I hope you’ll publish the following letter in your Hudson County publications.
It is important that county residents know the sad state of affairs left to bus riders by Coach U.S.A./Red and Tan Tours. They are an absolute disgrace!
Their operations manager, Jim Rutherford claims the 10 JFK Blvd bus between JSQ and Bayonne is losing money due to economic conditions and jitney competition. Nonsense! The simple reason is undependable and miserable service that has been steadily cut over the last three years. First up for destruction was the 10/99SX Express route between Bayonne and NY Port Authority Terminal, turning it into a long circuitous route along Central Ave. and an unnecessary trip through the JSQ terminal. This added almost 30 minutes travel time to each trip! This was also a viable and well patronized alternative to overcrowded PATH trains and those areas not served by light rail or rapid transit.
As for the jitneys, they are haphazard at best. They are too small, too unreliable and don’t operate on any kind of schedule whatsoever. Far too often they’re dirty, smelly and don’t honor reduced fare, student or senior citizen discounts. I often wonder how many of these vehicles are properly insured, inspected or fairly taxed as regular transit operations are. Many drivers don’t even speak English.
The legacy Red and Tan Tours leaves behind is truly a sorry one. Just look at these casualties. Garfield Avenue, Central Avenue, Lafayette and Greenville, Palisade Avenue and the downtown bus all bit the dust after this farce of a bus operator took them over. A big loss to many riders!
Here’s some examples of what could’ve been done to maintain and maybe even improve service. A portion of Garfield Avenue’s route is now NJT 6 operating between Ocean Avenue, Merritt Street Loop, Lafayette Loop and JSQ. A smart move for NJT would be to extend the No. 6 from JSQ along Central Avenue to the Union City line, thus giving riders a one seat, one fare ride from one end of Jersey City to the other! Perhaps a route could be re-established from Hoboken across town through Hamilton Park giving easterly residents easier access to PATH at Grove Street or Hoboken. This area currently receives only marginal rush hour service via NJT 126. And why is there no bus service between JSQ and the Medical Center?
I look forward to Academy Bus operating the No. 10 bus. Just about anything would be an improvement!