HACKENSACK, NJ -- Monday afternoon, Bergen County leaders met outside of the Essex Station to announce the opening of a much needed bus loop connecting five points in Hackensack. The loop will allow commuters who might otherwise need to walk excessive distances from the train station to take this free shuttle to their destinations, and operate between the hours of 7:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday, with two buses moving in opposite directions and hitting all five stops on their routes.
"Bergen County is very congested, and this shuttle will offer a way to get around without cars, for residents and commuters," said Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse.
The new buses, and the labor that will be required to operate them, were paid for by the a Congestion, Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant obtained by the County, and nearly $200K in additional funding provided by the County to keep this program operational.
The two shuttles will stop at Essex Street, County Complex, Bus Station, Anderson Street and Hackensack Medical Center. Both buses are equipped with ADA compliant wheelchair lifts. The entire loop takes approximate 45 minutes.
The buses, which have already begun their routes, can deviate from their routes up to two blocks to accommodate residents who may be unable to get to the stops. To schedule a deviated route, residents must call (201) 368-5955, ext. 1, at least 24 hours before the time the need to be picked up. The route schedule is available online through the County website.
"This connector bus is an example of what we can do when federal, state, county and local governments work together to get things done," said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.
"You don't need to use NJ Transit services to use this shuttle," said Alicia D’Alessandro, Director of Communications for the Office of County Executive Tedesco. "Anyone can get on and off these buses without [vouchers or a bus pass]."
Bergen County Freeholders Tom Sullivan, Tracy Zur, Germaine Ortiz, and Mary Amoroso, Hackensack Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, and representatives from the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and the Hackensack Main Street Alliance were also in attendance.
"This service reflects everything Hackensack is trying to achieve, and create a more pedestrian-friendly city," said Mayor Labrosse.