x002548's Blog

Not Just a Number - Brett Kaiser
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West Orange Ridership Community

W.O. Shuttle Service Hotline Number: 973-325-4183

Jitney Schedules

 Well it looks like this blog entry is being spammed to death in the comments.  I will update the blog section as required, and until I can clean up the hundreds of spam, we will have to leave it as is...funny no other blog entries I have are being affected this way.  Makes you think.

A record of Shuttle miscues follow the Updates

UPDATE: 10/05/2006  News From the Meeting with the Mayor

Yes two riders showed up to meet with the Mayor. David, a former rider from Route 3, (he just received his long awaited parking spot in South Orange and has no need to ride the shuttle), and I.
 
The mayor introduced everyone
 
Lenny - Municipal Engineer
Jack - Business Administrator
Rob - Transerve, Inc.
Hellen - Manager Transerve, Inc.
 
The Mayor spoke for about 10 minutes on the history of the shuttle service, how they came to award the contract to the current vendor and the news about the township's purchase of an additional bus Hellen spoke about the current stability of the drivers, and the two backup drivers that they have. That the drivers had received a raise, and were comfortable with the job.
 
From: TENTATIVE AGENDA TOWNSHIP COUNCIL JUNE 27, 2006
"Award of Bid One (1) 25 Passenger Bus, American
Bus and Coach LLC, 2595 East State Street,
Trenton, NJ 08619 in the Amount of $51,190"
With the intention of placing this larger bus on
the route that needs it the most, and starting the fourth route
 
For those who want to know who the vendor is
From: TENTATIVE AGENDA TOWNSHIP COUNCIL MAY 23, 2006
"Award of Bid – Licensed Motor Vehicle Drivers
for Midtown Direct Shuttle Bus Program –
Transerve, Inc., 240 No. Grove Street, East
Orange, New Jersey 07017 in the Amount of $211,700"
 
The other shuttle rider spoke for a few minutes,
and mentioned many of the same topics that I have
listed below. There was open discussion about
the topics and possible solutions.
 
The town resolved to review each of the following:
Institute three email lists for the notification
of riders about sudden changes to the service.
Considering that many of us have blackberries,
and cell phones that can receive messages, those
of us on the list will tell others.
We need to work with the township to build the
three lists, standardize the messages, and set
guidelines for when they will be sent.
 
I spoke about how important the shuttle was to me
selecting West Orange as a viable place to buy a
house, I then started to read selective items
from the list below, and we discussed them one by one.
 
The town resolved to review each of the following:
Posting a telephone number in every bus in order
to make complaints about UNSAFE driving. This will be direct to Hellen.
Buses will be looked over for rattles and loose items.
Buses will be placed on a tighter maintenance schedule
All switches on the buses will be labelled with their function
Drivers will be instructed on the use of rear AC
with front AC and not turn on the rear heat by accident
The information line being kept up to date
Increasing the capacity of the existing buses by
working with the NJ MVS commission
Changing of Route 1 evening runs to pick up at South Orange only
Not charging for the service
Improving the driver training so they can fill in for each other
Adding an additional morning run t meet the 9:00 to NY
Adding an additional evening run to meet the 7:15 from NY
Creating specific procedures to eliminate the
confusion that occurs when there is a problem
The following is the agenda that I brought with
me. Jack asked me for a copy and I provided him one.
West Orange Ridership Community
Town Hall Meeting with the Mayor
The following is a list of grievances that have
been noted since November 2005 on the WORC blog
by riders of the shuttle for the purpose of opening discussions on these topics
I.      Grievances
A.      Reliability
1.      Shuttles are
i.      Early
ii.     Late
iii.    Don't arrive at all
iv.     Break down
v.      Can't climb the hill
vi.     Slip and slide in rain and snow
B.      Vehicle Maintenance
1.      Shuttles have
i.      Noises that sound like they are going to fall apart at any moment
ii.     Nonfunctional AC
iii.    Electric doors don't open/close
iv.     Broken window latches
v.      Mechanical doors that don't open all the way / lock open
vi.     Interior panels held in place with duct tape.
C.      Drivers, How to Recruit and Retain
1.      Compensation
D.      Driver Training
1.      Drivers are shown the route by one of the other drivers
2.      Receive copies of the schedule without a town map
3.      Need the riders to show them the route.
4.      Don't understand how the routes overlap
5.      Don't know the names of the streets
6.      Don't know what all the switches on the dash are for
7.      Don't know if they are controlling the heater or the cooling
8.      Use cell phones while driving
9.      Hold clip boards and pens while driving
so they can update the log at each stop
10.     Are not always courteous
11.     Are not always agreeable to looking at
the printed schedule to settle disputes.
12.     Provide answers like "They should be here
soon" when what they should be saying "I don't
know, but I can try to find them"
13.     Reluctant to use the radio to locate an absent driver.
E.      Information Line
1.      Almost never has a current message on it.
2.      Complaints are not always responded to.
F.      Shuttle Schedule
1.      Late - Although this has happened, I
personally can't say that I have actually missed
a train because of it. Usually the driver skips
Mountain Station which inconveniences some riders who take the Hoboken train.
2.      Early - This can be a real problem, as it
is not always easy to be waiting at your stop 5
minutes early just in case the bus is early. One
rider on Colony Drive east would hold the bus if
it was early knowing that many riders would have missed it if he didn't.
G.      Passenger capacity of the busses
1.      Route 1 has had situations where the bus
was filled, and the driver passed just blew the horn as she passed us by.
H.      Stop Locations
1.      Who defined them
2.      How are the riders to know
i.      Above or below Gregory
ii.     Should we cross this busy street
3.      Picking up passengers at Mountain Station
- not allowed, but some do it anyway
4.      Dropping off passengers in South Orange on evening runs
I.      Modification to the Schedule
1.      Modifications to the schedule, either
pickup times, or locations, should be made only
after consultation with and notification of the
riders and a reasonable period of comment.
i.      Hillside and Forest Hills stop was eliminated, then restored.
J.      Fee for service
1.      Would paying for the service make it any better?
K.      Making Decisions
1.      Supervisors are not available when the shuttles are running
2.      Drivers don't seem to have a clear
understanding of who is in charge when a supervisor is not available
II.     Suggestions
A.      Training
1.      Drivers should be provided a high quality
color map of the town with all three routes outlined, with street names.
2.      Drivers should be trained on all three routes.
3.      Drivers should be expected to know all
three routes so that they can fill in.
4.      Drivers should know "who is in charge"
when a supervisor is not available
B.      Modify the routes
1.      Route 1 should no longer provide service via the Orange train station.
i.      There are no trains that stop at Orange
that don't also stop at South Orange, therefore
by modifying the schedule all riders can use the
South Orange train station with a 00:30 minute adjustment to their schedule.
ii.     By reversing the path of Route 1, the
drivers are confused when they first start running it.
iii.    By having one bus at Orange, and one at
South Orange in the evening, if one driver is
sick, there is no ability for a rider to "take
the other bus" to at least get close to home.
iv.     Drivers picking up at Orange don't
understand that they have to do both Route 1 and 2 on the first evening run
v.      Riders from Route 1 who only return home
on the early train (4:43 or 5:20) once a month or
less inadvertently proceed to South Orange, and
then ask the drivers of Route 2 and 3 "where is
the Route 1 Bus?" its in Orange of course.
2.      All routes should be modified to accommodate the Hoboken trains
i.      While this shuttle service was started by
NJ Transit as an adjunct to the Midtown Direct
Service, it has grown since 1999. It would
benefit some riders if the schedule were modified
to accommodate the Hoboken train schedule.
ii.     Mountain Station should be skipped, with
the bus proceeding directly to South Orange station.
3.      Review the value of adding a late evening
shuttle to meet the 7:15 from NY (Train 6363)
i.      Five days a week or only four
ii.     All three buses, or just one running a modified route
4.      Review the value of adding an additional
morning shuttle for the 9:00 train to NY (Train 6234)
5.      Review the coverage provided by the
service, and make changes to the routes in order to:
i.      Increase coverage in West Orange
ii.     Eliminate crossing routes
a.      i.e.: Routes 1 and 2 both cover sections of the lower valley
iii.    Eliminate redundant coverage
a.      i.e.: Route 2 and 3 both drive Luddington
although officially Route 3 doesn't have any stops on Luddington.
C.      Evaluate the Bus Capacity Limits
1.      Who sets the limits
2.      How are the limits set
3.      What modifications can be made to the bus
in order to increase the limits
4.      Who do we petition for a review of the Standee limit
D.      Additional township support
1.      Request the WO DPW to clear and salt all
three routes before the morning and evening runs.
E.      Contingency Plans
1.      Plans must be prepared in case of:
i.      Drivers calling out
ii.     Broken equipment
iii.    Road closures
iv.     Trains running late
v.      Overcrowding
vi.     Snow blocked streets
III.    The Future
A.      New Buses
1.      Are we still on schedule to receive the new bus
On November 14, 2005, Mayor John McKeon announced
West Orange has received funding for a new
commuter shuttle bus from New Jersey Transit as
part of a grant secured by Congressmen William J.
Pascrell (D), 8th District and Donald M. Payne
(D), 10th District. This is the fourth shuttle
bus for West Orange, and the third provided by
grants from New Jersey Transit. Scheduled to
serve the neighborhoods of Prospect and Mt.
Pleasant Avenues, the commuter shuttle bus is
expected to be delivered in late 2006 or early 2007
 
 
Philip J. Altenburg
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UPDATE 11/26/2006  The Mayor has sent an email invititing all of the Jitney Riders to attend a meeting they are calling for council chambers.  I will try and dig up the email list I had collected and forward the invitattion.  Funny thing, it will be one year from next Novemeber that we have been asking for this meeting.

There will be a meeting of the West Orange Township Administration and riders of the Midtown Direct Shuttle Bus Tuesday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm Council Chambers- Municipal Building, 66 Main Street

Please invite all individuals concerned over the issues that have arisen and seeking a resolution to them

 Office of the Mayor: John F. McKeon 66 Main Street West Orange, NJ 07052

Phone: 973-325-4100 Fax: 973-669-0238 www.westorange.org

 

UPDATE 08/11/2006 Well no more Shuttle riding for me until September.  I hope you all have a good summer, and GOOD LUCK!

UPDATE 08/03/2006 I just got a call from Mildred who works for the town.  She wanted to know about  the Buses that didn't come on Monday and the other problems we have been seeing, because“this is the first I've heard of this“.  And she also said she didn't know that the shuttle broke down.  I have no iudea how that's possisble.  The damn thing needed to be towed.  Also she wanted to let me know that the problems aren't their fault because they contracted it out and they dn't have any control over them.  I explained that they are in breach oof contract, and she said that she doesn't read.....um, the contracts.  I aksed why don't they look into what South Orange or Maplewood do.  She said I could call Lenny and ask him if I like.  It looks like this could turn bad.  All I know is that I'm gone in 1 week!

UPDATE 08/02/2006 So here's the story.  The reason the Route#1 shuttle didn't show was because the shuttle broke down.  Well now there's a scoop.  I told the driver that the steering wheel belt was going to break...and, to my astonishment....it did.  Now this morning I was running “late“.  And by late, I mean I was only 5 minutes early...and I had the pleasure of wathcing the back-end of the shuttle driving away.  I am not a very happy camper today.  I went back to my house, and only because my wife works during the school year I didn't have to walk.  So now I'm driving down to Mountain...and I catch and pass the shuttle....it is still picking up lower Route #2 because they still don't have a driver...I can only surmise that they are running ahead of schedule to cover both routes...things are not as bad as they were, but things aren't good...plus the shuttles are a death trap...I'm wondering when a wheel is going to fall off.  Did I say I wasn't happy today?  Please continue to post shuttle problems and I will add them to the log...was hoping I didn't have to do this anymore.

UPDATE 07/27/2006 21:43 OK....I received a communication from the WO Council tonight.  They indicated that they are try to make sure that they take care of our issues in concern to the consistensy of the shutlle.  I replied to them that we are appreacitive of their efforts, but we thought it might be a good thing to have a voice of the community involved with the council.  If anyone thinks this is a good idea, please, let me know.

UPDATE 07/27/2006 11:15 A response from the Mayor to Rennee

"Hello Renee, We are unfortunately acutely aware of the shuttle issues and as frustrated that the new vender is not performing up to specifications. We are in the process of looking at alternatives but private operators are difficult to find and rely upon. We are working on a solution and quite
mindful of the inconvenience to our commuters.
Mayor John"

But what we all have to understand as well, as much as there is difficulty with the vendor (yet maplewood and South Orange don't seem to have any) the conditions of the shuttle are directly the town responsibility.  They are not being maintained properly and seem very unsafe, not to mention the A/C that doesn't work.  I wondeer how the seiors that use it during the day don't pass out.  The township should be looking to partner with the surrounding towns to see how they manage their services.

