Limited alternate routes created for some former DeCamp commuters from Belleville & North Arlington

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There’s good news local commuters who would have otherwise been stranded as DeCamp Bus Lines halted NYC commuter services Friday, April 7.

NJ Transit, at the urging of Belleville Mayor Michael A. Melham, North Arlington Mayor Daniel H. Pronti and officials in nearby municipalities, is modifying four existing commuter bus routes in North Jersey to accommodate former DeCamp riders.

Beginning Monday, April 10, NJ Transit’s 199D line will provide alternative service for DeCamp’s Route 44 customers in Belleville, North Arlington, Newark and Lyndhurst to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, to NYC at Gate 208.

Former DeCamp Route 44 customers will be able to get on and off the NJ Transit bus headed to New York City at Union Avenue and Mill Street in Belleville and Ridge Road and Garden Terrace in North Arlington.

Restoring service has been a priority for Melham and Pronti, who joined on conference calls with other area mayors, as well as county and state officials, to identify quick solutions.

“It was evident that this was going to create a hardship for residents who had come to rely on this bus route to get them to and from New York for their work or to see loved ones,” Melham said. “Thankfully, our concerns were heard and some service was restored.”

Pronti wrote a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, expressing his concerns.

“Many of our North Arlington residents depend on the existing DeCamp Bus service into and back from Manhattan,” Pronti said. “We hope that our state representatives, as well as NJ Transit, find a solution and take over the DeCamp routes so our residents do not suffer any long term financial losses due to these unanticipated changes.”

Melham and Pronti are advocating for additional, permanent transportation options, as the interim NJ Transit plan only includes weekday peak periods for the four modified bus routes.

According to NJ Transit, the plan will accommodate approximately 85% of current weekday DeCamp customers. The remaining customers may access existing bus, rail and light rail service, as well as local municipal bus shuttles, the agency says.

“It is important to note this emergency service plan will only include weekday peak periods for the four modified bus routes and will not duplicate the current DeCamp routes in their entirety, though the variants will mirror many portions of the current routes,” Jim Smith, NJ Transit’s Chief Communication Officer, said. “During weekends and off-peak weekdays, customers are advised to utilize existing NJ Transit services. NJ Transit will continually monitor ridership demand, and will be able to make adjustments in June if warranted and as resources allow.”

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.