The long wait is finally over for Livingston commuters. This morning, the Livingston Primetime Shuttle will be in service.
The new shuttle will be offering non-stop, round trip express service from the from the Livingston Mall to the South Orange train station.
"I can't think of too many things that have been more anticipated this year than the arrival of our shuttle to the South Orange train station," said Mayor Stephen Santola.
At last Monday's town council meeting, a contract with State Shuttle was approved for them to provide the shuttle service. The Lake Hopatcong company has been in business for over 35 years and has provided a range of transportation services to the tri-state area.
The shuttle will provide roundtrip service during the week, Monday through Friday, from 5:30-9:30 a.m. and 4-9 p.m. The initial schedule has almost two trips an hour.
The fare for the non-stop service will be $2 each way or a monthly pass for $70.
Not only will the shuttle be available for Livingston residents, but any travelers departing from South Orange, who work or shop in Livingston, will be able to use the shuttle. The Livingston Mall is close to Newark Academy, another entity whose students may benefit from the shuttle.
South Orange Village President Alex Torpey welcomed the news of the shuttle on Monday night as he hoped the service would be beneficial to both towns.
"I'd like to welcome all of our Livingston neighbors to our downtown and hope folks will get here early enough to check out some of our great downtown businesses," said Torpey. "Kudos to Livingston for implementing a public transit link to the train, we're happy to have people here."
With the recent troubles with the Community Coach Route 77 bus, it is expected that many commuters will want to try this new service. Santola assured residents that since the shuttle is run by the township, it will be easy to make any necessary changes.
"One of the best parts of this shuttle is that it is our shuttle," said Santola. "We are not beholden to anyone else's time or schedule."
Parking for commuters will be available free of charge in a designated area of the Livingston Mall. The well-lit lot is located in Section 18 near the Walnut Street entrance, behind Macy’s and close to two active bus shelters. The parking area is regularly patrolled by the Livingston Police Department and Mall security.
Also at Monday's meeting, the township recognized Alan Karpas, chairman of the township's Vision 20/20 committee, for his work in spearheading the shuttle. Karpas was presented with an award, applauding him for his hard work and efforts in bringing the "reality and dream of a new, direct, and economic shuttle" to Livingston.
Information regarding purchasing the monthly pass can be found on-line through the Livingston Township Department of Senior, Youth & Leisure Services' website or by calling 973-535-7925.