UPDATE 07/27/2006:  Well, it appears Linda was correct that they were, and still are unprepared.  Route #2 did not show yesterday, nor today.  But Route #1 and #3 picked up the slack.  Now for the overcrowding we have seen, and since it's only the summer months, it may very well be that they will have to bypass riders on their own routes because of the doubling up of the ridership.  The ridership should not complain if they don't want to take any action.  A while back the residents of the St.Cloud community forced the Mayor and the township to a meeting to install speedbumps.  They had a community action committee that was organized and had a plan of action.  If all we want to do is sporadically complain, I don't see how anything is going to change.  Anyone want to start a pool as to when the buses fall completely apart....and how's that A/C doing on your buses.  Me personally, I like getting off the bus soaked because it's like riding in a sauna...don't you?

UPDATE 07/26/2006:  OK, this post has to be blogged up here.  I am still recommending that we form a committee and look for an individual or two or three who have had dealings with government bodies as part of their work experience.

# re: EMERGENCY NEWS FLASH - route 2 7/25/2006 1:57 PM Linda

Tuesday, July 25th - 7:10 am, rte. 2 shuttle.

UPDATE 07/24/2006:  Besides the fact that Route 1 always seems to be the route the is ignored, this blog has now over 8,000 hits.  And even though the fact that the shuttles seem to be running regulary, does anyone think that we shouldn't have at least the same service as in South Orange...like buses that are safe or have A/C or driver's who don't talk on cell phones when they drive?  I knew that once complacency set in the ridership would not want to form a committe to deal with the town to address issues concerning the shuttle.  Well we may be back in the same boat.  Get your walking shoes back out again.  Hey, at least it's not winter.  Those thuderstorms have been pretty exicting lately...

UPDATE 07/12/2006:  Well it seems the shuttle has run into other problems now.  It has becom TOO popular.  There seems to be no room left on the buses for the later routes, as far as seats are concerned, and the drivers won't pick up anyone if the bus is full.  Now I'm a train rider, but don't people stand on buses either?  I guess the gas prices are prompting mor and more people to take the train.  It's amazing the number of new faces I see almost on a daily basis.  Not only is the shuttle full, but the trains are now packed.  I take a train where, in the school season, the Seton Hall Prep boys ride, and it's packed then...it's going to be an interesting fall.....I have a letter to the mayor that philip has sent...it is logged below.

To Consolidate the weblog, I have moved the original post outlining the communities problems, here

 

 

WO Ridership Community Comment Log

With the transisition of the service all previous comments have to be moved to the history link below.  Hopefully there won't be any need for any new comments about service disruptions.

 

The driver informed all of us that today was her LAST day and to be prepared as they do not have a new driver to cover her for route 2. In addition to this, she told us that her supervisor does NOT have her license that permits her to drive the shuttle and that her supervisor KNEW about her leaving her employment approximately 2 months ago.
Her supervisor's name is Helen Hart and you can reach her at 973-672-5277.

08/04/2006 The Route 1 Shuttle, The first shuttle out of Orange did not show

08/02/2006 The Route 1 Shuttle, 1-06 8:04 Shuttle at Bradford was 5 minutes early

07/31/2006 The Route 1 Shuttle, 12-01 5:17 Shuttle did not show. 

07/24/2006 The Route 1 Shuttle, Bus Trips All morning did not show.  Here we go again. 

W.O.Ridership Community Historical Comment Log

Links to communications

Thur 02/01/2006 10:09 PM West Orange Shuttle Transition comments to the Mayor

Thur 01/05/2006 11:45 AM Fax to the Mayor regarding degraded Shuttle Service NYC StrapHangers ResponseThank You Email to the NYC StraphangersCorrection to Incident Date and TimeResponse to Captain Feula, Patrol Commander, W.O. Police DepartmentResponse from Captain Matthew Feula, W.O. Police Department Mayor's response to mugging inquiryCommunication to the Mayor's Office requesting information about muggings of Shuttle riders

Wed 11/16/2005 11:34 AM

Tue 11/15/2005 03:02 PM

Wed 11/09/2005 02:10 PM

Mon10/03/2005 Peggy Cope's October 3rd Communication with Mayor McKeon and his Response

W.O. Ridership Community Action List

1.  Examine what steps can be taken to recruit and reatin quality drivers

2. Ensure that the shuttles are inspected for saftey by an outside party on a regular basis

3. Request Additional late evening shuttle runs from South Orange 

4. Request another shuttle to catch the 9:00 train in the morning

5. Erect Shuttle Stop Shelters for the ridership community to wait in during inclemet weather.

6. Make sure the shuttles wait for delayed trains until the last possible moment before heading off to make the next run in the evenings

7. Have the evening Midtown direct shuttles wait for the Hoboken trains when they are only a few minutes apart.

8. Have more support of drivers and riders to make sure there is coverage in the early morning and late evening runs.  Currently there is no support from the main office.

9.  Have special attention by the Department of Public Works during snow removal to make sure each of the routes are plowed and salted before and/or during the scheduled times of the shuttle runs.

 

  Email From the NYC Straphanger's in response to request on forming a community
Communication from Director Lepore and the Ridership's request for Service Resumption
 Notification to Mayor Mckeon on the formation of the Community

 

 

Wed 11/30/2005 11:13 AM

Wed 11/30/2005 09:49 AM

Tue 11/29/2005 11:28 AM

Tue 11/29/2005 11:00 AM

Mon 11/28/2005 02:34 PM

Wed 11/23/2005 11:50 AM Letter to West Orange Chief of Police concerning muggings

Mon 11/21/2005 01:11 PM

Mon 11/21/2005 11:57 AM

Wed 11/16/2005 04:11 PM WO Ridership Community Response to Mayor McKeon

Wed 11/16/2005 03:50 PM Mayor McKeons Response to The WO Ridership Community's request for Shuttle Service Resumption

Print | posted on Monday, November 14, 2005 12:30 PM | Filed Under [ Disconnected Ramblings ]

Feedback

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# West Orange Ridership Community

11/14/2005 3:22 PM | x002548's Blog
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Sample Complaint

Name: Brett Kaiser
Shuttle Route: 1
Bus Trip # or time:1-06 8:04am
Complaint: Shuttle did not show up
11/14/2005 3:39 PM | Brett
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# Sign up for the Ridership Community

Anthony,

Please click on Contact in the upper left hand corner of the page if you would like to join the ridership community. I will add your name to a mailing list that will get cc'ed on all communications and future "newsletters".
11/15/2005 4:43 PM | Brett
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# Links to all communications sent and received

Also Anthony,

If you'd like to see any communication sent or received by the Community, look under the links to communication on this page.
11/15/2005 4:46 PM | Brett
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# West Orange Ridership Community

Just gave you my name and number on the shuttle, but bumps / penmanship issues might have rendered them ilegible.

First off-

Brad Bradley
<Info removed and added to membership roles>

brad.bradley@risk.sungard.com

I usually take the shuttle servicing the 7:34 train, I'm on the Forest Hill Route.
My evening train tends to be the 5:51 midtown direct, or the first South Ornage pickup.

Monday 11/14/05 - No morning shuttle, no evening shuttle @ Orange

Tues 11/8 and Thurs 11/10 no morning shuttle, James was there for the 5:51 train.
I was on the road other days, so I don't know if the shuttle made it other mornings.
11/15/2005 4:59 PM | Brad Bradley
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# West Orange Ridership Community

<Info removed and added to membership roles>

I signed up last night as well, and this morning I pointed a few fellow riders
on the 7:10 to South Orange to your blog and encouraged them to sign up.

If you could send me a pdf of the enrollment form I will be glad to sign
up additional riders from the 5:51 midtown
11/15/2005 5:02 PM | Roger Brunea
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# West Orange Ridership Community

Anthony Echeverria

The 8am Shuttle that I depend on in the morning did not show up 3 days last week
(week of November 7th) and also on Monday, November 14. On three occasions there
hasn't been a bus to greet the 5:45PM train at Orange. All these problems cost me money.
I have to then take the bus into the city which coats me $6.05 each time. There is
no time for me to drive to South Orange Station and find a place to park in order
to catch my 8:22am train into the city. I have to pick my daughter up on the way
home from the train and if there is no bus, it takes me longer to get to her
which in turn costs me more money. All of us who take the Jitney depend on it very much.

It can't be a hit or miss situation. It MUST be there everyday.
The Jitney service is a big selling point for the city. Also, it appears that many
of the buses lack maintenance. There have been times that the brakes on most of
the buses are grinding on metal. Very dangerous for all of us, riders and pedestrians.
With the winter months rapidly approaching, maintenance is critical for everyones' safety.
I would think there is some pocket change from the city that can be used to service these
vehicles. It seems like a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

Like that old Midas commercial said....you can pay now...or you can pay later....
later if someone gets hurt because the city does nothing to service these vehicles.
Please fix the Jitney situation because it needs fixing....yes, there is a problem...
it is not dependable.

Anthony Echeverria

<Info removed and added to membership roles>
11/15/2005 5:03 PM | Anthony Echeverria
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

11/15 not a single Jitney showed up in South Orange for the 5:20 PM and 5:51 PM train pick-up

Maybe West Orange should take a look at how South Orange operates their Jitney System. The SO Jitneys are well maintained, always there and even pick up a later train at night 7:15 PM

Access to the Midtown Direct through the Jitney service is one of the main reasons people move to West Orange. It was definitely the deciding factor for me. The township and local realtors use the Jitney in their marketing efforts but only when you start using the service is it evident how poorly maintained and unreliable it is. The Township hasn't even acknowledged that.
11/16/2005 9:21 AM | Carmen Sutter
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Follow Up - Posting on West Orange Township website:

"West Orange Receives Grant for New Shuttle Bus from New Jersey Transit
by Website Staffma 11/14/2005
West Orange will be receiving delivery of a new commuter shuttle bus in late 2006 or early 2007.

On November 14, 2005, Mayor John McKeon announced West Orange has received funding for a new commuter shuttle bus from New Jersey Transit as part of a grant secured by Congressmen William J. Pascrell (D), 8th District and Donald M. Payne (D), 10th District. This is the fourth shuttle bus for West Orange, and the third provided by grants from New Jersey Transit. Scheduled to serve the neighborhoods of Prospect and Mt. Pleasant Avenues, the commuter shuttle bus is expected to be delivered in late 2006 or early 2007.

New Jersey Transit Executive Director George Warrington was master of ceremonies at the South Orange Train Station, showcasing community shuttle vehicles to be awarded by the Community Shuttle Program to thirteen townships, including West Orange. The program offers no-cost, leased minibuses to selected communities that will provide shuttle service to and from train stations or bus stops. The service is locally-based and requires communities that receive the minibuses to offer service during the morning and evening peak periods, and operate and maintain the vehicles. Congressmen Pascrell and Payne were instrumental in securing the $3 million in funding for the program."


Maybe we should involve NJ Transit and the two Congressmen since clearly West Orange doesn't see anything wrong with the existing service.
11/16/2005 9:25 AM | Carmen Sutter
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# Communication

To be fair Carmen, one of the main issues (besides service resumption) i sthe lack of communication between the groups that make up the entire community. Those 4 groups are the ridership, the Township of West Orange, The Occupational Center, and the drivers themselves (I separate them out from the Occupational Center for a variety of reasons).

This Blog and the forming of this body is our attempt to enable this communication. It has been mentioned that he town has not been aware of our situation. For whatever reason in the past that this may or may not be true, there is no documented proof that they did have any knowledge.

The Township of West Orange usually provides a very high level of service for it's residents. Given the opportunity for the town to act, they have always responded.

It is this weblog for the time being that is meant to record all of the riders issues, complaints, and praises.

It is also the charge of the community to communicate with the township. All of those communication, response, and telephone calls will also be logged here.

For example I received a call last night From Mr. Lapore (sp?). That converstaion will be documented, mailed to Mayor McKeon and archived here.

Carmen (or any interested rider), please click the contact link in the upper left hand section of the page if you'd like to join the community and send me your email address and other information as listed above in the top of this blog.

Thanks you for sharing your comments.

Brett
11/16/2005 9:46 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

11/15 --- 5:51 pm train. The jitney showed up late and only 1 showed up. He said he would take only routes 1 and 3 and the several route 2 people told him too bad and boarded the bus. The driver appeared to be high and was agitated, complaining how "the program wasn't working and they wre going to eliminate it."
11/16/2005 10:04 AM | Linda and Kaz; Oakridge Road
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# That is very unfortunate

Linda/Kaz,

I am very sorry to hear this. Aside from restoration of the service, our next concern is the safety of the buses. I guess having an agitated and potentially under the influence driver trumps that.

Please click on this link

http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/brettk/contact.aspx

If you'd like me to add you to the community.

Please send me your Name, address, email, phone and route #.

Thanks

Brett

11/16/2005 10:19 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I was on the same jitney as Linda. First of all, no shuttle came at all for the 5:51 PM train. I waited until 6:45 PM for the jitney to arrive. There were about 30 or so of us.

The driver was very disoriented and drove about 2 miles an hour. He did not seem to know where to stop and was talking on his cell phone for part of the trip.

I just moved into the area from Montclair and having the jitney service is one of the reasons we moved here.

They need to have reliable, safe service!

