LIVINGSTON, NJ — Members of the Livingston Township Council authorized a decrease in the price of the monthly Livingston Express Shuttle Service pass for the month of October, which marks the fifth anniversary of the township’s round-trip service between the Livingston Mall and the South Orange train station.
Following the “Summer of Hell” for commuters, trains are now moving more regularly and shuttle manager Alan Karpas requested that the price decrease from $70 to $50 for the month as an incentive for Livingston residents to utilize this service.
Although council members were disappointed that the request could not have been brought to their attention sooner in order to legally vote on the matter in accordance with the Open Public Meetings law in time to potentially decrease the price for September as well, the council unanimously voted in favor of this change on Monday.
The mayor and council also expressed their support of the shuttle, and even stopped by the Livingston Mall shuttle stop for a photo op, as seen above, to inform residents that the regular schedule is back in full swing.
“The trains are now running on a more regular basis, so we wanted to—as a promotion—consider dropping the price for the shuttle just so people can start using it again and see what a good service it is,” said Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein.
Over the last few weeks, Karpas said the ridership has greatly increased after dropping 60 percent for the month of August compared to August of 2016.
“We’ve gotten back quite a few, but we’re still nowhere near where we were before August,” said Karpas, who added that this week’s ridership was estimated at about 70 percent of the ridership seen at this time last year. “A lot of the riders had found other ways to go in and made other arrangements and we’d like to get them back. We thought that this would be some sort of incentive to do that.”
Councilman Michael Silverman reiterated his disappointment that the discussion could not have occurred early in the summer in preparation for the end of the “Summer of Hell” for commuters. He added, and was echoed by fellow council members, that the only reason for the delay was because the council needed to publicly vote on the decision at a formal meeting with a formal agenda.
On behalf of the council, Klein said the township has always and will always support the Livingston Express Shuttle and that he hopes the new price will help the shuttle attract more riders in the month of October.