March 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM
With closure of the Pulaski Skyway coming up on April 12, a new bus service to help reduce traffic tie-ups is already rolling through four Union County municipalities. The new service, bus no. 95, is one of several transit alternatives available to Union County residents that have been arranged by the New Jersey State Department of Transportation (DOT) with NJ Transit.
The DOT Skyway project will close both of the northbound lanes for two years starting on April 12, in order to rehabilitate the 80-year-old structure.
“We know that the next two years will be challenging ones, and DOT has made a good start on providing the public with more mass transit options,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “We encourage the commuting public to take a look at DOT’s options and test an alternate route before the April 12 closure date, to help your trip go as smoothly as possible.”
The Pulaski Skyway is not located within Union County but the two-year closure is expected to impact regional arteries including Route 78, Route 22, and Route 1&9. Local traffic may also be affected.
“The closure will directly impact both Union County residents and many other commuters who travel in and through our County, far beyond those who currently use the Skyway,” said Freeholder Sergio Granados, who is liaison to the Union County Transportation Advisory Board. “Transit options like the new 95 bus can help, but there is also a need to plan for the possibility of commuters clogging local roads to avoid heavily traveled arteries including Route 22 and Route 1&9.”
Bus 95 began service on Monday, March 3. It operates between the new Park-and-Ride at the Sears parking lot on eastbound Route 22 at Terrill Road in Watchung, and Newark Penn Station. Parking at the new Park-and-Ride is free.
From Watchung, the new service travels along existing local bus stops on Route 22 through Scotch Plains and Mountainside. It continues local stops through Springfield and Union Center. After that it returns to Route 22, where it goes express to Newark.
Inbound service is available only during morning rush hours. Outbound service is available only during evening rush hours, for a total of 16 rides.
Additional trains and rail cars are also being added to NJ Transit trains that service Union County along the Raritan Valley and Morris & Essex lines.
Complete details on the Skyway project and all transit options, including help with vans and carpools, are available from DOT at pulaskiskyway.com.
Links to all regional transit are available on the Union County website at ConneXions, ucnj.org/connect. A direct link to the DOT Pulaski Skyway website is also conveniently located on the Union County home page, ucnj.org (click on the Pulaski Skyway icon).