Thanks.
11/16/2005 10:28 AM | Daniella
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Drive showed up at Cobaine and Bradford at 7:13am. The number of people that usually board on this corner is about half the number that we are used to. 2 people complained as to why there wasn't a Jitney for the previous scheduled run. The driver said well, I got lost but that it wouldn't happen again. He stated that his guide didn't show up so he didn't know his route yet. After dropping us of at South Orange station, he said he was going back to "ORANGE STATION". Several people told him that he should repeat the route that he just completed and drop people off at Mountain station and South Orange station.
11/16/2005 11:51 AM | Anthony Echeverria
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# Route#1 11/16 AM Misfires

Anthony,

I assume that's Route 1 you are talking about. Did the driver make the run up Bradford to Collamaore?

This means the driver missed the 1st and third (mine) runs...I'll update the log.

Thanks

11/16/2005 11:57 AM | Brett
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# All of this and muggers too?

I signed up for the ridership list on the jitney this morning, I
believe. The situation is beyond irritating now... we have muggers preying
on jitney riders on the early morning run (behind the Gregory School) which
means it¹s now dangerous to be on the streets alone at certain hours -- even
more so if the jitney doesn¹t show up.

I ride Route 2, and get on most mornings at 7:15 at the corner of Gregory and Walker. Most recently the problems have been in the evening. Very often there is simply no driver for that bus, and the other buses have picked up the slack. However, on the evening of Nov. 15, none of the three buses showed up at all. I can only imagine that the drives have gone out on a strike or simply quit. This morning we were picked up as usual. What gives???

11/16/2005 12:37 PM | Peggy Cope
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

This morning on the 2nd of 3 runs. The one that actually ran did go up Bradford and make a left on Collamaore and continue on it's usaul route. And this was only because one of the rider told the driver where to turn. He had no clue. No wonder he got lost on the earlier run and who knows where he went instead of making the 8am run. I mentioned before that he said he was going back to Orange Station after dropping riders off at South Orange Station at 7:30am. Several of riders told him he needed to repeat his last run.
11/16/2005 1:22 PM | Anthony Echeverria
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

This morning the number 1 shuttle did pick me up, but he was coming from the other direction, going toward South Orange on Colony Dr. East. I had to flag him down in order to get on the shuttle, and then I asked him if he was going to Orange stations. His response was, " Ya - OK!". I stepped onto the shuttle and it smelled like cigarette smoke. I then told the driver that he was going in the wrong direction and told him to continue down the street to pick up anyone who he may have missed. We picked up a couple of people, but then we had to make him turn the shuttle around, so that we could make it to the station in time to catch the 7:07 train. On the way to the station the driver explained that the person that was supposed to shoe him the route wasn't in, so the dispatcher told him to take the shuttle anyway and give it a shot. The driver clearly didn't know where he was going and didn't even know what time he was supposed to have us at the train station.
11/16/2005 2:01 PM | Doug Minton
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

To answer your question of how late for the 5:51 jitney from last night - he arrived about 6:50 pm. I think after we convinced him he needed to take us all home, that is, routes 1, 2, and 3, we were on our way at about 6:55.

Slurred speech was definitely the indicator that he was not well.

I'd also like to complain that the jitney stunk like an ashtray.
11/16/2005 2:26 PM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Last night, I got off the 5:51 train at South Orange and the jitney was there. However, when asked what route he was, he said route 3. I asked him if he would drop me off on his way back from St Cloud (I'm on route 2) because it was pouring rain, he said no. When I asked him how soon the route 2 driver would be there, he said he didn't know. When I asked him if he could call dispatch to find out when the route 2 driver would be there, he said there was no dispatch. He was very rude and I was getting soaked. All the other route 2 riders gave up in disgust.

I waited until 6:15 PM, but no additional jitneys showed up. At that point, I gave up and went to Starbucks until my husband could pick me up.

I am frustrated and angry. The main reason we bought a house in West Orange was because of the supposed jitney service to the train. We are a one car family. Thus far, I have not been able to ride a jitney that was there on time and got me to the stop that it says on the schedule (Oakridge and Mitchell). What am I paying such high property taxes for??? If I had known that I have no reliable way of getting home, I would have bought a house in another community, closer to the train station!
11/17/2005 8:08 AM | Daniella
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Daniella,

I'm sorry for you trouble last night. I'm not sure, but I think your were probably a few minutes away from the next available shuttle.

I will go ahead and log the nonexistant shuttle, but the next one was most likely at 6:22.

Timing is everything, and coming out of Newark causes some problems for us since the shittles are meant to meet the mid town direct trains. There are times when I'll be on a local and see the direct train pass us by...and we would miss the shuttle by 3 minutes.

Small comfort for last night I know, but these are thing we need to address. Please hang in there, I'm sure the township and the Ridership Community will have this ironed out shortly.

Thank you for your input.

What I will do though is to put a link at the top of the weblog to the jitney schedules...I really think you were minutes away. If anyone else has news from last night, please post it if you will.

11/17/2005 9:12 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Hi Brett, the 5:51 train into South Ornage originates in mid-town. According to the schedule published on the Town's website, the route 2 shuttle is supposed to meet the 5:51 train. So, no, I was at the correct place and at the correct time. The shuttle just didn't show.

The 6:22 shuttle is for the next train. I shouldn't have to wait that long since <i>according to the town's published schedule</i> the shuttle should be there for MY train.
11/17/2005 9:36 AM | Daniella
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# Route 2 7:34 Shuttle

The # 2 bus did not show up for service to the 7:34 train on November 17th.
11/17/2005 10:01 AM | Roger Bruneau
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# Wednesday November 16th

Daniella,

Yes I know that train begins in midtown, and is one of the few that do stop in Newark. I know the town is working out the kinks, but I haven't heard that the next shuttle wasn't there. There is bound to be a few snags in getting this all corrected. Please bear with it. I'm sure it;ll all be back on track soon.

Roger,

I don't see a 7:34 on the schedule, the last I see is a 7:18. I must say that having later buses would be a very good idea. As it stands now, you'd have to catch the 6:34 out of NYC to make the last shuttle. That's like leaving the office at 6:00, which is pretty much not possible for a lot of folks.

Please let me know if I'm missing something.

Thanks

Brett

11/17/2005 10:07 AM | Brett
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# Confusion and Missing...again

Guess what? The #2 route bus did not seem to be operating this morning at
all. It didn¹t show at 7:15 at the corner of Walker and Gregory, so four of
us ended up walking down South Valley until we came upon the other two
jitneys driving up to do their next run. One of them was kind enough to turn
around and take the four of us to S. Orange station, but it¹s still pretty
maddening.
#2 did show up at the station last night to meet the 6:16 train, although
the driver clearly had no idea where he was going. At least he was there,
and we got home. But this morning several of us missed our regular train and
had quite a time getting to work.
11/17/2005 10:12 AM | Peggy Cope
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

11/17 7:34 AM train route 1 (Gregory) did not show
11/17/2005 10:13 AM | Carmen Sutter
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# 7:34 Route#1

Carmen,

I assume you mean Gregory and Forest Hill?

I'll Log it.
11/17/2005 10:31 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Brett - I appreciate that you take the time and initiative to create this forum. And yes, things can and have been improved by communication, but ...

I am somewhat irritated by your various comments on my and other riders' postings. You've ended up defending the township in almost every single posting.

Nonetheless, I still stand by my earlier comment that the township has not acknowledged the problems. In riding the Jitney for over a year I have never seen the Township check in on a single run to see how things are going. If you look at the West Orange website - there is no comment on how to deal with shuttle problems. Calls to the Shuttle hotline go unanswered and have been since before the complete breakdown of the Jitney system. I also still stand by my earlier comment that maybe West Orange should look to see how South Orange and Maplewood operate their Jitneys. All townships and villages receive the grants from NJ Transit - it is then up to the township to act on them. In my opinion West Orange has failed.

I do not agree that I should be at my shuttle stop 10 minutes early. There is a schedule for a reason. You don't see the NJ transit trains come 10 minutes early either.

This is my personal opinion and most might not agree with me, but I should be free to express it without being condescended.
11/18/2005 10:10 AM | Carmen
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# For the most part, I agree, but....

Carmen,

Thanks for your post! I am a life long Wets Orange-ite. If it appears that I am defending the township government I am not. I am merely trying to point out what is fact. I have been a rider of the service for about 3 years now, and yes the recent events have been truly an inconvenience for all of us. Whether or not I can see into the inner workings of how things operate for the service is irrelevant. I can not fix blame to something I am not knowledge about. I can address a problem that I do notice, and that is the lack of communication between all the parties, and yes even within the ridership community itself.

It is for this reason we are trying to establish this community. With this communication in place, we can then go further and make formal requests of the town and document that request. Have phone calls been placed to the Hotline in the past? Yes. Have they gone unanswered? Yes. Has any of this been documented? No. As a ridership community, we have no proof of neglect, save our own individual memories. Is it fair? Probably not. Is there something we can do about? Yes. That is what I am trying to accomplish.

I am sorry that I have irritated you, but without something to stand on, I can not just lash out. More than that, being born and raised, and now raising my own family in this town, I have a unique perspective. This a great town run by great and caring people. I have no political associations with anyone (save my wife who was the Gregory School PTA President and is still very active in the local and town PTA bodies).

Am I happy with what has gone on? No, absolutely not. That is why I am trying to create a community that will need to be reckoned with. This Community will be greater than the sum of it's parts. I am a firm believer of "what you get out of something, is what you put in". I believe a ridership community needs to be involved. For too long we have been silent. If the posted avenue of communication didn't work, which they haven't, we can not just give up and point fingers. We need to take action, and that's what we are doing.

Commuters are a hardy bunch. Since I've been doing this for the last 4 years (I used to walk to Mountain Station when I lived on Lawrence Ave) we come to realize the importance of being self reliant. One of things I do to make sure that I don't miss the shuttle is to get out to my corner 5 to 10 minutes early. That's my thing. It's your choice, but a minute or 2 either way is cutting it tto close for me. As far as NJ Transit goes, when things go wrong, and they do go wrong, they head downhill very quickly. Doesn't happen often (well September as a month was pretty messed up), but it does happen

>> "This is my personal opinion and most might not agree with me, but I should be free to express it without being condescended." <<

Absolutely! Please do not let me EVER lead you to believe that you should not express yourself. This have been very frustrating for all of us, and hopefully we are turning the corner. I am sorry if I made you feel that I was condescending to you. That was never my intent. It is my intent to take the high road and try and treat all parties with respect and dignity.

I look forward to all of your comments and suggestion. As a team we will bring the service to higher level of quality as it has never been before.

Thanks

Brett Kaiser
11/18/2005 10:53 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I am using Route #2 trip 2-04 or 2-06 morning and last one in the evening. But i can use route #1 and #3 buses, my stop is on corner of South Valley Rd and Luddington Rd.
It is only way I can get to South Orange station. Generally I am only one at this corner and very difficult to figure out if all 3 buses are late or have problems or anything.I realy realy realy need to have reliable, safe service!
Maria

11/18/2005 11:34 AM | Maria
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# Feedback

Is there a Jitney that goes to South Orange train station to meet the 6:32 AM Midtown direct train to NYC? I tried to get the Jitney at Orange station when getting off the midtown direct 4:43 train from NYC on Friday. It was cold and the shuttle was late. It finally came but it was a shame that a baby with her mother had to stand in the cold so long. I had a problem with a bus not arriving at the South Orange station one night. Thankfully, I don't depend on this service daily as my husband picks me up most of the time. I feel sorry for the commuters who do looking at all the complaints.
11/21/2005 9:10 AM | Rosemary Kesic
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# Route 3 Comments

Brett,

I am a regular rider of the evening shuttle (rout 3 St Cloud) and have been sorely dissapointed over the last two weeks. I too was on the bus the evening of the 15th and can confirm that the driver was altered, slurring words, driving EXTREMELY slow, and agitated. Unfortunately he was the only one that showed up. On the 16th only one driver showed up for the evening runs. On the 16th only one driver did all three routes again.

I too wrote to the mayor and recieved a nearly identical response as you have posted. I sincerly hope this service improves. Thanks for starting this forum, perhaps it will add some volume to our voices.


-Hannah
11/21/2005 9:12 AM | Hannah
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

11/21/05 --No jitney service this morning. Our stop is Mitchell and Oakridge road (first stop). The jitney time to pick us up is 7:10 am (for the 7:34 am mid-town direct train). We were waiting on the corner by 7:06 am and waited until 7:17 am. No jitney showed up. We took our car to Orange Station to use the local train service as we do not want to come home to no jitney service at South Orange.

