BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department has acquired another handicap accessible bus to service Bloomfield’s senior population. A 2017 Ford F450 bus that can accommodate 11 passengers and has a wheelchair lift compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act was obtained with Federal Transit Administration grant funding via NJ Transit.

Bloomfield Parks and Recreation received this bus on November 30th. Signage and graphics are being installed by the Parks and Recreation Department, and the bus will be ready for daily use by 2018. The bus will be added to the Senior Citizen Bus Service fleet, which runs on a fixed route Monday-Friday between 9:00AM and 4:00PM, stopping at various shopping locations such as Brookdale Shoprite, CVS, Jack’s Super Foodtown, Stop & Shop and the Bloomfield Center.

“Thanks to the hard work and knowledge of the Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department, this vehicle was obtained entirely with federal grant funding, meaning Bloomfield taxpayers will see an immediate increase in available transportation services at no additional cost,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “I would like to commend the Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department for their outstanding commitment to providing not only adequate but exemplary service to Bloomfield’s senior community, ensuring that Bloomfield remains accessible to all residents.”

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The acquisition of the Ford F450 vehicle comes on the heels of a 20 passenger bus that Bloomfield Parks and Recreation received through a Community Development Block Grant in October. With the addition of the 2017 Ford F450, Bloomfield Parks and Recreation now manages five buses and five vans that provide transportation throughout Bloomfield: Dial A – Ride, Bloomfield Senior Citizen Bus Service, and the Commuter Shuttle Bus. Only the Shuttle Bus has a fee, with the cost being largely subsidized by the Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department, with 50 ride passes available for $25.

“The Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Department and our bus drivers pride themselves on providing safe and reliable transportation to all residents, especially our senior and non-ambulatory population. The acquisition of this new vehicle will allow us to bring our older vehicles in for regular and proactive maintenance, increasing their lifespans, without interrupting our standard transportation schedules or inconveniencing riders,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Michael Sceurman. “Bloomfield’s senior citizens deserve the best transportation available, and this new bus will ensure we can maintain our reliable service. I am extremely grateful to our drivers and coordinators who are trained in operating wheelchair ramp lifts, and work so hard to accommodate our passengers’ needs.”

The Senior Citizen Bus schedule currently has 13 routes, all of which include stops at supermarkets. On average, the Senior Citizen Bus provide approximately 175 round trips per week. The entire schedule can be viewed online at http://www.bloomfieldtwpnj.com/parks-recreation/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/Shuttle%20Bus%20Schedule%20Booklet%20-%20Jan%202017.pdf or by calling the Parks and  Recreation Department Transportation Number at 973-566-7194.