Then & Now

Photo courtesy North Arlington Public Library

Photo courtesy North Arlington Public Library

 

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

 

Did you know that the bus terminal on Ridge Road at Garden Terrace in North Arlington is officially called The Loop? (Neither did we, but it reminds us of a bad joke: A man boards a bus and asks, “Do you go to The Loop?” And the bus driver says, “No, I go ‘beep, beep’.”)

The terminal, operated by Public Service Coordinated Transport, had been open for only a year or two when the B&W 1939 photo was taken. At least one of the three vehicles (the one in the center) can be identified by its rooftop trolley pole as being electric-powered. Like the trolley cars that preceded them, such buses still utilized overhead wires strung above the streets. Eventually, these were replaced by diesel-fueled fleets.

According to Merritt Ierley’s book “A Place in History: North Arlington,” The Loop was established by Public Service “under pressure from the North Arlington mayor and Council” so borough residents would no longer have to walk to Kearny to catch a bus to Newark. It had the added effect of “extending [the] five-cent fare zone into North Arlington.” Today, NJ Transit buses utilize The Loop, the buses can talk, and the five-cent fare has become the stuff of myth.

– Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff