Commuters from New Jersey facing return-to-office mandates who once relied on DeCamp Bus Lines, which ended its service earlier this year, no longer have to worry about their routes being discontinued.
(Bloomberg) — Commuters from New Jersey facing return-to-office mandates who once relied on DeCamp Bus Lines, which ended its service earlier this year, no longer have to worry about their routes being discontinued.
New Jersey Transit said it is making routes to New York City that DeCamp once offered officially a part of its bus network, effective Saturday. When the company serving parts of north Jersey shuttered its bus service in April, the transit agency stepped in to provide an emergency service plan as alternatives. As part of the move NJ Transit gave the routes new numeric designations.
Since starting the service, the agency has increased the number of trips on the former DeCamp routes by about 38%, bringing the total to 58, according to NJ Transit.
“In order to better align the service with other trips to create efficiencies, we incorporated the trips into our Full Time Operator picks,” said Jim Smith, a NJ Transit spokesperson, in an email statement. “The renumbering of the routes was also done in this effort to better align the services into our operations.”
The announcement comes as US transit systems across the nation struggle to regain riders post pandemic. Many transit services rely heavily on fares, and with that revenue having dwindled, operators have had to seek out other sources of funding. Unless the government steps in or new sources of money are found, many agencies may be left with two choices: cut service or raise fares. Neither of which help to bring riders back.
When DeCamp made the decision to cease service, monthly ridership was stuck at about 20% of pre-pandemic levels for its routes to New York City. The company based in the New Jersey suburb of Montclair, some 20 miles from the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan, said earlier this year without federal and state aid “commuter services are too much to bear.”
Read more: NJ-to-NYC Commuters Face Disruption as DeCamp Bus Route to End
NJ Transit sees its revenue deficit climbing to nearly $918 million in fiscal 2026 after federal pandemic aid runs out. Overall weekday rail is back to about 65% of pre-pandemic levels with bus ridership systemwide back to about 85% and intrastate bus ridership into New York back at 80%, CEO and President Kevin Corbett said at a monthly board meeting in July.
US transit systems have had to adjust to the reality that ridership might not return to pre-Covid levels. S&P Global Ratings has said that US public-transportation systems will only recapture about 85% of their pre-pandemic ridership levels by 2026.
Read more: Biggest US Transit Systems Face a $6.6 Billion Funding Shortfall
–With assistance from Shannon D. Harrington and Sam Hall.
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