It is not a state secret that commuting in New Jersey sucks AND, more to the point, that the people in government who should be in charge of oversight of the whole fiasco have a laissez-faire attitude towards commuting and commuters that amounts to little more than:
"Hey. It's a fucking commute. Whaddya expect? A pleasure trip?"
Well, no, I don't expect a "pleasure trip." But I do expect the fucking bus to show up when it's scheduled to show up. And when it's 95 degrees out, I expect the temperature INSIDE the bus to be somewhat less than the ambient temperature OUTSIDE the bus. In other words, the bus should be in good operating condition, including the climate control system.
But most of all, I expect the drivers of the buses to not turn into a bunch of quivering, whimpering pussies the minute their bus leaves the general safety and spaciousness of the New Jersey Turnpike to navigate the crowded, dangerous, aggressive, mean streets of New York City.
Regrettably, my expectations are, apparently, way too high for the two bus companies which service my area of central New Jersey. I refer to:
Suburban Transit / Coach USA
750 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Academy Express, LLC
2042 Route 541
Westampton, New Jersey 08060
I've "done the math" on the buses which leave my park and ride. At worst each bus that leaves the park and ride in the morning will GROSS $100,000.00 per year. It'll garner another $100,000.00 for the return trip in the evening. Keep in mind this is a lousy 50 mile trip, each way. Then, of course, there's the fact that the buses don't just sit somewhere all day. In between commute periods they are CHARTERED OUT for children's day camps, to take Seniors down to Atlantic City for several hours of gambling fun, etc.
Add another $100,000.00 gross revenue for that.
So you would think that at $300,000.00 per year, per bus, they could at least keep the buses from breaking down on the turnpike and the air conditioning going during the dog-days of August.
But they don't.
And the state, and our representatives, don't seem overly eager to do anything about it, either. I'd love to follow the donation trail, if I could.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the bus companies are SUBSIDIZED by the state for running these routes. To the point where I'm pretty sure the state buys the buses for the companies in return for a modest lease fee (a buck a year?).
Welcome to New Jersey! Where crookedness runs from top to bottom and back again!