By MADDY VITALE and DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio would like to see New Jersey Transit restore the bus route that used to stop throughout town.
The route was shortened last year due to a weight limit reduction on the Townsends Inlet Bridge linking Sea Isle and Avalon. So instead of multiple stops giving bus passengers a choice of where they would like to go throughout the community, the service is limited to a few stops after the bus enters Sea Isle in another part of town, over the JFK Boulevard Bridge.
In remarks during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the mayor outlined his idea to extend the service. He noted that people brought their concerns to his attention about wanting more options on the route.
“You know, you could say, why do you need the bus? Many people would take this bus to travel to, say, if they were going shopping in the southern end of our county. Many people would take this bus if they were going to go to Philadelphia. Many people would take this bus to go to a commuter lot to go into Philadelphia,” Desiderio explained.
He has spoken with state officials about how to expand the bus route.
“I received a couple of calls about New Jersey Transit and the buses not coming through Sea Isle City,” Desiderio pointed out. “With the assistance of our good friend, Rod Greco, a Sea Isle City resident and former freeholder from Camden County, I was able to have a meeting with Sangeeta Doshi, she’s a councilwoman in Cherry Hill, but also a homeowner in Sea Isle City and a board member with New Jersey Transit.”
Currently, New Jersey Transit drives into town over the JFK Boulevard Bridge to pick up passengers on a limited route. The driver makes a right onto Park Road, a left onto 42nd Street, a left onto Central Avenue and another left onto JFK Boulevard. Then the bus travels to Cini Avenue and Veterans Way, Desiderio said.
“They’re not proceeding through Sea Isle City as they used to,” he said. “Part of the reason is the weight limit on the (Townsends Inlet) bridge of 15 tons. What we would like is for the bus to proceed through Sea Isle and turn around in the 93rd Street area at Townsends Inlet Park.”
The mayor said meetings have been fruitful so far. He met with Greco and Doshi recently to go over some of his ideas.
“We discussed what was going on and how we could proceed, perhaps with a smaller bus,” he added.
Desiderio, Doshi, other New Jersey Transit members and a representative from the governor’s office recently discussed the issue in a meeting.
The mayor said as a result of their discussion, New Jersey Transit agreed to send a representative to Sea Isle to see about an expanded bus route.
“The rest of the state of New Jersey has a bus that goes through their community and Sea Isle is no different,” he told the Council members. “I’ll update you as we move forward. But when I had my last conversation with them, which was Thursday of last week, they were going to send someone into Sea Isle to see a route this bus could travel on.”
To view the current bus route for Sea Isle City, visit New Jersey Transit at https://www.njtransit.com/node/1234883#