NJ TRANSIT recently launched NewBus Newark, an initiative to reimagine local bus service in the Newark region. This initiative is an opportunity to rethink the bus routes that serve the Newark region based on current transit markets, existing service performance, and community input.
The Bus Network Redesign for Newark
- The NewBus Newark study is the first initiative to restructure the local intrastate bus network in the Newark area in several decades.
- NewBus Newark will analyze the performance of the 38 local routes in and around Newark and assess:
- Where people live
- Where people work
- How people travel
- These findings and community input will be used to design a new network that addresses current mobility needs.
NewBus Newark Study Area
What Have We Learned So Far?
Over the last few months, we have been reviewing data from the U.S. Census, NJ TRANSIT ridership databases, and customer satisfaction surveys to learn about the local demand for transit and how riders use the network. Below are some key takeaways from what we have learned so far:
- In October 2019, the 38 study area routes carried an average of 180,000 riders each weekday. Half of these riders use just 7 of the 38 bus routes. These are Routes 1-Newark, 13-Broad Street-Clinton Avenue, 21-Main Street, 25-Springfield Avenue, 27-Mount Prospect, 34-Market Street, and 94-Stuyvesant Crosstown. Improving service on just these routes will benefit one in every two riders.
- NJ TRANSIT bus riders are reliant on the bus to get around. 44% do not own a car, 58% have household incomes below $35,000, and 80% ride the bus 5 or more times a week. Using U.S. Census data, we are going to determine where there are higher concentrations of zero-vehicle and low-income households to see where there may be higher demand for bus service.
- A significant share of trips across all travel modes (driving, transit, walking biking) are for non-work purposes like shopping, healthcare, education, and recreation. However, only 30% of trips made on NJ TRANSIT bus service are for non-work purposes. NJ TRANSIT is more heavily used for work trips because there is more service offered during the typical commute periods in the early morning and late afternoon. Increasing bus service during the midday and evenings can help grow ridership by making the bus more attractive for non-work purposes.
- The built environment has a direct impact on transit’s ability to be an attractive travel mode. Transit is most successful when there are concentrations of both people and jobs, a variety of destinations that generate all-day and all-week demand, and walkable, people-oriented streets . Together, these factors impact the needs and opportunities for transit within a given area. Across the Newark region, the environment ranges from mixed-use urban in Newark’s downtown core, to single-use urban and suburban in the surrounding communities. The draft plan will work to appropriately match the proposed service levels and types of services to each of these environments.
How can I get involved?
Your feedback is critical to making sure the final plan responds to the needs of the community. There will be many opportunities to provide your input throughout the project. In the coming months, we will be holding meetings (most likely virtual) where you can share your opinions on the future of mobility in the Newark region. For updates, follow NJ TRANSIT on social media, or sign up for updates via e-mail.
- Sign up for updates here.