Jersey City to Become the First in New Jersey to Offer On-Demand Public Transit Solution, Expanding Public Transportation Access – InsiderNJ

Jersey City to Become the First in New Jersey to Offer On-Demand Public Transit Solution, Expanding Public Transportation Access - InsiderNJ
Jersey City wants to create public transit system similar to Uber, Lyft
Jersey City to Become the First in New Jersey to Offer On-Demand Public Transit Solution, Expanding Public Transportation Access

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the City Council will move ahead with a request for proposals (RFP) forming a unique vendor partnership to create an innovative transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand. This technology-based transit system would be the first of its kind in the State, expanding accessibility to public transit and connecting the North and South regions of the City.  Areas of Jersey City will be identified and targeted as primary service areas, with added connectivity to other key shopping and business districts, government facilities, as well as PATH, ferry and light rail stations.

Typical bus systems are tailored to regulated routes and schedules, which can leave passengers waiting due to delays or having to walk blocks to their bus stop if there is not one close, said Mayor Fulop. We want to bring technology into the City that creates a fully dynamic, on-demand transit network. This ultimately will make rides faster, more convenient and connect the North and South parts of the City.

At least 10% of the programs fleet will be fully electric vehicles, with a goal to increase the number of electric cars in future years. Prices will be set near current mass transit ticket prices, below or around $2 per-ride, with discounts offered for certain populations including low-income residents, the disabled and senior citizens.

Relying on a user interface and underlying technology, similar to ride-hailing services, the service will primarily focus on transit desert areas determined by the City. The system will pick up passengers from predetermined pickup locations and dynamically route shuttles based on passenger demand.

We are seeking a solution that responds dynamically to demand in an effort to be more efficient and more responsive to the varying needs of our communities, saidBarkha Patel, Senior Transportation Planner. “Were continually looking to incorporating innovative technology that improves the quality of life for all users and modes of travel within our transportation network. This type of transit system can maximize connectivity and access to transit hubs, major employment, shopping and recreational destinations, and between existing neighborhoods.

JERSEY CITY — Mayor Steve Fulop announced plans Monday to create an innovative public transit system that would function similar to popular ride-hailing apps.

The system, which the city said would be a first of its kind in New Jersey, would allow users to request rides from their smart phones or by making a phone call. Fulop said the city will issue a request for proposals to form a unique vendor partnership to create an innovative transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand.”

Typical bus systems are tailored to regulated routes and schedules, which can leave passengers waiting due to delays or having to walk blocks to their bus stop if there is not one close, Fulop said in a press release announcing the plan.

We want to bring technology into the City that creates a fully dynamic, on-demand transit network. This ultimately will make rides faster, more convenient and connect the North and South parts of the City.

After requesting a pickup, a rider will be be assigned a pickup location most efficiently matching the vehicles route, Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said. It is unclear whether the company awarded the contract will develop a phone application specifically for the system.

This type of transit system can maximize connectivity and access to transit hubs, major employment, shopping and recreational destinations, and between existing neighborhoods, said Barkha Patel, the citys senior transportation planner.

The city said prices will be comparable to other transportation options and cost below or around $2 per-ride.” But officials noted that discounts could be offered for certain populations including low-income residents, the disabled, and senior citizens.

Additionally, 10% of the programs fleet of vehicles — shuttles and vans — will be fully electric. That number would increase in proceeding years.

The announcement comes on the heels of several high-profile changes to public transportation in the southern half of Jersey City. In February, NJ Transit announced services on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to the West Side Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive and Garfield Avenue stations would be suspended for nine months, beginning June 1.

More than 5,000 daily riders on the light rail branch that heads to the three affected stations will be affected by the shutdown, which will coincide with construction work to repair a sewer line that runs along the light rail line.

In March, Coach USA announced its No. 4 bus, which ran from the southern point of Greenville to the Newport mall, was being shut down because of low ridership.

Citi Bike Jersey City, meanwhile, has removed the bulk of its bike-share stations from neighborhoods south of Communipaw Avenue.

We are seeking a solution that responds dynamically to demand in an effort to be more efficient and more responsive to the varying needs of our communities, Patel said. Were continually looking to incorporating innovative technology that improves the quality of life for all users and modes of travel within our transportation network.

Corey W. McDonald may be reached at cmcdonald@jjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @cwmcdonald_. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.


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