FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Freeholder H. James Polos,
Chair, Public Works and Transportation Committee
County Unveils Busses That Will Ease Passenger Boarding
MAY 16, 2011 – Passengers taking a Middlesex County Community Shuttle bus from Old Bridge and South River to Brunswick Square Mall in East Brunswick will have an easier time boarding the bus now that the County has put into service two low-floor busses.
The busses have ramps that will allow passengers in wheelchairs and scooters to board quicker. The busses also have the ability to “kneel,” or lower and lean toward a curb, so that passengers who walk slowly or who use a cane or walker have to climb only one step instead of the four on traditional shuttle busses.
“These new vehicles are a great addition to our fleet,” said Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, Chair of the County’s Public Works and Transportation Committee. “Not only will boarding and disembarking be easier for our passengers, but the busses will help us speed our loading and unloading times and keep to our schedule, ensuring better service.”
The busses have been assigned to the County’s M3 Shuttle, which transports passengers in Old Bridge and South River between municipal buildings, doctors’ offices, shopping centers and Raritan Bay Medical Center, the Costello Home and Maher Manor in Old Bridge Township. This route has four times the number of passengers who use wheelchairs or scooters than any of the five other shuttle routes the County operates.
In order to cut the cost of $120,000 purchase price of each new vehicle, the County bought “demo” busses, each with about 4,000 miles on them and paid $95,000 each.
The Middlesex County Area Transit system provides more than 500,000 passenger trips annually. The Community Shuttle program, which includes six routes, carried 350,000 of those trips last year.
“Our Community Shuttle program provides low-cost, safe and efficient service and has been a great success since debuting in 2005,” Polos said. “Every year, the program has grown, showing us that we are filling a need.”
This summer, the County will debut a seventh shuttle route, connecting residents in South Amboy and Sayreville with New Jersey Transit busses on Route 9, Academy Bus service to Wall Street in Manhattan, the North Jersey Coast Rail Line at the South Amboy Train Station and the Brunswick Square Mall.
“Middlesex County constantly looks at the services we provide to ensure that we are meeting our residents’ needs,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “The Community Shuttle Program is an example of putting our resources where they will be used most effectively and efficiently.”