Other riders be advised: Our 10 year old piece of crap car was vandelized at this station. Apparently someone decided to jump on our hood and it now sports a big dent.
11/21/2005 9:32 AM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Jitney showed up at 7:14am this morning at corner of Cobaine and Bradford. Did it's typical run which was uneventfull. Jitney was packed. Hopefully there will be a Jitney this afternoon at Orange Station.
11/21/2005 10:14 AM | Anthony Echeverria
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The Route 2 jitney second run was operating five minutes ahead of schedule at Walker and Gregory, which might be why the folks on the first stop in that run (Oak Ridge & Mitchell) didn't get picked up. Several of us had arrived early at our stop, and we asked her to sit for five minutes to let other people at later stops "catch up". Then we got back on track.
11/21/2005 10:20 AM | Peggy
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# Shuttle arrived early

Saw the note that #2 didn't show today for the 7:34am train. The jitney DID show - it was a few minutes EARLY and they're clearly breaking in a new driver. We had the jitney wait at Walker & Gregory for 3-4 mintues as the regulars ran to the corner. Folks should consider getting out there a few minutes early until there's a regular rythym.
11/21/2005 10:31 AM | Mark
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# .25 Cent Donation

Brett,

I saw you this morning but forgot to ask you.

In the shuttle there is a posting for a $.25 donation (along with a coin slot). Are we to make a donation each time we ride the shuttle? I have not seen anyone contribute and therefore have held off myself in making any contributions.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you.

John Kivlen
11/21/2005 10:38 AM | John Kivlen
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# .25 cent donation

There is no need to make a donation to the NJ Transit Funded Shuttle Service.

However some rider's do present the drivers a holiday gift for their dedication.

But that is purely a personal choice.

Now if I can only figure how to get in touch with 2 of our best drivers who have either quit or were let go, Kim and James. They were very good drivers and as much a part of the community as we are. I hope we see them back soon.


11/21/2005 10:42 AM | Brett
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# Shuttle arrived to early

Jitney showed up at Walker and Gregory about 5-6 minutes early. We asked the
new driver to wait and she did. I would suggest that people not count on the
bus showing up right on time.
11/21/2005 11:08 AM | Paul Corrigan
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# Early shuttle

Thanks.

I understand the importance of leaving early for the shuttle, but I think it's important to impress upon new drivers that they need to follow the schedule. For example, if the shuttle is scheduled to pick me up every day at 7:18 at Forest Hills/Dartmouth for the 7:34 train, I expect it to come around that time (give or take a minute or two) every day. Coming 5 - 10 minutes early or late isn't acceptable and should not be encouraged by shuttle riders. It's not right that we have to run after the shuttle every morning because it's so inconsistent. The good drivers, like Carlos, James, are like clock work and that's what should be expected and encouraged. It's getting colder outside, it will be snowy, rainy and icy and I don't think it's right to expect riders to have to stand outside for 10 minutes because W. Orange can't get the shuttle back on track!

Thanks for letting me vet my concern...
11/21/2005 11:37 AM | myersholt
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# Early Shuttle

Yes, James, Carlos, Kim, Garfield, Jessie were all great drivers, and I wish we had them all back. YOu could set your watch by them. One of our top priorities when we discuss our action list is driver retention. It is not easy to retain decent drivers when they have lowered their hourly rate (imagine onde day being told that your salary has been reduced with no explination), or you can only work part time, so they don't have to give you benefits, or (as in the case of James) having your hours the reduced as retaliation for asking for time off.

In light of what our drivers have to go through 5 or 10 minutes is not a lot to ask in the short term. I'm sure the service, now that we have had a resumption of service, will get back to being on schedule.

This is just my opinion. I'd like to see what the other riders have to say about this. I need to figure out a way to create a poll.

Oh, yes, the winter is coming, and the ice, snow and rain are bothersome...I always thought it would be a good idea to have shelters at the shuttle stops like they do for NJ Transit....I hate commuting in the rain.

As far fetched as the shelters are, I think I'll add it to the Action List.

Keep any and all comments coming.

Thanks again for your feedback and let's hope the shuttle timing issues are temporary.

11/21/2005 11:46 AM | Brett
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# mugging rumors

The detective desk at the West Orange police department confirmed that there was "an incident" the week before last at/near the Gregory School at about 6:45 am. I spoke with them myself, so I can absolutely confirm that the police believe there was something. I was not involved and know no further specifics.

-Kate
11/21/2005 12:15 PM | Kate
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# Not Rumors

Not rumors dude. 4 dudes in an old mercury 1 with a knife gave chase to one
of our own.
11/21/2005 12:16 PM | Paul
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# unreported

I heard that there were several attempted muggings. I heard one attempt was made early in the morning (6:45 am) by four men. I heard that there were two other muggings that did not get reported to the police right away but someone posted the muggings on a website. I don't know the name of the website but I have looked for it several times.

I also heard there was one attempted mugging of a jogger in the evening near the Mountain Station around 7pm.
11/21/2005 12:47 PM | Toby Johnson
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

As a suggestion for the drivers who show up early. Can we tell the shuttle service to tell the drivers that if they are running early to WAIT at the first stop until the time they are supposed to be picking up those passengers? This way, it gives those people the courtesy of being able to catch the jitney. I am not opposed to waiting earlier but by doing so, this continues to justify the crappy service as of late.
11/21/2005 3:41 PM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Sure, but that would mean the riders at the first stops would have to get out there 5 to 10 minutes early to catch them and tell them to Wait.

The more we all chip in and speak up, the better.

I have a feeling that it won't be long before they are back on schedule.

Thanks for the feedback.
11/21/2005 4:15 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

No, what I meant was we should make this suggestion to the office that dispatches the drivers. Have them tell their drivers to wait at the first stop until the first pick up time if they are way ahead of schedule. Public transportation typically waits at a stop if they are ahead of schedule so that passengers do not miss their pick-up. It would be logical that this format also be utilised in West Orange.
11/21/2005 4:42 PM | Linda and Kaz
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# Good Point

We will need to ask the township to stress the importance this to the Occupational Center.

Being an active ridership community would also pay dividends though, since we are on the frontlines.
11/21/2005 6:36 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

11/22/05 Rt 2 - Oakridge and Mitchell.

FYI - We went out at 7:02 am to wait for the 7:10 jitney pickup. She did arrive early at 7:06 am. She waited about a minute before continuing on the route.
11/22/2005 9:31 AM | Linda and Kaz
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# Who is the morning driver for the Route 2 Shuttle?

Thank you for getting out there. I was not in the office today, but I will send an email about this.

It also appears that the NJ TRansit released a new schedule and I beleive the times have changed slightly.

I will make sure to make mention that the drivers need to wait for their pickups in the morning (by who's watch however?) and that they need to meet the trains at the scheduled times.

Again, thank you for this very valuable information.



11/22/2005 6:03 PM | Brett
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# Accomodate Hoboken Trains

Brett,

I am sending this to you as I don't know the format in which you are sending these. My concerns are twofold: (1)the jitneys are timed perfectly with the Penn Station trains while ignoring the Hoboken Station trains and(2)the lack of communication regarding service disruptions. I ride between Mountain Station and Hoboken daily. In the mornings the jitney arrives at Mountain Station exactly when the 8:06 train is pulling out of the station and at least 10 minutes before the next train. If the jitney arrived 5 minutes earlier we would make the train. In the evenings, the Hoboken trains usually arrive 5-10 minutes before the Penn Station trains where we sit and wait for the Penn train. There is one instance where the Penn Station train arrives at 6:22 p.m. and the Hoboken train at 6:25 p.m. The jitney does not wait for the Hoboken rider. I see the jitney pulling away at times when my train is pulling in. I then have to wait for the jitney to return then sit and wait for the Penn train. It just doesn't make sense. I am sure you've received complaints about the lack of communication. But any kind of update either via a voicemail message on a number we can call or website if the jitney isn't running would be great.

Thanks again for doing this and enjoy your holiday!

Pascale
11/23/2005 11:24 AM | Pascale
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Last night (28th) route 1 had a new driver, again. This driver needed instruction as to the route from the riders. One rider in particular was directing the driver. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion as to what exactly Route 1 from South Orange should be, specifically that the route drives up South Valley to Forest Hill and NOT up Walker, down Orange Heights and back up Forest Hill. This was something that James initiated during a period when there was no Route 2 driver and seems to be continuing to accomodate a single passenger. New drivers should be trained by the Occupational Center as to the published routes and the OC should be sure to be putting only fully trained drivers on the routes. Last night's driver did not know the names of the streets and could not answer riders' questions regarding the route he was driving.

With new drivers being a regular feature of the system these days, it would be useful if the OC posted route numbers (and maps) on the window next to the door to help riders find the right shuttle. The buses leave quite quickly from the station and riders do not have a lot of time to make sure that they have located the bus before they start leaving.

Thanks,
Kate
11/29/2005 11:38 AM | Kate
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# Another Morning Run?

I take the #1 jitney occasionally in the evening, any of the 5 runs.
If the jitney does not come, I am helpless, as I have no one to pick me up.
I'd love to see another morning run, for the 9 o'clock train, if there is enough interest.
12/2/2005 12:06 PM | Renee Grushkin
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Forest Hill Rte had no service for the 7:34 train out of South Orange for Monday, Dec 5.
12/5/2005 12:04 PM | Brad Bradley
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

James' old bus route (#1?) was not running for the 7:34 am Midtown train today.
12/5/2005 5:00 PM | Greg
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# Flyer for West Orange Ridership Community enrollment

12/6/2005 11:35 AM | x002548's Blog
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Brett,
The jitney ran today (12/6) with no major issues. I would like to ask the mayor in your next communication to have the routes shoveled and salted. Most of the streets on my route (#2 - Gregory) were salted but a couple of the less traveled streets were quite slippery.

Thanks,
Carol
12/7/2005 7:47 AM | Carol
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# Route 2 this morning

The #2 run for the 7:34 train was 3-4 minutes early today. Some regular riders missed the jitney. Please get out to your stop a few minutes early. We're not talking about the Swiss train system, here.
12/8/2005 1:24 PM | Mark
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

#2 run for 8:22 train was more than 5 minutes early. Was at my stop (S Valley & Orange Heights) at 7:55 AM for the scheduled 8:00 AM pickup - shuttle never showed.
12/8/2005 5:10 PM | Carmen
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Carmen,

I was on the route 1 Shuttle yesterday. We come down forest hill, and while it was probably 8:15 when we went by, I did not see you. If you wait until then you have a chance at the Route #1 shuttle as well.

Did anyone else miss the last Route #2 Shuttle on Thursday?

Did everyone go out ang get your Hot Chocholate last night for today's snow? Does single malt count?

Don't forget to call after 3:00 at the hotline today (973-325-4183) to see if the shuttle is running this evening.

Have a nice weekend.

12/9/2005 12:38 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

There was no service from Orange this evening. Nada. Zip.

On another note, I apologize for emailing last night's message rather than blogging it here. I'm blognorant that way. Won't do it again.

Stay warm...
12/9/2005 6:36 PM | Lisa
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Shuttle #1-03 which was supposed to meet the 5:20 train out of NYC at Orange did not show up tonight despite the fact that the "Hotline" announced that shuttles would be running.
I was the only one waiting for that shuttle and had a nice walk home in the dark and cold. So much for relying on the "Hotline"
12/9/2005 7:48 PM | Carmen
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Lisa/Carmen,

I am so soory about Friday night. I was going to wait until the New Year to try and get the community to meet, but it seems the Township's oversight is quite lacking. They do KNOW that it is very important that they step up. They went out of there way to asure us thatthere would be service, but did not take the extra step to make sure it showed.

I am very disappointed.

I am disappointed that it did not show, dissapointed because you had to walk home alone, in the cols, in the dark, and in not such a nice area, and because our township patrols are not on our routes yet, and I'm disappointed that alll the work the Mayor has done worked for basically 1 week.

I am very sorry.

I will be calling a meeting next meeting of the community, whether anyone shows or not...I could use a martini

Quincy's 8:00 Friday Night December 16th

Be there, Aloha!

12/10/2005 4:58 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

P.S.

I also wish I had spent the time to proof read my post.

Have a good weekend everyone

12/11/2005 11:24 AM | Brett
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# Drivers instructed to follow the route too cloesly?

This morning while riding on route 1-04, Jackie stopped to pick up a passenger on Valley Road near Orange Heights Avenue, and mentioned to him that she was not supposed to pick him up because he was not on the route. She implied that the stops were at the streets shown on the schedule, and that those were the only places she was supposed to pick patrons up This notion that the route is so fixed that you can not pick up a patron just because they are not exactly at a stop will be very inconvinient for at least 5 or 6 people that board along South Valley road. We need to have the route changed to express that any one along the route within the borders of West Orange should be picked up, or we need additional stops added to the schedule.
12/15/2005 2:23 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Philip raises a good point in that there are certain stops that are on two shuttle routes but are only listed on one route's schedule. South Valley is one of those roads, but this also affects the Saint Cloud route. If the drivers are instructed to only pick up on the stop that is listed on their route's schedule the Saint Cloud will pass by all those people on Luddington Street in the morning since it's not a stop on the SC schedule. This also means that only Route 1 (Gregory) will pick up all riders on Walker & Luddington. And if you ride routes 1 or 3 in the morning you've probably seen a full shuttle pass by an entire stop on Luddington expecting for the other shuttle to pick up the remaining passengers.
If two routes pass by a stop, even if it's only a stop on one route, both jitney's should stop if people are waiting.
12/19/2005 10:39 AM | Carmen
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I found these posts buried in the original posting. These evnets happened Monday Decemeber 19th.

>>
# re: Original Post Discussing The Startup of the West Orange Ridership Community 12/19/2005 6:14 PM Flora Bourne

12/19/05 UNBELIEVABLE! I was on the first evening shuttle (12-01) out of Orange and was kicked off the bus, left stranded on lower Forest Hill Road, I live on upper Lawrence Avenue. I was so happy that a shuttle actually showed up for this run, the last thing I imagined was that I would wind up walking home.
JACKIE, apparantly did not know that the first shuttle out of Orange does both runs. When I informed her it did, she started arguing with me. So , I showed her the shuttle schedule that states this, in black and white, she continued to argue with me and show me a map of her route, telling me she ONLY does Route 1. She said she would only take me back to the Orange train station. Of course I tried to persuade her to READ the Shuttle schedule and she started to get irate, saying I don't need to do this, I need to get back to the train station. My response was perhaps if she could read, you would not be arguing with me.
I am sending a copy of this email to the Mayor. I have been riding this shuttle service for 5 year and have NEVER experience such rude, obnoxious behavior from a driver. I DO NOT want to see this woman driving the shuttle anymore.

# re: Original Post Discussing The Startup of the West Orange Ridership Community 12/19/2005 7:38 PM Lisa Batchelder

Hi everyone -- maybe it's the eggnog talking, but I feel like being positive tonight.

First: Brett should be officially applauded for taking this all upon himself on our behalf. He clearly spent many hours organizing this site, initiating contact with straphangers and mayors and such, rallying participation, and being the engine that drives this effort. Brett, you've done a yeoman's job, and I for one appreciate it.

Second: I want to put in a good word for Jackie. After tonight's horrific commute, that bus waiting for us in Orange was the most welcome sight anyone could have hoped for. I'd like to say that despite the misunderstanding with Flora, in my experience Jackie is always quite pleasant. Let's give her a chance on learning curve. Yes, she's a "public servant" -- but how many of us would want to trade jobs with her? Let's try to have a little perspective; compared with SOME of the drivers we've had, she's a keeper.

Okay, I'm done being nice. Signing off...
12/20/2005 8:57 AM | Brett
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# re: 12/19/05 UNBELIEVABLE!

All I can say is wow. It looks like a management problem to me. Jackie is just doing what she was told. She mentioned to me sometime last week that she was told they would fire her if she strayed from the route. If there is one message that the management needs to get, and then give the drivers, it is that the rules are not black and white, that there are shades of gray. That a driver should never be reprimanded because they went off the route to drop a pregnant woman at her front door, didn’t drive all the way up the hill when the bus was empty, or that they stayed late at South Orange because they heard the trains were late. The management is more at fault than any driver for applying extreme policies to our complaints. I would hate to see Jackie go, as she has become a very reliable driver for the trips I have taken.
12/20/2005 4:25 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

To the three ladies that were on the 5:17pm shuttle out of Orange, I want to apologize for holding them up. I had no idea it would get that crazy. I should have figured someone that difficult could not "think outside the box".

To all the rest. Ms. Jackie held up the entire shuttle because she refused to leave the station, not only because I was on the bus (she was upset that I called her a bitch the night before, I mean, she did kick off the bus and make me walk home, what should I have called her), and because, you guessed it, she ONLY DOES ROUTE ONE!!! She finally called her supervisor, Ms. Gram, who was no better, we heard her on Jackie's phone telling Jackie to get me the F&$# off the bus and to call the police if I didn't get off, which I was more than happy to have her do. While I am not an innocent in all this, quite a few expletives were coming out of my mouth, quite loundy too, the sheer frustration of this situation is not only UNBELIEVABLE, but also needs to be addressed. If the problem lies in management, keep Jackie and get rid of Ms. Gram.
12/20/2005 6:34 PM | Flora Bourne
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Flora,

I showed for the second run. I wish you had stayed on the warm bus. I hope you got home safely.

I fully believe that the driver is doing what she is told. I do believe that there is a misunderstanding about the routes. Unless things have changed, the first shuttle out of Orange is suppose to cover route 1 & 2.

The Township MUST provide more oversight. They were made aware by you and myself on yesterday and today though the hotline. It must be checked throughout the day for issues, especially ones like these.

If the West Orange rec can pay attention to their hotline, surely the Town Government can. I know you sent an email to the mayor. Even if the mayor did not see it, the Township Engineer should have been contacted to rresolve this matter.

I do know they were meeting with the residents of town last night to discuss speed bumps...

Lets see...speed bumps, or a women abandoned far from her home....hmmm, that's a hard one to identify which one to pay attention too.....

12/20/2005 7:07 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

...fyi, Mildred the dispathcer has spoken with the town and they will be making sure that the first run out ou Orange does both Routes 1 & 2.
12/21/2005 3:27 PM | brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

From an email from Deb. I won't be able to respond real time anymore since I will be doing this in the evenings. In any event it refers to Tusedays incident. I made sure that I was there for Wednesdays early shuttle, but unfortunately it didn't show up. Anyway, here's the message

>> Was at the early PM pick-up at the Orange station this evening where there was a major altercation between the driver and a rider. Ultimately the argument was whether or not that particular pick-up does both routes 1 & 2. It seems as though Jackie has been instructed to only do route 1 whereas the schedule that has been pubicly posted states that the early PM pick-up in Orange will run both routes. It is apparent that the training and instructions that are being given to the drivers differs from the schedules that we rely on. This argument led to 3 of us having to sit in a temporarily abandoned jitney to only be delayed into picking up the 5:20 riders.
12/21/2005 6:25 PM | Brett
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# re: Route 1 driver strays from the rules.

This morning during Route 1-06, Jackie picked up a passenger at the Mointain station drop of location. Some drivers have done this before, but other would say that the bus was for West Orange only, and South Orange patrons were not allowed. This evening during run 1-05 Jackie offered to turn left at Cobane Terrace instead of right, as this would bring one person closer to their house. This is off the route. Two weeks ago she was telling people she could not pick them up if they were not at a stop, now she is offering to stray from the route. What has happened in the last two weeks?
12/27/2005 8:44 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Blakes comments from the above link. I'm soory Blake, I stayed home today because I was under the weather. I then received a phone call from Mr. Lapore that the shuttles didn't come this morning. This was around 3:00 PM. He told me he wasn't sure if the shuttles for Route 1 would be running or not tonight. I suggested that he at least update the hotline message. He also informed me that the Occupational Center had told him that Jackie could not make it in. I asked him why a backup wasn't ptovided, and he did not know, and said that he does not manage the drivers. I did explain to him that it is the townships responsibility to provide oversight, and that if they are not doing their job, they should be held accountable. Mr. Lapore said he did not understand why they did not have a backup, because that is one of the reasons why they chose their service, because of the pool of drivers they have at their disposale.

I hope someone will post and tell us what happened this evening.



Sender: Blake Smith

No Route #1 This morning

Being in my 9th month of pregnancy - it's so nice to wait in the icy snow for a
Jitney that doesn't come...
Thankfully there are nice people on Forest Hill Road that offer rides...


Source: http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/brettk/articles/8341.aspx#8660

1/3/2006 6:38 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

No #2 jitney to meet the 7:34 this morning. Seven hardy souls braved the ice & hustled down to Valley to get the #1 bus, who was running late as it was. What's going on?
1/4/2006 11:46 AM | Mark
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# Beyond Acceptable

I have posted this for Peggy:

Brett, I'm going to try to post this on the blog (I'm still having no luck
with that, maybe it's because I'm on a Macintosh), but I wanted to let you
know that the #2 Jitney has not made its morning runs for two days in a row
now. Apparently the driver told one of our riders that the vehicle has been
having door problems, and he had to have it repaired yesterday, but somehow
it made the evening runs from S. Orange station. This morning it did not
show up again, and about eight or 10 people walked down Walker Road to South
Valley and waited for the jitney that stops there. The driver on that route
refused to even open the door at first, because she already had people
standing in the aisles and didn't think it was safe to operate with so many
more people on board. One rider blew a total fit in front of the jitney, and
as several of us began the hike to South Orange, the driver finally did open
the doors and let about four people on. The rest of us walked, and we were
all late for work this morning, as well as tired, overheated and angry.

This is not acceptable. We need to have a back-up system so that if a jitney
isn't going to come, we either have an alternative that will pick us up or
some kind of early notification that we have to find our own way to the
station. The hot line this morning was still talking about the problems on
the evening of Jan. 3, and said nothing about what's been happening with
Route #2 this week.
1/5/2006 11:05 AM | Peggy Cope
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# Fax to the Mayor regarding degraded Shuttle Service

1/5/2006 11:41 AM | x002548's Blog
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# Driver's Last Day

Jackie just informed some of the passengers on the last run tonight that today 9-Jan-06 was her last day. She said that if no bus shows in the morning, that we should not wait too long before finding alternate transportation. I guess the excellent pay, and benefits package just wasn't enough.
1/9/2006 8:12 PM | Philip
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# Route 3 bus did not show on Friday, or did it?

On Friday night, the Route 3 bus did not show for the 3-09 run out of South Orange, or did it? I was sitting on the Route 1 bus, when according to three passengers for Route 3, the driver of the second bus said that he was not driving Route 3. That second bus pulled away, and one passenger asked George (our driver) if the Route 3 bus was coming. George insisted that the bus that just left was Route 3, and that the driver was incorrect for not taking them.

After some pleading, George was kind enough to take the three passengers up Route 3, after completing Route 1.

The bus schedules back George up, as they show Route 1 and 2 being combined for the 12-09 run. Obviously the other driver does not fully understand their duties. While this other driver was at fault for not driving Route 3, the passenger who boarded the bus and went on Route 2 should also have known better, and been on our bus with George for the combined Route 1 and 2. Since George did not offer to turn up Route 2, I have to wonder if he is aware of his duties to drive the combined Routes. Where is the training and supervision in all this.
1/14/2006 10:12 AM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The #2 bus did not show for the first or second run this morning, or was so late that a bunch of us ended up walking down Walker Road to S. Valley to catch Route #1 as it went by around 7:20. We just don't trust this system any more... when are htings going to improve? We are doing this once of twice a week these days.
1/23/2006 11:35 AM | Peggy Cope
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

No #2 again this morning. Emails have been sent to the mayor and to Councilman Barnes, who replied that discussions are underway with other providers about fixing this broken service.
1/24/2006 11:08 AM | Mark
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# Route 1 Bus Early or Missing?

The Route 1 Bus (1-05 for 8:22 train) was either more than five minutes early this morning or did not show. I was out by 8:03 for the scheduled 8:08 pick up at Forest Hill and Hillside. Luckily another rider had the same issue and offered me a ride to the station. The expectation should not be that we need to be out in the cold more than five minutes to be sure that we don't miss the bus. These routes are short enough and the variables few enough that it shouldn't need that much leeway.
1/25/2006 10:11 AM | Kate
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The Route 1 Bus was early for the 7:34 train as well. The jitney is scheduled to stop at Forest Hill and Hillside at 7:18. I arrived at the stop at 7:14 and waited until in vain until 7:26. Luckily, I also got a ride to the station. As we were pulling into the S.O. lot we saw the route 1 bus pulling out so it obviously was running today.

Also, Monday night (551 from NYP), I boarded the #1 bus only to have it go up Route #2 instead. George stated that he was doing that route instead because a new driver was unfamiliar with it. It is admirable for George to help out the new drivers by covering the harder route, however, he needs to take the Route #1 sign off of side of the bus. If I get on a bus marked #1 I don't think it's too much to ask to have it follow route #1.
1/25/2006 1:29 PM | Doug
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# New Provider as of Feb. 1

Councilman Barnes informed via email yesterday that the town council "approved a Resolution last night on an emergency basis to replace the FOCNJ as the service provider for the Jitney service. Effective February 1st for a 90-day period, there will be another service provider who will operate the Jitney in the interim, until such time we can explore other cost effective measures to provide quality service."

Our challenge with the service will hopefully soon be coming to an end.
1/26/2006 10:48 AM | Mark
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Was it at a council meeting? Why didn't they let us know so we could attend?

Can you post the email? Is recorded somewhere else?

Did it say who the operator is going to be?

This certainly sounds like good news.

Brett
1/26/2006 6:26 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Q: Was it at a council meeting?
A: I'm not sure.

Q: Why didn't they let us know so we could attend?
A: I have no idea.

Q: Can you post the email?
A: Here is the body of the email: Please be advised that the Council approved a Resolution last night on an emergency basis to replace the FOCNJ as the service provider for the Jitney service. Effective February 1st for a 90-day period, there will be another service provider who will operate the Jitney in the interim, until such time we can explore other cost effective measures to provide quality service."

Q: Did it say who the operator is going to be?
A: As you can see, it does not.

This certainly sounds like good news.
1/27/2006 12:00 PM | Mark
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

1/30/06 - Route 2, 7:10 am.

