LIVINGSTON, NJ — When the NJ Transit summer schedule changed as a result of Amtrak's Penn Station New York track replacement, more than 23,000 Essex and Morris rail commuters were affected and the summer of 2017 was dubbed “The Summer of Hell” for travelers. Luckily for Livingston residents, there are other options.

The Livingston Express Shuttle continues to transport commuters to and from South Orange train station during the morning and evening commutes. This service provides a needed conduit to public transportation to and from New York City.

Anther option is a newcomer called "OurBus," which launched on July 10 and stops in Livingston and West Orange before travelling directly to Manhattan.

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The Livingston shuttle costs $2 to ride each way and is cheaper than parking in South Orange, where commuter parking is at a premium. Further, this summer’s reduced one-way fare to go to Hoboken during the week via train is $2.75 and includes free transfer to the PATH or ferry. The total daily cost of a trip to NYC using the shuttle and NJ Transit is $9.50, and may be cheaper with weekly or monthly transit passes.

“The shuttle service came out of the town’s 20/20 Task Force and is helping residents get to and from their jobs,” said shuttle manager Alan Karpas. “It is a service that is cheaper than the bus and adds value to the town.”

Using the shuttle this summer, the average ride into New York City from the Livingston Mall via Hoboken has been approximately 60-75 minutes. After taking the Livingston Express Shuttle, commuters board a train to Hoboken, where they can transfer at no cost to either the PATH train to 33rd Street or World Trade Center or take the ferry to 39th Street, which also offers a free cross-town bus. In the mornings, commuters also can opt to ride the 107x bus from South Orange.

“Since NJ Transit implemented its new schedule, we have and continue to look at the shuttle schedule to best serve riders,” said Karpas. “The schedule is tied to the former Midtown Direct trains which accommodate more passengers.”

The shuttle’s updated summer schedule is available HERE The shuttle operates between 6 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and then from 4:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

OurBus, Inc. recently responded to numerous requests to expand service in the Essex County area, specifically from the Livingston and West Orange communities to add a local commuter route.  After interested citizens submitted their suggestions for pickup and drop-off locations and departure times to the OurBus app and website, OurBus complied.

Passengers can now board OurBus to New York City at several convenient stops in Livingston and West Orange.

“Livingston and West Orange are a natural fit for OurBus service due to its proximity to New York and high density of commuters,” said OurBus founder Narinder Singh. “OurBus is looking forward to arranging an alternative means of transportation to ease the daily commute.”

The OurBus route drops off in New York City at Times Square, Bryant Park, Grand Central and Madison Square Park.

From Livingston, a one-way trip is priced at $9.50, round-trip at $18, one-way monthly at $165, and round-trip monthly at $295. From West Orange, a one-way ticket is priced at $9, round trip $17, one way monthly at $155, and round trip monthly at $285.

The coaches used for this service are equipped with amenities like reclining seats and on-board restrooms to provide comfort for riders. For those who like to stay connected with the world, the buses offer complimentary Wi-Fi and individual charging ports for commuters’ devices.

Residents can book their first ticket at no cost. Email to receive a free ride.

Tickets can be booked on the OurBus app or at