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Not Just a Number - Brett Kaiser
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Peggy Cope's October 3rd Communication with Mayor McKeon and his Response

Peggy emailed this to me, and since it falls under the guise of communication with the township I though I'd put it out there.  Thanks Peggy for the info.  However, if you look at the Mayor's response, it appears to have come from his assistant rather than the mayor himself.

By the way, Brett, here is a copy of the message I sent on Oct. 13 and the

response I got from the Mayor¹s office. I also spoke to Len Lepore that same

day, by phone. They have know about this situation for at least that long.


This is documentation.

Hello Peggy, Your comments are greatly appreciated and clearly for this

service to have its intended benefit, we must assure it is reliable.

The past several weeks have seemed to be particularly disruptive and our

management team is directly working with our vendor to rectify this problem

or in the alternative move in a different direction. You can count on us

doing our best.

Kind regards , Mayor John

ShariAnn Quirk -Mayor's Assistant

Mayor John F. McKeon

Township of West Orange

66 Main Street

West Orange, NJ 07052


973-669-0238 (fax)


-----Original Message-----

From: Peggy Cope [mailto:pcope@questex.com]

Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:36 PM

To: Mayor@WestOrange.org

Subject: Jitney Service Disruptions

Dear Mayor McKeon:

Let me say first that the jitney service provided in West Orange is a real

benefit of life in Essex County. I truly appreciate the convenience of

having a bus pick me up at the street corner so I don't have to find parking

in South Orange at the train station.

However, I am very frustrated by ongoing problems with the administration of

this service. I find that it is not uncommon at all for all of the commuters

to be left standing on the corner in the morning when a jitney isn't

operating because the driver was ill or couldn't start their own car or got

stuck in another town after a vacation or had a child crisis at home -- you

get the picture. Drivers are people; things are going to happen in their

lives, problems will arise, and they need ordinary days off like everyone

else. That's not the problem.

The problem is that the supervisory staff appears to have no idea at all how

to handle these situations. They do not have any backup plans or drivers

they can tap in a crisis. In addition, when a problem occurs, there

apparently are no supervisors working at 7:15 in the morning whom commuters

might want to call for information as to whether a bus is on the way or not.

And beyond that, supervisors are not working after 5 p.m., when problems

frequently arise at the train station. This is really not acceptable. Why

are there no supervisors on duty during the hours when the jitneys actually

operate? Why are there no phone numbers commuters can call for information?

Frankly, if I were a supervisor of a service such as this and a driver

called in sick, I would try to find a replacement driver -- but if no one

was available, I would drive the bus myself. I manage a staff of editors,

and when one of them can't write a story, I often do it myself. That's what

supervisors do.

I could understand it if this happened a few times in a year's span. But

this has happened no less than once or twice a month, or even more often, in

the time I have lived here (almost a year). It has occurred no fewer than

three times just this WEEK. And commuters calling the town for information

got quite a few different stories as to what the problem was and when it

would be corrected.

Please fix the jitney service. It could be a great thing, but it really

isn't. Our taxes pay for this. I have to ask myself why we should go on

paying those taxes if the services don't work.

Thank you for your time,

Very truly yours,

Peggy Cope

West Orange, NJ


Print | posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:12 PM |

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