NJ Transit canceled thousands of bus trips due to lack of drivers

Gisela Steep

Before Tanisah Garner’s mother passed in 2018, she would travel by bus from Pleasantville to Newark to babysit Garner’s daughters. Eventually, her mother began opting to stay overnight in Newark because she couldn’t count on NJ Transit buses to be ready to take her back home. “My mother would have a hard time coming back and forth to Pleasantville […]

Before Tanisah Garner’s mother passed in 2018, she would travel by bus from Pleasantville to Newark to babysit Garner’s daughters. Eventually, her mother began opting to stay overnight in Newark because she couldn’t count on NJ Transit buses to be ready to take her back home.

“My mother would have a hard time coming back and forth to Pleasantville … especially at nighttime,” Garner said. “So that’s the reason why she chose to travel less.” 

Three years later, public bus reliability has not improved but has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The number of bus drivers and mechanics employed at NJ Transit has decreased, which has led to thousands of canceled bus trips, particularly in southern New Jersey.

Canceling buses has a significant impact on those who depend on them. It could mean being late for work and losing wages. It could increase stress and worry. And it could cause commuters to lose confidence in the transportation system. 

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