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Unique public-private partnership supports service to new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

May 14, 2012

NEWARK, NJ — Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson today joined Princeton Hospital CEO Barry Rabner and local officials to mark the launch of NJ TRANSIT’s No. 655 bus route to serve the new University Medical Center of Princeton and Plainsboro hospital facility, as well as other key area locations.


As part of the opening ceremony, an inaugural trip of the No. 655 operated along a portion of its route, starting from the Princeton Hospital Campus on Witherspoon Street and concluding at the new University Medical Center of Princeton campus in Plainsboro.  Following welcoming remarks from Plainsboro Mayor Peter Cantu, leaders in government and the medical community highlighted the benefits of the new service for local residents.


“The State of New Jersey is setting a great example today, highlighting a unique, unprecedented funding partnership that brought together two private partners, two Metropolitan Planning Organizations, one county, a non-profit agency and the State’s public transportation agency,” said Lieutenant Governor Guadagno.  “The end result is a new bus service that will serve employees, patients and visitors of a vital healthcare facility and other important area destinations while minimizing the costs to New Jersey taxpayers.”


Funding for the new bus route is being provided through a public-private partnership, which features NJ TRANSIT providing the vehicles and operating the service, and includes federal, private sector, non-profit and county funding sources.  No. 655 funding sources include Federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grants through the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.  Princeton HealthCare Systems, Princeton University, Middlesex County and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association are also providing funding.


The new bus route was developed as part of NJ TRANSIT’s Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) planning process with the Central New Jersey Transportation Forum.  NJ TRANSIT worked to develop the route and funding arrangements with local municipal officials and the six funding partners in a multi-year effort.  


“This new bus route provides an important east-west transit connection that will help offer relief along the busy Route 1 corridor,” said Commissioner Simpson.  “By connecting residents with medical centers, places of employment and shopping destinations, NJ TRANSIT is making it easier and more convenient for people to conduct life’s daily business.”


“For the first time since 2005, NJ TRANSIT is introducing and directly operating a completely new bus route—one that will serve the new Princeton Medical Center campus, as well as offer expanded service to the Princeton Rail Station and connections to existing local bus service,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.  “We are pleased to be a key part of this innovative public-private partnership.”


“As a result of this outstanding private-public project, we are able to bring much-needed public transportation to the area,” said Mayor Cantu.  “The No. 655 route will provide a critical link between major destinations in Plainsboro and neighboring Princeton Township and Borough, serving our residents and visitors well.” 


The No. 655 route, which began service today, operates in a loop between Plainsboro Township in Middlesex County to Princeton Borough and Princeton Township in Mercer County, serving key locations such as the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Princeton University, the Princeton Rail (Dinky) Station, Princeton Shopping Center and residential areas of Plainsboro, Princeton Borough and Princeton Township.


In addition, the No. 655 bus provides transfer connections to NJ TRANSIT bus route No. 600 in Plainsboro, and the nos. 605 and 606 in downtown Princeton.  It also provides connections to Middlesex County Area Transit (MCAT) Route 6 shuttle service to Jamesburg, as well as Suburban Transit (Coach USA) service that operates along Route 27 in Princeton.


No. 655 buses feature special bus wraps clearly marked with the “Healthline” logo and identifying color scheme.  The weekday-only service operates every 40 minutes from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and every 75-80 minutes until midnight, covering all three hospital work shifts.


The one-way adult fare is $1.50 ($0.65 for transfers) or $48 monthly.  Exact fare is required on the No. 655 line.


For schedule and fare information, visit or call 973-275-5555.




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 260 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.