Instead of pitting the Central Ave. merchants against the Palisade Ave. commuters, our politicians should be securing additional mass transportation. All of us deserve state of the art mass transportation - not the horrible service currently offered.
I took the 99 bus for 12 years. It has a long history of being completely unreliable. The buses are obsolete and decrepit to the point of being dangerous. Leaking coach buses, with narrow aisles, are packed with standees. Passengers are forced to exit and reboard at each stop on the return trip.
Many times the air conditioning did not work. The transmission would not shift to enable the bus to travel up the ramp from the Lincoln Tunnel at a speed over 10MPH. Sound unbelievable? It gets worse.
At Port Authority, passengers must pay as they enter - cash only, exact change, with no pass system - causing long boarding delays. Passengers are routinely left behind because there are not enough buses. Fights among passengers are common. No other route has problems of this magnitude. It is a shame the people are subjected to these conditions.
And then Red & Tan, or Coach USA or Trans Hudson Express, Inc., (the company goes by three names) has the audacity to complain that ridership is down on Palisade Ave. Go figure. Why do you think you lost riders? It's because your service is terrible.
Many times I implored NJ Transit officials at the PA to take over the line. Jersey City residents deserve to have a reliable NJ Transit bus line into Manhattan on Palisade Ave. Throughout Hudson County taxpayers subsidize the NJ Transit commute of suburbanites while we are forced to use private carriers.
We also deserve an HOV lane that allows immediate entrance into the Lincoln Tunnel like the commuters from the suburbs. My colleagues traveling on buses from Clifton get to work quicker than I do. It takes an hour to travel five miles from St. Paul's Ave. to 40th and Eighth Ave. during rush hour.
Mayor Healy, who has a dedicated parking space at City Hall, thinks moving the bus to Central Ave. "imposes a minimal amount of hardship." How about walking 30 minutes to catch a bus every day, Mayor? Maybe then this issue might mean more to you.