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
From: Peggy Cope [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2005 3:36 PM
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
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,
West Orange, NJ