The jitney did not show up this morning at Oakridge and Mitchell. This is for the 7:34 am mid-town direct train.
1/30/2006 12:02 PM | Linda and Kaz
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# 1/30 No Show - Route 2 Morning run for 8:20am train and 5:20pm train

On 1/30 - The route 2 jitney at Lowell and Walker did not show up this morning for the 8:20am train. It did not show to meet the 5:20pm train tonight as well. I hope W.O. has the authority to pay a pro-rated fee to the service when we inform them that they didn't show up. Has anyone been in contact with the Mayor's office or whoever decided on the new company? It would be nice to know if they took into consideration our concerns and didn't make repeat the same mistakes with a new company.
1/30/2006 9:42 PM | Carol
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

2/1/06 - Route 2, 7:10 am
The jitney showed up 5 minutes early this morning. We almost missed the jitney driver but it decided to wait on the street until 7:10 am (when it is supposed to pick us up.)The driver was apologetic and said it was his first day. He seems like a nice guy so let's hope this works out.

1/31/06 Route 2, 7:10 am. The jitney did not show up.
2/1/2006 8:55 AM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

2/1/2006 6:17 PM | x002548's Blog
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# Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

OK, so who didn't expect some bumps in the road this morning?

I would like to thank the mayor and Mr. Lepore for reactiong very quickly to the problems of this morning. I was on the first shuttle out of Orange where Mr. Lepore personally made sure the shuttle was on Route.

I must admit when the shuttle wasn't at the station I was a bit worried, but it did show.

I hope that the rest of the evening went as smoothly.

Now on to my apology. I have never done anything like this before, so when I sent out emails with everyones email, I should have used clind cc's.

I must implore everyone to not email the community.

Please feel free at anytime to email me, or to blog a comment or a concer, call the hotline and leave a message, or call the mayor directly.

Please do not email the community. Again I apologize.

I did not have the opportunity yto ask Mr. Lepore, but does anyone know who the vendor is?

2/1/2006 6:28 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Any problems with the snow? I have no comments.

2/13/2006 8:46 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

2/15 #1 from South Orange (scheduled 6:30) did not show up until 7:05. The explanation was that the previous train to Orange had been delayed. The #2 and #3 did pick up a little past 6:30, and in my opinion they should have been instructed to take the #1 passengers.
2/16/2006 2:35 PM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I recommend to people who catch (well, used to catch) the #1 jitney on Birch and Hillside to make themselves known. I e-mailed the Mayor about resuming stopping there and was put in contact w/the engineering department. A gentleman there told me that that was never a stop there and to begin picking up people there now would be "impossible" while still getting to South Orange in time. I pointed out that for several years the jitney had stopped there and still made the trains in time, but on deaf ears. Perhaps if I'm not the only voice, the jitney may resume stopping there... Thanks.
2/17/2006 11:55 AM | T. Smith
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

According to the schedule that's posted on the website, the #1 jitney is supposed to stop at Forest Hill and Hillside.
2/17/2006 2:08 PM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

My bad. I meant to say Birch and Forest Hill...
2/17/2006 10:24 PM | T. Smith
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# re: Route 1 stop at Birch & Forest Hill

I have ridden the Route 1 shuttle since September 1999, and since the beginning, there has always been flexibility in where the shuttle stops. Maybe that comes from the fact that the shuttle schedule does not call out "stops" per say. As for stopping at Birch St. and Forest Hill Rd. causing us to miss the train, well that is just silly. The shuttle has picked up passengers at Birch, and then two or three more along South Valley, and still made the train with time to spare. Enough time to stop at Starbucks probably not, but I do not remember seeing that requirement in the shuttle charter. As for the town’s response, they might be expecting a Birch Street patron to walk to either Birch and Hazel or South Valley and Forest Hill and catch a ride on Route 2.
2/20/2006 7:55 PM | Philip
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# Forest Hill Stops

Just to point a couple of issues. Having the township make sure the shuttles are running and are adhering to the schedules alone is a big deal. We are coming to the end of the month, and I've heard very little problems with the service. On the other hand, I notice there isn't a stop on Route #1 below hillside. I'm assuming that's because Route #2 picks up at Forest Hill and Valley. Still having a shuttle blow by you does seem kind of silly.

So let me ask. Is it time for the ridership to get together and formulate an issues list to present to the Mayor?

I was amazed to find out for example, that there was a town council meeting where they discussed the change of vendors, yet never let the ridership know.

And for anyone who caught the front page article in the ledger about the service, it was mostly a fictional account of what was going on.

I want to publish that here, but I can't find a link to it.

2/21/2006 12:59 PM | Brett
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# Route 2 issues

Hi Brett,

Friday, 2/24, Route 2 did not show up at 7:10 am at Oakridge and Mitchell for the 7:34 am mid-town direct train. In fact, the night before, Thursday, 2/23, routes 1 and 2 were combined because (according to one of the workers) one of the shuttles had broken down. On the way home, the driver hit the curb hard which shocked all of on on board. She couldn't see the road because she was driving without her headlights.

The morning driver for Route 2 is terrific! He is on time each day, knows where to go and is friendly. I hope he stays. The new evening driver, well, she clearly does not know her route and someone who works at this new office told us on board to tell her where to go to help her out while she learns the new route. This was last week. She still does not know the way. What happened to that man with the walkie talkie who was riding with the drivers in the beginning, helping them along?

As far as the snow day we had, it was reported that our morning driver tried to pick us up but kept sliding down the hill, so he never made it. It's probably better off as the road conditions at that time were dangerous. Does the new service propose a back-up plan? Can we propose one to them?

I'd rather see the shuttles run along the entire length of Gregory Ave for route 1 and route 2 can run along Rollinson to Valley. We can walk down to Rollinson and there are several along the way on Valley. This would be safer and at least we have a chance of still getting to the station.

Thanks for the space, Brett.
Linda
2/28/2006 9:51 AM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: Route 2 driver learning the Route

I have riden on the Router 2-03 bus at 5:56PM five times this week and each time the driver asked, or took direction from the passengers at four or five points along the route. For example only once this week did we make the left and go up Sylvan Place and down Burnett Terrace, the other four days we went down Walker Road. I do not think that this is the best driver for this service.
3/3/2006 9:13 PM | Philip
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# re: No bus on Tuesday 7-Mar-06

The route 1 bus did not show up at Forest Hills and Hillside this morning at 7:18 for our ride to South Orange Train Station. There were 5 of us waiting. At 7:25 two of us got a ride with another shuttle rider who was driving to the station.
3/9/2006 10:30 AM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The #1 bus didn't show this morning at Forest Hill and Hillside for the 8:22 train. I waited until quarter past before giving up.
3/14/2006 9:01 PM | T. Smith
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Tuesday, March 21: Route 2 - Oakridge and Mitchell.

The jitney did NOT show up for the 7:34 am train. It certainly didn't take long for this new service to show how royally it sucks the big one.
3/15/2006 1:09 PM | Linda and Kaz
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# re: Route 2 Driver calls in sick

The Route 2 driver called in sick today. The route 1 driver was told to pick up riders from route 2. The driver picked up three people at Walker and South Valley, and then was told to drive up Walker to Gregory. When we reached Gregory there was nobody waiting (probably because after 7 or 8 minutes most riders find an alternate way to get to the station). Since the riders on the bus were confused by this new way of getting to the station, they rudely addressed the driver that they would miss the train if she did not turn on Gregory and driver directly there, she turned. We skipped Mountain station, as the Hoboken train was already missed and we reached South Orange with time to spare. This last minute contingency plan was doomed to failure, as turning up Walker to pick up passengers on Gregory would never work, as after 7 or 8 minutes most riders find an alternate way to get to the station. More importantly since we turned up Walker, the riders who were no doubt standing at South Valley and Luddington were left in the cold. Experience has shown that the route 1 driver can stop 2 or 3 times along South Valley to pick up route 2 riders and still make the Hoboken train at Mountain station as well as reaching South Orange in time. Hopefully this can be conveyed to the new management firm and the next time a driver calls in sick, we will all be better prepared.
3/15/2006 7:40 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Well, the shuttle didn't show....again for Route #1. It seemed that we were having some luck for awhile, but it seems thing are going back to the way they were.

I was also so hopeful that I didn't need to do this anymore.

You can't bet that the township doesn't know anything about this, or if they do, can plead ignorance since it allows them to deny any culpability.

Besides, the mayor has his hands full with playing political broker between 2 parties (i.e. read the Sunday Ledger).

I have been remiss in logging the missed shuttle runs, and I will have to begin again.

First thing however, is I will take the futile path by calling the hotline. We always have to start with step one.

Hey, at least it was a mild winter.

Last year if we had these problems, would have been very painful.

I will send out a distribution tonight.

Thanks

Brett



3/27/2006 9:21 AM | Brett
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# re: Route 1 shuttle did not show this morning

The Route 1 shuttle did not show at 7:18 for the 7:34 train. Four of us at Forest Hills and Hillside went home.

I decided to try and take the Route 2 Shuttle at 7:58, as I had a feeling that the Route 1 was not going to run at all this morning. Well it did show, and when we were picking up the last passenger, the driver made an announcement that we should all call the hotline, because they may have to run early tomorrow (Tuesday 28-Mar-06) because of changes. He also mentioned that the Route 1 driver had an accident. If the accident was with the bus, then we might be short a driver and a bus for a few days. Lets hope that the accident was not serious.
3/27/2006 9:59 AM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Changes? What changes? I called the hotline this morning and they were unaware of any of the recent goings on.

I'll call again later in the day.
3/27/2006 11:50 AM | Brett
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# re: Shuttle Hotline is Ice Cold

At 6:19 PM the "Hotline" message still has the message from Tuesday March 7th on it.

The driver from the evening run 2-03 said that the driver involved in the accident may be out two or three days, and that he had not yet been informed how they would cover Route 1 in the morning, but thought they were going to get a fill in driver.
3/27/2006 6:27 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I though the idea was to have trained back up drivers for emergency situations. Also, it would be a very good idea if the drivers were all cross trained on the other routes.

I know that it is not the Town's job to operate the shuttle, but they should at least give them minimum requirements.

And why is it always Route 1?

I think I'll send an email out this evening.
3/28/2006 2:52 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Town shuttle did not show up on Friday for the early Friday Run out of Orange for Route#1.

Service is also starting to get unpredictable.

For example, he drivers, when told they are ahead of schedule have an attitude and push on. It seems that this based on being late on the early runs. So they seem to be punishing the other riders. While it it is only 2 minutes, waiting would prevent some of the riders from having to miss or jog to the shuttle.

I have to admit, I was finding it delightful to know that my shuttle would be at my stop EXACTLY at the minmute the said it would be.

My own opinion.

Thanks

Brett

4/15/2006 3:55 PM | Bett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I noticed in Thursday's Chronicle (public notices) that the town is soliciting bids for drivers for the shuttle. Perhaps our community can get involved before the contract is awarded.
4/17/2006 11:05 AM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Renee,

Thanks for the info. My best guess is that showing up at the Town Council meetings is a good idea. Having a united front however would be the best bet.

For example, when soliciting bids, does the town provide basic requirements to be met?

I'll have to send a email to the group, however the last time I asked for participation, we got 6 riders to show up.

4/19/2006 9:09 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Route #1 did not show up at the top of Cobaine Terrace for the 7:15 pickup.
4/24/2006 8:58 AM | Jeremy
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I think it was very late--I saw it coming up Mitchell at 7:27.
4/24/2006 10:38 AM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Route #1 did not show up at Forrest Hill and Hillside for the 734 train today. 4 of us were out of luck. Also, there was no route #1 jitney out of S.O. for the 5:51 train from penn station yesterday. Route 1 and 2 were combined.

The basic requirements of this job seem simple. Provide a vehicle, at a specified location, at a specified time, EVERY day.

It is very difficult when the jitney doesn't come for the 734 train since the next train out of S.O. is 50 minutes later instead of just 30. "the jitney didn't show" loses its effectiveness a tardiness excuse when you have to use it twice a week.
4/25/2006 9:31 AM | Doug
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The 90-day period for the interim operator is coming to an end, which is why the Town Council is now soliciting bids for a permanent jitney operator.
We need to get involved in the process--maybe not in the selection, but certainly in making the Council aware of our requirements and the recurring problems with both operators.
Who has been communicating with the Council, and who will do it going forward?
4/25/2006 11:40 AM | Renee
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# re: No Shuttle in Morning.

On 4/24/06 the Route 1 shuttle did not show at 7:18 for the 7:34 train, two of us at Forest Hills and Hillside went home.

In the evening the Shuttle at South Orange at 5:56 drove route 2 and 3, because the route 3 shuttle driver was out.
4/25/2006 6:36 PM | Philip
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# re: Route 1 not reliable

The Route 1 shuttle did not show at 7:18 for the 7:34 train, four of us at Forest Hills and Hillside went home. Before I got home, the shuttle suddenly appeared at the corner of Wellington and Hillside, turned on Hillside, picked up two of us, then turned down Forest Hills and sped to South Orange. Since we were so late, the two of us jumped out at the light on South Orange Avenue, and walked to the station.
4/25/2006 6:48 PM | Philip
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# re: Not the brightest idea

Now I have seen it all. It seems that because of the protests of a few people, the town has seen fit to punish some others. I am speaking about the addition of the new bus stop along Route 1 at Forest Hill Road and Birch St. It was reasonable to add this stop, but to do so at the inconvinience of the five people who use the stop at Forest Hill Road and Hillside is not acceptable. To do it without discussin it with the patrons of the bus is unacceptable.
5/1/2006 4:17 PM | Philip
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# Birch Street Stop

The jitney stops at Gregory, so the next logical stop is Birch, not Hillside. That will allow folks at the bottom of the hill more reasonable access. They should have added another stop at Birch instead of removing Hillside. If the Jitney drivers were on-time, this would completely be possible.

