Town Council Extends Shuttle Evaluation to June

During last night's town council meeting, the status of the Primetime Shuttle was discussed, as well as the current conditions of the Public Works facility

LIVINGSTON, NJ- During last night’s town council meeting on March 4, the conference room walls were lined with over 20 Primetime Shuttle riders to speak on the behalf of its ‘great services’ to councilmembers.

After running for four months, Alan Karpas presented its current and projected financial status to the board. 

Karpas explained that in the beginning months, the numbers were affected due to Hurricane Sandy, but asked for a three month extension for the shuttle to be reevaluated in June. 

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According to Karpas, this would not require any additional financial approvals, since it would cost $12,817 which with the other months combined, is still less than the original approved cost of $62,000. 

Lifelong Livingston resident and Manhattan employee, Jeff Parker, spoke very highly of the shuttle and praised its potential for Livingston.

“The shuttle is dependable and very convenient.  It’s also cheaper than parking at the South Orange train station or taking the NJ Transit bus,” Parker said. 

He added that the shuttle makes a lot of sense for Livingston because it brings new residents to the town.

“The shuttle brings people to Livingston--people have moved to Livingston specifically for it,” Parker said.  “Now that we have a shuttle, I don’t know why anyone would want to live anywhere else.”

Livingston realtor and resident, Stan Kay, explained to the board that when deciding whether or not to reside in Livingston, it is very important to potential residents that they have a form of public transportation.

“The single most asked question is ‘what are the options for public transportation?’,” Kay explained.

He said that the shuttle has and will continue to bring new residents to the town if its service continues.

All councilmembers voted in favor of a three month extension and the shuttle will be reevaluated in June.

“I think it’s a winning idea and adds property value to the town,” councilmember, Al Anthony said.  “This past week alone was its most successful week yet.”

In other news, a presentation was given to the board regarding the future of the Public Works facility, which according to Township Manager, Michele Meade, is not up to code.

“Our goal is to bring the building up to minimal standards.  Doing nothing is no longer an option,” Meade said.

She explained that either the building could be renovated or moved to an alternate location, depending on what the board favors.

Division of Construction and Maintenance Superintendent of Public Works, Mike Anello, said that the current condition of the building and lack of space are reasons to move it.

Anello added that OSHA standards are not being met and amongst several problems, severe flooding has occurred during hurricanes Irene and Sandy with over four feet of water.

“65 pieces of equipment that should be sheltered is not, which is ultimately ruining the quality of it.  It’s not fair to taxpayers,” Anello said.  “I believe that the garage is not supporting the demands of the Public Works department and someone whether it be a resident or employee, will get hurt.”

Three construction alternatives were discussed which ranged from 9.6M to 11.2M and involved either renovations or a new location all together.

“I think we can all agree the building isn’t suitable as is,” Meade said.

The Public Works facility will be discussed further at a future meeting. 

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