Transit advocacy group applauds efforts to modernize NJ Transit bus system

The 605 bus in Trenton. NJ Transit is overhauling the bus network in the Newark area and public transit advocates hope the program is the start of revamping the network across the state.

NJ Transit, the state’s public transit agency, has launched a new program to redesign its bus network for the Newark area. The program is called “NewBus Newark.”

The initiative includes an analysis of the Newark area’s 38 local bus routes. A survey that just launched will assess the current transit market, gathering information about where people live, where they work, and how they travel. The findings will be used along with community input to design a new intrastate bus network for the Newark region.

A top public transit advocacy group in the state, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, applauded the project launch on Monday, saying the state’s bus network is in dire need of an overhaul.

“New Jersey bus riders have been suffering for years with outdated bus routes that do not match today’s commuter or frequent rider needs, unreliable service, and a disjointed network that is not fully integrated with other modes of transit,” reads a statement issued by the organization on Monday.

“NJ Transit’s announcement is a big step toward modernizing the state’s public transit system. For the more than 165,000 pre-COVID-19 daily riders on the 38 bus routes in Newark, the network redesign signifies that NJ Transit is committed to improving service and building a 21st-century transit system,” reads the statement. “We commend NJ Transit on making this progress, especially as the region recovers from the COVID- 19 pandemic, and we look forward to working together so that this network redesign and future redesigns can appropriately serve the needs of New Jersey commuters.”

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign highlighted bus network issues, in a 2019 report, A New Ride For New Jersey: Building a Better Bus System

Would you ride the bus in NJ Transit had a better network in the Princeton region? Share your thoughts in comments below.