Shuttle bus plan eyed for Rt. 130

Would link bus and train stations

By: Matthew Armstrong
   Shuttle service to nearby train stations could be in the future as the Middlesex County Planning Board looks at plans to help ease traffic congestion.
   The county Planning Board is studying traffic patterns and new development in the county and is recommending a shuttle service to run from the Park and Ride on Route 130 near Exit 8A of the N.J. Turnpike, up Route 130 to Georges Road in South Brunswick, then back onto Route 130 to Adams Lane in North Brunswick. The jitney then would follow Adams Lane to Route 1, turn onto to Jersey Avenue and head to the Jersey Avenue train station in New Brunswick.
   The planning still is in a preliminary stage and the board is seeking input from all 25 municipalities in Middlesex County, said Anna Almeida, the principal transportation planner for the county Planning Board.
   "Other communities like Maplewood and Plainsboro have implemented this innovative mode of transportation with a lot of success," said Ms. Almeida.
   Though South Brunswick has yet to see the plan, Frank Antisell, chairman of the Planning Board, said it sounds worthwhile.
   "I think shuttle service to a nearby train station would be a good idea," said Mr. Antisell. "As far as where it would stop, we’d have to look into that."
   Last year NJ Transit implemented a statewide shuttle service program called the Community Shuttle Program. It provides municipalities with a shuttle bus and money to get the program started. NJ Transit received $3 million in 1999 and $3 million in 2000 from the federal government to implement the program.
   "The Community Shuttle Program is another innovative way to improve access to public transportation throughout the state," said Jeffrey Warsh, executive director of NJ Transit.
   Municipalities accepted into the program must use the shuttle during peak hours to transport commuters to train or bus stations, but can use it during the day for community-based transportation services, said a spokesperson for NJ Transit.
   Eighteen municipalities were accepted into the program last year including Edison, Metuchen, New Brunswick and Old Bridge.
   NJ Transit will accept new applications for the Community Shuttle Program in September.