EAST WINDSOR, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes was joined by East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov and County freeholders today as they visited one of the stops along a recently expanded bus route on the Route 130 corridor designed to provide increased access to jobs for residents throughout the County.
The bus route, known as the “Route 130 Connection,” runs from the Hamilton train station to South Brunswick and back multiple times each day. It was expanded in the past year and features new stops in East Windsor and Hightstown that give residents greater opportunities to find employment or get transportation to and from their jobs.
“In this economy, our residents need all the assistance they can get when it comes to getting to work or finding work,” said Hughes. “With more stops and at a cost of just $1 per ride, the Route 130 Connection is a big help to more and more of our residents.”
Hughes and Mironov announced the expanded service at the Clock Tower stop on Town Center Road in East Windsor April 22 along with Freeholders Ann Cannon, Pasquale Colavita, and Dan Benson.
The flourishing Route 130 corridor in East Windsor has made an expanded bus route crucial to the local economy, both to transport workers to suburban economic centers and to allow suburban residents to easily navigate to more urban centers like Hamilton and Trenton.
“Public transit in our area is certainly an important issue and this enhanced service is critical as it relates to helping our residents become more mobile,” said Mironov, who worked closely with the County to develop and refine Route 130 Connection. “With the growth of East Windsor’s business sector in the past few years, this bus service is tremendously valuable both to the workforce and the businesses.”
Route 130 Connection utilizes two, 24-passenger buses with access for one wheelchair passenger and operates six days a week. The buses run from 5:30 a.m. to 8:44 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 3:56 p.m. on Saturdays. It also operates on most major holidays.
Hughes said the bus route also has connections to NJ Transit buses at four different stops. The service is open to the public and is free to ride for Work First New Jersey participants.
The service was expanded after the County conducted market analysis and surveyed ridership to determine whether an updated bus service was necessary. Those studies showed ridership was steadily increasing and opportunities for employment at commercial and retail companies as well as warehouse and distribution sites was growing due to economic development along Route 130.
“Our riders responded convincingly that by adding more stops to the Route 130 Connection, we could get people to more job sites and really open a whole new area of easily accessible jobs,” Hughes said. “It is a prime example of government adapting to fit the needs of residents.”
Ridership on the Route 130 Connection has risen substantially since the original bus service began in 2002. Ridership started relatively low at 118 passengers a month. But by the end of 2008, Route 130 Connection has averaged roughly 2,390 riders per month. From January through December 2008, ridership totaled 28,849 customers.
Route 130 Connection is funded with an annual federal and state transportation grant totaling $148,912 and a matching grant of the same amount from Mercer County. All funds generated from ticket sales are used to offset the cost of operating the buses, Hughes said.
Mercer County residents interested in finding out more information about the Route 130 Connection bus service can contact the Workforce Investment Board (WIB) at (609) 989-6827 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The bus provider, Dapper Bus, will also take calls for special requests to accommodate a stop not on the schedule at (609) 847-0230.