I overheard someone saying that she needs the stop at Hillside because she buys expensive shoes and does not want to walk down the hill. Ridiculous. Let's all try and remember what the real issues are.

The jitney needs to be on-time, reliable and the drivers need to be more cautious. Can you imagine an accident in those death traps?
5/2/2006 11:33 AM | Sally
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I agree “They should have added another stop at Birch instead of removing Hillside” as for your other statement that the next logical stop is Birch, I beg to differ, the distance from Gregory to Birch is farther than you think especially for such a steep hill. In fact with Hillside eliminated as a stop, the single greatest distance between stops along Route 1 is from Gregory to Birch. As a rider since Sep 99, I am extremely displeased to have my stop taken away for the sake of another when as you said the drivers timeliness is more important.

It should be noted that the extra 30 seconds it took to pick me up at Hillside on Monday 1-May-06 while others were picked up at Birch did not cause us to miss the train.

It should be noted that even with the driver picking us up at 7:20 (a full 2 minutes late) on Tuesday 2-May-06 at Birch, we did not miss the train.

The fact is, there is no historical evidence to indicate that stopping at both Hillside and Birch will cause us to miss the train. As I stated in my web posting of 20-Feb-06 “As for stopping at Birch St. and Forest Hill Rd. causing us to miss the train, well that is just silly. The shuttle has picked up passengers at Birch, and then two or three more along South Valley, and still made the train with time to spare.”


5/2/2006 11:11 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Wednesday, May 3rd. Route 2 jitney did not show up at 7:10 am at Oakridge and Mitchell.

I am wondering if this is a driver issue or if the busses are breaking down leaving them with no bus to pick us up? They do seem rickety and unsafe.
5/3/2006 4:45 PM | Linda & Kaz
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# Birch Stop

Stopping at Hillside and Birch is less redundant that stopping at both Dartmouth and Gregory. Please remember that the distance between Hillside and Birch is equivalent to two blocks as Oakridge runs between the two streets, but does not extend to Forest Hill. In fact I count 3 stops above Gregory including Gregory itself, and only one below. An additional 30-second stop makes far more sense than moving the existing. This is a steep hill all along Forest Hill, it may be that it warrants more frequent stops than an equivalant distance on a flat slope.

5/4/2006 4:26 PM | Kate
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# Petition to Reinstate Hillside

I have written up a petition, and already received 12 signatures. I could use some help passing it around on the other shuttle runs of Route 1
5/4/2006 9:21 PM | Philip
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# Hillside Stop

I just received a voicemail message from Mr. Lepore in the Engineering Department. By Monday at the latest drivers will be stopping at BOTH Hillside and Birch. He said the drivers will be so instructed in the next day or so and to contact his office if anyone has a problem with a driver stopping at either stop from Monday onwards. His number is 973-325-4160.
5/10/2006 10:48 AM | Kate
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# Route 2 last Friday Evening

Last Friday 19-May-06 the shuttle for Route 2 did not make its pickup at South Orange station at 5:56 PM. At about 6:10 the Route 1 shuttle arrived, and we asked the driver to call the missing driver. She did, and I heard him say on the radio that the shuttle had stalled on him. I am not sure, but he may have also missed the pickup at Orange at 5:17 PM. When he did arrive at South Orange Station, it was 6:14, and he took three people home. I am not sure why the driver did not call either the depot, or the other drivers as soon as the bus stalled. Maybe the depot is not staffed that late in the day. Obviously the new company still has some work to do in addressing bus reliability issues.
5/22/2006 7:58 PM | Philip
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# Route 1 - Early

This morning the Route 1 shuttle was more than four minutes early (or more than 7 minutes late) as I was at Hillside and Forest Hill from 8:04 to 8:15 for the scheduled 8:08 pickup. The drivers need to go back to checking themselves to make sure that they are not running ahead of schedule. It doesn't help if they are early to the train station if people are left behind.
5/30/2006 11:52 AM | Kate
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# re: Route 2 bus would not start

On Tuesday at 5:50pm the Route 2 bus would not start and had to be towed from South Orange Station.

Fortunately there were only a few passengers and the Route 3 driver took us all.
6/1/2006 11:12 PM | Philip
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# re: No Air Conditioning on bus

The air conditioning system in the rear of the bus on Route 2 on Wednesday and Thursday this week does not cool the air.

The driver even called someone to make sure he was turning all the right knobs, and pressing the right buttons. Shouldn't the drivers be receiving some instruction on the buses they are driving before they leave the depot?
6/1/2006 11:57 PM | Philip
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# West Orange Ridership Community

Well, it would be nice if we were a force so they would listen. I asked one driver how many buses the had and I think the answer was 11. The reason we got the bus with no AC is becuase all the other buses are broken and in the town garage.

I always said, that the #1 thing after to getting the service restored was Maint. and saftey of these buses.

Does anyone think these buses would [pass inspection?

6/6/2006 11:34 AM | Brett
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# re: Rider left at the curb

One rider was left at the curb this morning at Forest Hills and Birch at 7:18 on Route 1. The driver asked if there were any open seats, we said no, and the driver informed the person that there were no seats, and that a bus would come for them. The driver called on the radio that one person needed to be picked up, and we drove on to the station. I wonder which bus they sent?
6/7/2006 6:58 PM | Philip
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# re: Route 2 driver is too fast

The Route 2 evening driver is too fast. I had to hold on for dear life at some of the turns. Even driving on a straight road I was jostled, as she passed parked cars she would move to the left, then back to the right.
6/12/2006 7:34 PM | Philip
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# re: No AC in the back of the bus

Route 2 evening runs: The rear AC unit does not work. The driver had the front AC on, and all the windows open.
6/20/2006 7:59 PM | Philip
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# re: Route 1 Shuttle very late

The shuttle on Route 1-04 was about 6 minutes late this morning. There were very rew riders on it, but by skipping Mountain Station we made the train in South Orange without a problem.
6/28/2006 12:08 AM | Philip
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# re: Route 1 Shuttle stopping under the bridge

The morning driver for the route 1 shuttle has taken to dropping off the passengers on South Orange Avenue under the railroad overpass. I asked if she realized that this was not a stop, and she just said "Yeah I know" One passenger mentioned that this makes it very difficult to take the elevator up to the platform which she usually did.
6/29/2006 12:30 AM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Just as an FYI, it is my understanding that the morning route 1 driver may be leaving us. I hope the town is planning on a replacement.

Also has anyone called the town about the AC?

I'll do that now.....
7/6/2006 10:34 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The driver for Route 1 missed all stops on Forest Hill. I called the town and Mildred said that she was "working on it" and would get back to me...
7/11/2006 1:12 PM | Blake
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# WTF

The jitney blew right by my wife this morning on Forest Hill at 7:12. I was supposed to be taking our child to daycare but instead had to take her to the train first (which she missed). She was late to work. I was late to work and the baby was late to daycare. And I was just starting to think I could rely on this service.
7/11/2006 1:18 PM | Tim
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# re: Route 1 over crowded

The route 1 bus passed three of us by at Forest Hills and Hillside at 7:18. The driver blew the horn a few times to acknowledge that she saw us, but would not be stopping. She also passed the person at Birch and blew the horn there too. I could not tell, but I assume that the bus was full. We waited and waited, and waited. If she called for a bus, it did not show. It became obvious that all three of us would be late for work.

At 8:06 (the last run of the morning) she stopped, and immediately said that she could only take 3. The four of us looked at each other, and all thought "well I have to get to work, so it won't be me" As the first of us stepped on the bus, and the driver barked "I ain't guna lose my job, I can only take 3." Fortunately the police officer who was riding in the back got off the bus and all four of us got on. As we drove to South Orange, we could all overhear the driver on the radio to the dispatcher and the other drivers, barking the situation, and the fact that there seem to be more people getting on at the stops and filling the bus up.

As the desirability of a shuttle to bring us to the train attracts more and more people, the township needs to keep pace with the requirements, larger buses or buses that allow standees are required. The town has one bus that allows standees. It should be placed on the Route 1 starting tomorrow. Obviously there needs to be a long term resolution to this.
7/11/2006 10:13 PM | Philip
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# Philip's Article to the Mayor Concerning the popularity (read no seats) of the shuttle

7/12/2006 8:49 AM | x002548's Blog
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

How do I find information about the jitney?
7/13/2006 12:31 AM | JT
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# re: No AC on the Route 2 evening shuttle

Yesterday we had AC, today we don't. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.
7/20/2006 8:33 PM | Philip
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# No Shuttle This Morning

The 1-04 jitney (Route 1 to meet the 7:34 train) did not show at Forest Hill and Hillside this morning between 7:13and 7:30. Either it was more than 5 minutes early, or was not running the route. I have called Mr. Lepore's office (Engineering Department) at 973-325-4160.
7/24/2006 9:28 AM | Kate
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Nope, it didn't show up for the last run either for Route #1....why is it always route 1 that get's stiffed...

Left a voice mail for Mr. Lapore as well...

I will try again, but I hope the service is running tonight....

I;m just lucky my wife is working only during the school year...otherwise it's walking again, since we only have 1 car...ok, so it's a minivan...

7/24/2006 10:52 AM | Brett
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# re: No Shuttle This Morning

The 1-06 Shuttle (Route 1 to meet the 8:22 train) did not show at Forest Hill and Hillside this morning between 8:05 and 8:11. Since I watch fo the shuttle as I walk along Hillside, Either it was more than 4 minutes early, or was not running.
7/24/2006 9:05 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Have Kate or Brett received a response from Lenny Lepore? Perhaps we need to request a block of time at a Town Council meeting. If the issue becomes public, perhaps there will be a more satisfactory response from the town.
7/25/2006 11:20 AM | Renee
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# re: EMERGENCY NEWS FLASH - route 2

Tuesday, July 25th - 7:10 am, rte. 2 shuttle.

The driver informed all of us that today was her LAST day and to be prepared as they do not have a new driver to cover her for route 2. In addition to this, she told us that her supervisor does NOT have her license that permits her to drive the shuttle and that her supervisor KNEW about her leaving her employment approximately 2 months ago.

Her supervisor's name is Helen Hart and you can reach her at 973-672-5277.
7/25/2006 1:57 PM | Linda
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I have not received a response from anyone.

I think it is high time we form a group to represent the community. There must be people in the community that are very skilled to head this up to handle the communication with the town.
7/26/2006 9:09 AM | Brett
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# TrackBack Test

TrackBack Test
7/27/2006 9:05 AM | Pingback/TrackBack
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I sent an email yesterday to the Mayor, Town Council, and Public Works.
I received the following response from the Mayor:

"Hello Renee, We are unfortunately acutely aware of the shuttle issues and as frustrated that the new vender is not performing up to specifications. We are in the process of looking at alternatives but private operators are difficult to find and rely upon. We are working on a solution and quite
mindful of the inconvenience to our commuters.
Mayor John"
7/27/2006 10:32 AM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Hey, Here's a clue. Go ask what they are doing in South Orange and/or Maplewood.

And get the Town Garage to fix these buses, there is no excuse for the shape they are in, or the length of time it takes them to repair anything.
7/27/2006 3:45 PM | Brett
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# re: voice of the community

Yes we need such a voice. We also need to on the same page with what that representative takes to the WO Council. I suggest a primary, and one or two alternates, just in case our schedule and the Council's don't match.
7/27/2006 11:07 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Yesterday the Jitney driver (route 3) was talking on her cell phone while backing up - not to mention driving around 50 miles an hour to get to South Orange. It's just a matter of time before there's an accident.

Renee - can you post those e-mails for the Mayor, Town Council, and Public Works?
Thanks
8/1/2006 9:36 AM | Blake
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I sent one email on 7/26 to the Mayor, DPW, and Town Council, as follows:
"The quality of the jitney service has been deteriorating in recent weeks. Please take a close look at the website for the West Orange Ridership Community, at

http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/brettk/archive/2005/11/14/8302.aspx

What does the Township administration intend to do to ensure that the jitney service is safe and reliable?"

I received a response from the Mayor on 7/27 (posted above) and from Susan McCartney on 8/1 as follows:
"Hello Renee,
I am so sorry to hear of all the inconvenience you have been experiencing with the commuter shuttle. I am working with the Township Business Administrator in seeking ways to tighten up the current vendor and have even reached out to consider a new service provider."
8/1/2006 3:05 PM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

8/1/2006 3:05 PM | x002548's Blog
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Brett,

You commented that South Orange and Maplewood don't seem to have a problem with their jitney services, but how do you know that?
8/1/2006 3:08 PM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Because of the smiles on their faces?

