman Vincent Prieto, Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Councilman Bill Gaughan. Members of the press and the public are invited to attend.