Commuter applauds Beck’s work on Academy bus issue

As a commuter who has suffered the torture of riding Academy buses from Route 9 to Wall Street for the past seven years, I applaud Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck for taking the lead on finding a solution to this very difficult problem.

I attended the assemblywoman’s public forum, held at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan on Aug. 2 and was overjoyed when I walked into a packed room of over 100 fellow commuters. I was very impressed at how prepared everyone was with very detailed questions and complaints for the Academy representatives in attendance.

The questions and complaints covered a broad spectrum, from schedules and the condition of buses to Academy’s policy on when and where monthly passes and tickets can be used. Some very interesting issues were also raised, such as what types of contracts, if any, does Academy have with NJ Transit, permitting them to operate on Route 9.

Another issue raised was how Academy’s charter operations affect its ability to satisfactorily provide commuter service. It was described how evening commuters, waiting for buses that are late, are told by dispatchers that traffic was responsible, only to find out from drivers that they were late returning from a charter.

One other very disturbing issue raised was how Academy is permitted to use buses leased from NJ Transit, and subsidized by the taxpayers, for charters and camps, while commuters are riding on uncomfortable charter buses to Wall Street.

The forum ended with commitments from Academy to address some of the many complaints and an apology for having let service get so bad. As a commuter, I am looking forward to the second forum, which will be held in late September, and am very confident that Assemblywoman Beck will get answers to the many questions raised and get to the bottom of the other issues as well.

Steve Morelli Millstone Township