Bus route expansion set

By: Marjorie Censer
   NJ Transit announced Thursday that it will add capacity on 36 bus routes, including the 600 bus between Trenton and Princeton, beginning Jan. 28 in response to record-high ridership demand.
   Weeknight service on the 600 bus will be expanded to accommodate customers returning to Plainsboro.
   System-wide bus ridership in the first quarter of fiscal year 2006 — the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2005 — rose to 39.6 million trips. That represents a 3.1 percent increase over the same period last year. NJ Transit buses now carry more than 531,000 customers on a typical weekday.
   In response, the NJ Transit Board of Directors authorized in November the purchase of 53 cruiser buses and the lease of up to 20 cruiser buses to be phased into service over the next several months. The first of the leased buses will begin service at the end of January and will provide additional trips on routes that are at or near capacity.