Over the last six months or so a great deal of unrest and controversy, most of it justifiable, has been generated regarding the deterioration of bus service in Hudson County and particularly on the routes in and around Jersey City served by Red & Tan/Coach USA.
Riders watched helplessly as routes and services were gradually cut or eliminated with no public input whatsoever. Lines 3, 4, 6 and 16 were eliminated completely while #99S service was transferred to Central Ave. and off Palisade Ave. because of a so-called "lack of ridership." Nonsense! I've watched this poor excuse of a bus company systematically drive their riders away with lousy service for the past five years now. Times table changes, bunching of buses, even on simple lines like the #4 and #16 have become the norm. Why? No employee supervision of any kind at all - even in Journal Square, anywhere on JFK Blvd. or at the Port Authority in NYC. This is especially noticeable on the #10 Blvd. bus where 15 minute service is advertised in their timetable. It's pure fiction as buses often operate 2-3 at a time, bypass whatever stops the driver feels like skipping while waiting passengers often have to wait in the cold or rain for as much as 45 minutes. This route is a simple straight line run from end to end, and this sort of erratic service is inexcusable!
I find it ironic, too, that the independent operators such as Montgomery-West Side, A& C Bus, Bergen Ave. and Broadway Bus in Bayonne have not curtailed or cut their services, and I'm quite certain their operating costs are no different than those of Red & Tan/Coach USA. The same can also be said for Routes #2 & 88 of Academy Bus. Their services is generally fine and their bus operators excellent.
I also find it interesting to see that NJ Transit had the brains and foresight to continue the #99 bus, albeit with a new route, #6 and a slightly revised route of operation. It is also my understanding they intend to assume the operations of Red & Tan/Coach USA #4 in April if they decide to drop the services. At least NJ Transit seems to realize these routes may become more important as the areas they serve continue to develop.
In conclusion there is nothing I would like to see more than the name Red & Tan eliminated from the Coach USA name.
The original Red & Tan Lines was a superb bus company which operated lines all over Northern New Jersey as well as Rockland County in New York. They once provided riders along both North & South Blvd. with exemplary service and equipment as well as dedicated and courteous operators. For Coach USA to use the words Red & Tan in the same sentence is nothing more than a travesty!
Kevin F. Speitel