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OFFICIALS BREAK GROUND ON EXPRESS BUS SERVICE CONNECTING RESIDENTS WITH MAJOR EMPLOYMENT CENTERS
Enhanced bus service to link Bloomfield, downtown Newark and airport
April 20, 2009
NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles joined Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and Bloomfield Mayor Raymond McCarthy today to break ground on the installation of new bus shelters and traffic technology that will support enhanced bus service along the busy Bloomfield Avenue corridor in the Township of Bloomfield and the City of Newark.
Funding for the new shelters is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The project is expected to create about 16 jobs.
“Construction of new and improved bus shelters along this vital corridor is a prime example of how federal stimulus funds are being used to create and preserve jobs while also benefitting transit riders statewide,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “In addition to stops along Bloomfield Avenue, ARRA funding will be used to install new bus shelters at locations throughout New Jersey.”
“Thanks to the federal economic recovery funding that is supporting this project, we will help put people to work during the current economic crisis,” said U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. “The completed project will further help the economy by connecting people with jobs in the downtown Newark area and Newark Liberty International Airport more efficiently.”
The new shelters and traffic technology will support enhanced express bus service along Bloomfield Avenue, linking residential areas in Bloomfield and Newark with major employment centers in downtown Newark and at Newark Liberty International Airport. By eliminating the need to transfer between routes, the new bus service will provide a one-seat ride to the airport, as well as a connection to existing bus service to the port areas of Elizabeth and Newark.
“Improvements like these are key to updating the state’s bus network and giving our residents attractive public transportation options,” said U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne. “This project will improve the commuting experience for thousands of Essex County residents along a busy corridor and provide a vital connection to employment hubs.”
“The introduction of enhanced bus service along this heavily traveled route will improve the quality of life for commuters and residents,” said U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. “Direct service between Bloomfield and the airport is a boon to both travelers and airport employees, who will save valuable time when a transfer between bus lines is no longer required.”
“The new bus shelters are part of a plan to offer improved amenities and greater convenience to customers along this congested artery,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman Stephen Dilts. “Improving local bus stops, coupled with priority signalization, will help make public transportation an even more attractive option for residents.”
“This project builds on our ongoing initiative to enhance and modernize bus service throughout the state, following last year’s successful launch of Go Bus serving the Springfield Avenue corridor,” said Sarles. “Through a combination of express bus stops and traffic management, we will be able to offer a similar customer-focused service along Bloomfield Avenue that will result in real time savings for people.”
“Our county roads have a pivotal role in our transportation network, and I am pleased that NJ TRANSIT will be making improvements to another key corridor in Essex County,” said DiVincenzo. “I am look forward to working with NJ TRANSIT, the Township of Bloomfield and the City of Newark to identify other opportunities to enhance our residents’ quality of life.”
“We are thankful for the investment of federal stimulus funds into the Bloomfield Avenue corridor, which is vital to our central business district,” said McCarthy. “We look forward to the launch of express bus service that will offer faster trips and greater convenience to our residents.”
In April 2008, NJ TRANSIT launched the state’s first “premium” local bus service—Go Bus—along Springfield Avenue between Irvington Bus Terminal and Newark Penn Station. Go Bus features a unique identity, easily identifiable bus stops with improved lighting and passenger information displays, and upgraded onboard amenities.
Go Bus, developed with feedback from customers, serves as a model for Bloomfield Avenue and other heavily-traveled corridors and paves the way for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the state, providing a platform to add features associated with BRT systems.
In February 2009, the NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors authorized a $1.3 million contract with Metroclean Express of Long Island City, New York, for the construction of new bus shelters, signs, lighting and site improvements at locations in Bloomfield and Newark.
Completion of construction work is anticipated by the end of the year.
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NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia