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Route Chosen for Livingston Shuttle

A proposed jitney from the Livingston Mall to the South Orange train station could be in service by Labor Day.

Livingston’s proposed jitney to South Orange moved one step closer to reality on Monday as the town council approved an ordinance establishing the transportation route on its first reading.  The ordinance now goes to a second reading and final vote on Sep. 4.

“I think we all recognize that it’s important for our residents to go to their places of employment as quickly, easily and as efficiently as the towns that surround us,” Livingston Mayor Stephen Santola said.  “We really need to have services beyond the 77 bus into Manhattan.”

Alan Karpas, chairman of the township's Vision 20/20 committee, provided the details of the service that would allow commuters to travel from the to the .  Residents would be charged a $2 fare per ride.  There will also be a monthly pass offered for $70 a month.

“By a large amount, this will be the cheapest way to commute to New York City,” Karpas said.

The cost to the town for the service will be $54,000 over a six month period.  The service is expected to cost about $450 per day for the driver, vehicle and insurance.  

"The $54,000 cost to the Township is for a six month trial period and will cost that amount if there are absolutely no riders during the period of operation," Karpas told Patch in an e-mail to clarify the cost.  "We need an average of 25 riders per hour (12 1/2 per trip average) to have the jitney be a breakeven project."

Santola also explained that with the passenger fares and advertising on the jitney, the service can eventually be self-sufficient.  Township Manager Michele Meade said the initial funding would come from Livingston’s Recreation Trust Fund, a typical source for new services.  Also the town will be looking into setting up an online process to buy monthly passes.

The current plan will call for a jitney to run twice an hour, starting at 5:30 a.m. and running until 9:30 a.m.  The jitney will then run in the afternoon peak hours between 4-9 p.m.  The jitney schedule will be tied to the train schedule.

With the recent , it is expected that many commuters will want to try this new service.  Santola and Karpas said the schedule can be adjusted almost daily to accommodate the amount of riders.

“This has been long-coming,” said Karpas, who thanked the town council on behalf of his committee.  “Now is the right time (for the jitney).  Everybody in town knows that we have to do this.”

vynnye william devane August 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM
$54,000.00 for six months or an annual cost of $108,000.00 to both commuter and non-commuting Livingston residents to redirect funds to operate the Jitney! Moreover, Livingston Mall will set aside limited parking spaces for Jitney riders. Township leaders target your expertise. Petition NJ transit to enhance service of the 73 and or 71 bus routes to South Orange or Newark Penn train stations. Accomplishing this will reduce the cost Livingston residents (commuting and non-commuting) by avoiding the hidden tax assessed when budgeted township funds are reallocated to subsidize the Jitney.
George Walsh August 09, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Good news. This will be a valuable addition to Livingston services and is plus for home values. It may even bring additonal business to the Livingston Mall.
Bonnie Garely August 12, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Congratulations on your new concept of transportation/commuter convenience. As residents for the last five years in Livingston we have been constantly frustrated getting into NYC. We resided in South Orange for over 30 years and found that the bus transportion was not working in our behalf. We presently do not commute to the city but are frequent visitors for social purposes which includes returning by train around 11:30. When we go to the theater we have to either drive in or park in So Orange Parking in So. Orange week days is a nightmare. Many men and women would love to be able to park and ride to the station. Your proposed plan does not include any other hours for most residents. We propose that there be a "run" at least once a day around 11:00am and return at 11:30 pm on a few week days and Saturdays. Please take this into consideration in your plan. Thank you. Bonnie and Lew Garely. bgarely@comcast.net
George Walsh August 13, 2012 at 05:20 PM
vynnye: "will cost that amount if there are absolutely no riders during the period of operation."Karpas told Patch in an e-mail to clarify the cost. "We need an average of 25 riders per hour (12 1/2 per trip average) to have the jitney be a breakeven project."
Bruce Shirey August 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Brilliant. I'm tired of parking on Chatham residential streets just to get to work. Maybe they could consider running the jitney to Chatham station?

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