Maplewood has NJ TRANSIT bus routes that run down the length of Springfield Avenue, a major traffic corridor that passes through several towns including in no particular order, Newark, Irvington, Maplewood, Union City, Vauxhall, Springfield, Summit, Cranford.
Bus’ #25 (Maplewood to Newark via Springfield Avenue),bus #70 (Livingston Mall/Short Hills Mall to Newark) and bus #39 (Maplewood to Newark via Irvington) service our town. Select this link for the NJ Transit bus schedules.
Bus #31 also services our town. It is run by Academy, not NJ TRANSIT. It passes near our town center. For information on Bus 31, which travels from Newark Penn Station, through South Orange and into Livingston, with a stop at Saint Barnabas hospital, you can call (800) 442-7272. Select this link for accompanying information, as found on the Saint Barnabas Website.
NJ TRANSIT makes it especially easy for our residents to travel into NYC. The Maplewood train station is a stop on the Dover Line. The Mid-Town Direct has three destinations, including Dover, Gladstone & Montclair.
The Dover & Gladstone trains pass through Maplewood to and from NYC. The Dover line passes through Newark Broad Street & Secaucus to NYC, providing commuters with opportunities to transfer to other lines at these specific locations. The Dover line terminates in New York Penn Station (Penn Station). You can reach NJ Transit at 973-275-5555, or select this link if traveling from train station to train station
To be honest, in Penn Station, I usually get lost in translation when returning to Maplewood during rush hour. I have to remember that I can’t take just any express train to Summit. Usually I don’t remember. There are express trains that bypass Maplewood and go from South Orange to Millburn or South Orange to Summit; they don’t stop in Maplewood. Sometimes I get a save. I’ll hear the conductor say before take off “This train does not stop in x, y, z.” If, however, I sprinted on board at the last minute thinking “I made it!” and it’s the wrong express train, it’s usually smooth sailing to Summit. Calmness is golden in Penn Station.
There is something special about local transit options:
Maplewood Township was selected by NJ TRANSIT to have a Community Shuttle Program. Locally we call our Community Shuttle Program a Jitney service. This Jitney service is specifically for residents who commute by train. Designated Jitney stops pull residents from the the outskirts of town, as well as resident living in the inner ring, to the center of Maplewood, where the train station is located and the Jitney route terminates.
The Jitney is a convenient service for those who commute into NYC, Hoboken, Dover or communities in between. To ride the Jitney, residents can purchase a pass book for limited rides, pay $1 per ride when boarding, or purchase a Jitney Pass from Town Hall which allows for unlimited use. (Call Town Hall at 973-762-8120). The Jitney service is handled by the Public Works department.
Those who utilize the service save hundreds of dollars in parking fees and/or tickets each year. The township benefits because the jitney limits congestion in our town center. The program also reduces parking needed by commuters. Increased levels of pollution is also avoided. It’s a win-win.
Residents who commute have several transportation choices. They can:
- catch the Jitney ($1 per ride)
- catch the #70, #25 or #39 bus locally
- bike (you can find bike racks throughout the village)
*Maplewood Concierge was established to meet and match commuter needs including services such as dry cleaning & breakfast for commuters. Some services were phased out in 2010.
Poll posted 10/18/2008.
If you’re strategic, like I’ve had to become on my route, every day will be a good day for you. Take it from me, if you are riding the Hilton route: On your first day, you’ll want to stay on the good side of the driver (whatever that means). Otherwise, as I’ve learned, don’t risk getting to the stop with less than 2 minutes to pick-up. Don’t take it personal if the driver sees you coming and drives off. And if you get left have A+ cab on speed dial (973-275- 0660) or carry shoes that’ll take you cross town so you’re not too late for work. Or head to Union to catch the #39 bus or Springfield to catch the #25 or #70 bus to Newark Penn Station. And don’t waste you’re time calling Town Hall. Your minutes can be used for something better, like calling Bill & Harry’s (973 763-1960) to order take out when you’re coming home from work that evening.
NJ TRANSIT’s Community Shuttle Program
Background: In May 2000 NJ TRANSIT selected the 20 recipients of the first round of The Community Shuttle Program. For the second qualifying round, 18 communities statewide were awarded commuter shuttles. Recipients gained eligibility through their “ability to operate the service, access to NJ TRANSIT train stations and bus stops, opportunities to connect rail stations with work sites and demonstration of local support.” The Community Shuttle Program is what we in Maplewood call our ‘Jitney’ service. According to NJ TRANSIT, the intention was to provide residents with shuttle service to and from a rail, bus corridor, or light rail station during ‘peak’ periods. NJ TRANSIT designates (6-9am) and (4-7pm) as ‘peak’ hours. Federal funding was utilized to purchase the first round of 20 passenger shuttle buses ($94,000 each) awarded in May 2000 for those municipalities selected as recipients. In addition to receiving (a) shuttle bus(es), a community receives up to $60,000 for the first three years of operation. The amount is partially paid with ‘seed’ money from NJ TRANSIT provided that the commuter shuttle is used explicitly for the intended purpose. Otherwise, a municipality is expected to pay for any other service a vehicle is utilized for.
According to an excerpt taken from NJ TRANSIT website, “…Federal funding for the program was secured by New Jersey Congressmen William Pascrell and Donald Payne.” “The shuttle program is a creative, cost-effective way to make our communities more livable,” said Congressman William Pascrell. “At a time when we must have innovative mass transit investment, these federally-funded shuttle buses will go a long way toward easing traffic congestion, reducing air pollution, and improving the daily commute for so many across our state. I am pleased to have fought for the dollars to fund this program, and know it will continue to bring real results in our cities and towns.”
Of itself, NJ TRANSIT says: NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s only statewide public transportation system providing bus, rail and light rail services for 373,500 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 26 light rail stations and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
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