The buses are in great shape and it looks like they take good care of them. They have a/c and you always see their shuttles there...ever been stuck one night and ever NOT seen the shuttle there?

I guess I could poll the S.O. shuttle riders...

8/1/2006 5:44 PM | Brett
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# Route 1 shuttle: Late or Missing?

There was no Route 1 shuttle at Hillside and Forest Hill at 8:08. I know that this is only 2 minutes late, but considering how unreliable the service is these days, I accepted the lift when my wife drove by on her way to work. Did it ever show up?
8/1/2006 10:21 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The shuttle was running on 8/1...and 2 minutes is 2 minutes...

But I have a different beef...I was running late today...which for me means I wasn't out there 10 minutes early...what I did have was the view of a 5 minute early shuttle's rear-end blowing through my stop...

Luckily my wife is off in the summer...and I drove to Mountain....AND I beat the shuttle...because they are still picking up the lower half of route 2...and they picked up a boatload of people on Forest Hill. I know because I past them.

I made sure I said Thank you to our driver when the bus finally did arrive at Mountain...after I was already dropped off by my wife.

Now I have a benefit, but once school starts, I'll have to be walking....I want James back damn it. You remember him...the very reliable guy who understoond te importnace of schedules and went out of the way for us...the sameguy that Mr. Lepore decide to fire and we rebelled and got him re-hired...the same guy that even after the OC of Orange fired officially still decided to come to Orange and pick people up personally because the OC wasn't sending anyone.
8/2/2006 8:56 AM | Brett
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# Route 1 this morning

I was waiting for the shuttle this morning at 7:21, (3 minutes late) and just as we were calling for rides, the shuttle came up the hill. It was running the route in reverse due to the street closures on Gregory, and Mitchell. By the time we picked up all the people (some had waited 20 minutes in hope of a ride), and found ourselves on Northfield, it was obvious that we would not make it to South Orange in time. Thanks to Kate, she asked the driver to take us to Brick Church and we got the train from there. The bad news, is she called the supervisor on the radio, and he said that there was no reason to repeat the process for the last run. That there would only be a few people out there and with the street closures it was just too difficult to run. Having overheard this, I reassured the driver that the passengers on the last run would be pleased to take the 8:30 train from South Orange, (making them only 10 minutes late for work). She said ain’t nobody goin be out there. I said “We waited”. To which she replied you guys are crazy. She seemed relieved that the supervisor had let her off the hook when he told her not to even try the last run. I wonder what she decided to do.

BTW: I could not help but overhear her cell phone conversation where she said “I don’t drive the 1st of the month, there are too many crazies on the bus with their welfare checks, and their Social Security money, they are always doing crazy shit” Now I know she drives for more than one bus company, but is this really the type of person we need driving our bus.

BTW2: Later in the cell phone conversation, she got a call on another cell phone, and told that person not to interrupt her while she was driving. She immediately went back to the first conversation.
8/3/2006 1:20 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

It's not looking good another no-show for the early route 1 orange run this evening
8/4/2006 6:25 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

And a no show on Route 1 this morning.
8/7/2006 4:41 PM | Kate
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# re: Does Route 2 have a morning bus?

The route 1 bus went up Luddington this morning, met a bus at Overlook, turned around without picking up any passengers, and drove back down Luddington. The driver dropped us on South Orange Avenue at the railroad overpass, and then drove into the parking lot. So does this mean there is still no Route 2 morning driver.
8/8/2006 9:16 AM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

fyi - South Orange and Maplewood riders pay for their jitney service. That's why it's so reliable, the buses are in good shape, etc. I'd gladly pay for a safe, reliable service.
8/8/2006 1:05 PM | blake
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Now it's just getting bizarre. I just spoke to Mildred at the township and she confirmed that they are still short a driver on the morning runs. (I believe that it is route 3, but am a bit unclear, since I am on route 1.) Mildred said that the supervisor has been driving the unstaffed route in her PERSONAL VEHICLE. Route 1 bus went up Luddington this morning because the supervisor can't fit everyone in her car. Lenny Lapore is on vacation until tomorrow.
8/8/2006 2:43 PM | Kate
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# re: Using her personal car

That backs up what the recently retired driver said, "The supervisor does not have a commercial licence" so she can't drive a bus with passengers in it.
8/8/2006 8:13 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Nor should she probably driving the ridership in her own car...

South Orange Pays $150.00 year for the service and they even have regular meetings by the their Parking authority who oversees the service..they also sell ten trip packs for $10.00..or $1/day and the yearly pass comes out to 12.50 a month

Mark C Hartwyk - Executive Director
mhartwyk@southorange.org
8/9/2006 4:22 PM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Cathy from Engineering replied to my email yesterday on behalf of Lenny Lepore (I guess he's back from vacation), asking me to call him to discuss the issues.
I replied that I am not a regular rider, and that he should take a look at this website.
Is there anyone who would like to communicate with him directly? His number is (973) 325-4160.
8/10/2006 12:19 PM | Renee
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# re: Route 3 shuttle missing

The Route 3 shuttle did not show up at South Orange train station this afternoon. The drivers of both Route 2 and Route tried to reach her on the radio but received no response.
8/11/2006 11:29 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

The Mayor sent me this email on Friday afternoon, 8/11:
"Renee:
We will be having a meeting this Monday 8/14 with the vendor that provides the Jitney service. They have hired another driver with the appropriate drivers license. This situation has the Municipal administrations full attention and we are working on an alternate plan. Please bear with us.
Thanks
Mayor John"
8/14/2006 10:29 AM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

There was no driver for the Route 3 shuttle runs this evening at 5:56 The driver could not be reached on the radio. The bus for Route 2 had no AC again this evening. It worked on Friday, and by Monday it doesn't. Maybe they could fix the leak before charging the system with more of that ozone depleating R12 refrigerant.
8/14/2006 7:19 PM | Philip
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# re: Thanks to a great driver

I would like to thank the driver of Route 1 in the evenings. Pronounced RayJohn, (but no doubt not spelled that way) he consistently shows himself to be a real asset to the riders. He waits for every last person exiting the train, he drives carefully, comes to a stop without bouncing anyone out of there seat, and goes out of is way to be courteous. Whatever company ends up running this shuttle service would do well to hire this man.
8/15/2006 7:09 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I'd like to second that emotion. The evening route #1 driver is very reliable, a solid no nonsense driver. I don't know if there's the money in the budget, but I'd recommend cloning him.
8/15/2006 9:09 PM | T. Smith
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# No Service

There was no route one service for the second run this morning.
8/25/2006 8:53 AM | Kate
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# re: No Service this morning

There was no Route 1 service this morning at 7:18am. From all the people I saw standing along South Valley, it looks like there was no Route 2 service either.
8/25/2006 7:15 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I don't know about anyone else on the Route#1 shuttle in the morning, but I just back from vacation, and they have a new driver and is showing up, but I fear for my life now...

I swear we are going to go airborne one of these days at Valley and Walker

9/6/2006 11:31 AM | Brett
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Two of us were left at Forrest Hill/Birch this morning b/c the jitney for the 734 train was full. I asked if another was coming but I didn't get much of a response. I am sure that this isn't much of an issue for those who live above gregory but for us valley folks who board last it is completely unacceptable.

I mean, I had to go out of my way today to reschedule a 9AM meeting because the jitney provider has no contingency plan in place (other than to say 'too bad for you') when more people than usual decide to board the bus above gregory avenue?? Am I asking for too much here? What ever happened to the standing jitney? Or perhaps we can just make this a pay service like South Orange and perhaps there would be a little more accountability...
9/18/2006 2:14 PM | Doug
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# re: Full Jitney

I was one of seven people at Forest Hills and Hillside when the driver arrived and said she only had 4 seats. Fortunately two people immediately bowed out and offered a ride to some others, so there was no argument. I asked the driver about the larger (standee) bus, and she said it was being repaired. As I recall she has never driven that bus since she started 3 weeks ago. Must be a big repair.
9/18/2006 7:16 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

i spoke with lenny lapore and he said they would be sending a larger bus tomorrow...he's going to call me with more details tuesday.

he also said that one of the reasons that we don't pay for the service is because it is so unreliable...i told him this was no consolation...

i'm not sure what i would rather have - a ride to the train, or a dangerous ride with the driver talking on her celly.

this is so ridiculous.

9/18/2006 8:53 PM | blake
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# re: Driver on cell phone

I haven't seen any drivers on their cell phones, since the recent retiree from Route 1 mornings. Is this still happening?

I don't want to have to pay for this too. I already pay for it. Taxes.
9/18/2006 11:16 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Are you kidding? Lenny said that? That is totally unacceptable. I know for a fact that they worry more about people complaining that the recycling isn't being picked up.

You know why? Becuase more people complain and make it a more public issue.

And I would say no, that it is paid for by our taxes. It is funded by NJT. It is also a town service that is being split by the senior citizen. They have these buses available and they put them to use in between shuttling the seniors around...kinda like double dipping. Plus the "fleet" of these broken down buses are usually 66% out of commission while the town garage "maintains" them.

If they got Newer buses and more reliable drivers and more trips to and from the train, hell yes I'd pay for it.

9/19/2006 12:04 PM | Brett
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# Meeting with the Mayor (and Lenny Lepore et al)

Shari at the Mayor's office called me today in response to my query as to scheduling a meeting with all relevant parties of the City to discuss the recurring issues with this service. She has tentatively (pending confirmation on Tuesday on her end) scheduled a meeting with the Mayor, Lenny Lepore, Jack (Business Administrator) and all riders who have an interest for TUESDAY OCTOBER 3 at 7:30 pm in Council Chambers. She would like confirmation that some of our riders can be available for that date/time. I cannot be there, as much as I would like this to be resolved I am not skipping my vacation for it. Please respond on this website or to my email (listed above) if you can commit to being there. If it is not a date that will work for the riders she will offer another.

Please respond by Tuesday if you can attend. If I have no positive confirmation by Tuesday I will ask her to reschedule when she calls me back.

Thanks everyone,
Kate
9/22/2006 4:39 PM | Kate
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# Meeting with Mayor

Email did not show with that post. Please respond either on this site or to kgothreau@hotmail.com.

Thanks.
9/22/2006 4:40 PM | Kate
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# Meeting with the Mayor

Yes I will be able to attend.
9/27/2006 6:37 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Unfortunately neither my wife nor I can attend on Tuesday.
9/28/2006 9:15 PM | T. Smith
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Did anyone attend the Council meeting last night?
10/4/2006 10:21 AM | Renee
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

I attended. Unfortunately, I was one of only two people to attend the hearing, and I recently stopped riding the shuttle when I finally got a parking space in the S.O. transit lot.
10/4/2006 7:30 PM | David
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

It's been three months since I took the jitney, since I was laid off in June and only recently found another job. I'm amazed to see the problems with the jitney just continue (but why should I be surprised?). I've noticed that the buses seem to be in worse repair than ever, and that the drivers are for the most part rather surly. At least two of them don't seem to know how to drive a vehicle such as the jitneys very well. The rides have been alarming and less than reliable. At least twice in the past two weeks, the drive of Route 2 has been late leaving the station when picking up from the Penn Station 5:51 train, because she has gone to the Dunkin' Donuts to use the restroom and comes back with coffee or ice cream; meanhwile, passengers are standing in the parking next to the locked bus.That's kind of incredible. Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't know about the meeting with the mayor, as I would have attended. Now I'll start tracking these issues again, and hope I will know next time. Thanks.
10/16/2006 4:54 PM | Peggy Cope
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Oh, I have a question: When did the drivers start refusing to pick people up if there were no seats? And why did one driver this morning refuse to pick people up even though there were two seats left? I understand safety issues, but are we sure people aren't just being left stranded until the next train, which is about 40 minutes later than the second run?
10/16/2006 5:05 PM | Peggy
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

When the new company took over on February 1st, and decided to follow the law, which limits every bus to carry only as many people as is written on the outside of the bus.
If the bus passed two people when there were seats, please elaborate so that we can inform the township.
10/16/2006 10:14 PM | Philip
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# re: West Orange Ridership Community

Usually, the driver will ask if there are any seats left. Two days ago, on the second run of route 2 in the morning, the driver (not the usual woman) bypassed a number of people at several stops toward the end of the route, and as we approached Mountain Station (driving on S. Valley/N. Ridgewood), one passenger mentioned that there were still two seats left. It's possible she didn't see them, and she didn't ask. But she sure seemed to be in a heck of a rush to get to the station.
10/17/2006 11:27 AM | Peggy
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# re: Stuck in the parking lot

We were almost stuck in the parking lot at South Orange today. One of the South Orange shuttle buses was parked at an angle in the middle of the road, and the driver from the Route 2 bus I was in would not blow the horn to tell the driver we were waiting right behind her. Our driver did back up a few feet on two occassions, and even said "How am I supposed to fit through there". After asking our driver to beep the horn, and receiving no response, I got up, stepped off the bus, knocked on the South Orange bus's window, and asked the driver to move her bus. I wonder how long we would have waited, or how many motions our driver would have gone through to turn around, if I had not taken matters into my own hands?
10/23/2006 6:41 PM | Philip
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