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NJ Transit Starts Free Bus From Maplewood to Liberty State Park

Service begins Friday; commuters can connect to free ferry service from LSP to Lower Manhattan.


NJ Transit announced on Thursday an expanded plan to get commuters on suspended train lines into New York City.

Beginning on Friday, Nov. 9, there will be a free shuttle bus service between Maplewood Station and Liberty State Park. From LSP, commuters can take free service between LSP and Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.

Here is the complete release from the NJ Transit website:

Christie Administration Announces Additional Free Trans-Hudson Bus/Ferry Service

Expanded Plan Serves Morris & Essex, Monclair Boonton, Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Lines

Trenton, NJ – As NJ TRANSIT continues recovery operations from Hurricane Sandy and a significant nor’easter storm, the Christie Administration has announced plans to provide more free shuttle bus/ferry service for the Trans-Hudson commute.

On Friday, November 9th, free weekday emergency shuttle bus/ferry service will operate from to/from the following locations: 

Morris & Essex Lines

  • Free express shuttle bus service between Morristown Station and Weehawken Ferry Terminal. Free ferry service between Weehawken and Pier 79 at West 39th Street in Manhattan (Midtown Manhattan).
  • Free shuttle bus service between Convent, Madison and Chatham stations and Liberty State Park (LSP). Free ferry service between LSP and Battery Park (Lower Manhattan).
  • Free shuttle bus service between Maplewood Station and LSP. Free ferry service between LSP and Battery Park (Lower Manhattan).

Montclair-Boonton Line

  • Free shuttle bus service between Bay Street, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield Avenue stations and Weehawken Ferry Terminal. Free ferry service between Weehawken and Pier 79 at West 39th Street in Manhattan (Midtown Manhattan).

 North Jersey Coast Line

  • Free shuttle bus service between Aberdeen-Matawan Station and LSP. Free ferry service between LSP and Battery Park (Lower Manhattan).

Northeast Corridor

  • Free shuttle bus service between Metropark Station and LSP. Free ferry service between LSP and Battery Park (Lower Manhattan).

These new bus shuttle/ferry services will operate weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. (inbound) and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (outbound). Bus shuttles will operate on a load and go basis every 10 minutes.

Please note that Weehawken ferries serve Midtown Manhattan while LSP ferries serve Lower Manhattan. Customers traveling to Weehawken will be given two free NY Waterway ferry tickets for use to/from New York. No tickets are required for the LSP Statue Cruises ferry service.

The additional emergency shuttle bus service compliments established emergency shuttle bus service already established at Ramsey Rt. 17, Meadowlands/MetLife Stadium Lots J & K, PNC Arts Center and Hudson-Bergen Liberty State Park Station. Please check njtransit.com for more information.

The region’s mass transit network suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Sandy late last month, and some additional damage in the November 7th nor’easter. As a result, NJ TRANSIT is in the process of rebuilding much of its rail and light rail network. These new bus/ferry services continue to supplement existing bus service, very limited rail service and other emergency bus and Trans-Hudson ferry services that have been implemented since the storm.

Customer Tips

The following tips are offered for customers traveling around the region:

  • Customers utilizing NJ TRANSIT rail or regular NJ TRANSIT bus service are encouraged to consider traveling during off-peak periods to avoid crowds and potential delays.
  • Customers can expect delays, detours and other challenges during the system restoration and recovery process. 
  • For the latest travel information, customers should listen to broadcast traffic reports, visit njtransit.com, or access NJ TRANSIT’s Twitter feed at @NJ_TRANSIT.
  • Additionally, NJ TRANSIT will provide the most current service information via the My Transit alert system (www.njtransit.com/mytransit), which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone, PDA or pager.
  • Automated service information is also available by calling (973) 275-5555.
Holly Sanders Ware November 08, 2012 at 09:05 PM
This should be called the "Midtown Indirect" -- it is beyond impractical. This commute is easily 2.5 hours and is a terrible option for the majority of us that work in Midtown. NJ Transit needs to add more buses that go PA, Penn and Newark Penn ASAP. An even bigger issue is why NJT won't provide a timeline for restoration or any details on how work is progressing. The rumor is 3 mos. at a minimum.
RobG07040 November 08, 2012 at 10:03 PM
While I appreciate all that seems to being done here, I would appreciate it more if NJ Transit would change the status of the M&E train line from "service remains suspended until further notice" to something a little more helpful (like "in approximately 2 weeks")
DylanWilco November 08, 2012 at 10:14 PM
There also has been no service provided to and from Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. I apprecaite NJT is putting this together on the fly, but there's still a lot more to be done to help all of their regular commuters who have lost service they have relied on.
stephanie November 09, 2012 at 12:30 AM
This is great but i live in south orange. Is south orange going to provide transportation to maplewood? Or. Where do we park?
Leslie November 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
It would be much better to put in a shuttle to a stop on a train line that is working, such as Newark Penn or Secaucus. No need to drive us all the way to the river.
KSSR November 09, 2012 at 12:19 PM
How the hell do we get to midtown from Maplewood???
Josina D November 09, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Is there any way to get into the city by public transportation on weekends?
Katie H. November 09, 2012 at 03:59 PM
It's taking upwards of 3 hours to make this trip. I agree - and don't understand why they can't run a bus from the train station to either Newark Penn or to PA. It would be the easiest and most direct way. Shuttles to Irvington for Busses to Newark, Shuttles to LSP to Ferries to the Battery. I've wasted almost a tank-full of precious fuel just driving to Newark, or West Orange or - wherever - trying to figure out the best way to get into the city. I'm not clear on why the logistics are so hard for NJ Transit. Seems like a simple answer to me... Also - yes. The same issue I had with PSEG - we need real answers so we can plan accordingly. Buying tickets, working out carpools, rejiggering school drop offs to accomodate longer travel times - we need to know what's going on and how long it's going to take.
William W. November 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Tweet from NJT - "I can assure you it will not be more than a week, possibly sooner." I hope they are just trying to get people to shut up....
Donna Nitzberg November 09, 2012 at 08:13 PM
One major problem with the post-Sandy beefed-up bus service is that NJ Transit is obviously using inexperienced drivers (probably their train personnel). This morning one of the 107 buses took over 2 hours to get from SO to the Port Authority because he kept making the wrong turn and getting lost. In the end he was guided into the terminal by the shouted directions of irate passengers.
Jon G. November 09, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I work downtown so I took the bus to the ferry this morning. Got to the mplwd station at about 8:15 and got to battery at about 9:50. So not good but could have been worse. (Apparently some people who did it earlier in the day said it took 3 hours.) The traffic on 78 was what really slowed us down.
William W. November 09, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Ok, now someone on MOL posted they got a message from Jitney saying it is resuming regular service as of Monday the 12th. Wish NJT would give some kind of time table...
Noel Sinclair November 10, 2012 at 08:46 AM
Noel G: Poor M/E commuters! After a period of a noticeable decline in the quality of the service rendered by NJT - fewer trains, shorter trains, longer delays in arrivals, passengers boarding at S/O having to stand all the way to Penn Stn - then comes Sandy! I wonder what is next? I am thankful to NJT for offering us the choice which started to be put into effect on Friday. But this is more helpful to those of us working in downtown Manhattan. I used the service yesterday and the congestion on 78/TPK was horrendous. Like others have asked, what is the difficulty in providing a service to PA or to NYPENN? And, yes, can't NJT give us an idea of what progress is being made in restoring the service and how soon we can reasonably expect the trains to start running again?
Diane November 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The lack of contingency planning on the part of NJT is apparent, and the lack of effective communications adds insult to injury. There is still no reasonable way to get from SOMA to midtown, and no timetable from NJT that would help us make better plans on our own. We need as much pressure on NJT to perform as is being placed on the power companies.
Philip Ryan November 11, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I called NJ Transit about options for Maplewood residents today and the agent had never heard of this. Frustrating. Anyway I work in midtown so this is less than wonderful. Trains still "Suspended until further notice."
DylanWilco November 12, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Now that trains are running to Midtown again, people are going to be parking at the train station. However, the entire block of Oakview between Valley and Dunnell was blocked off to allow a few buses to sit there. This meant 40 to 50 parking spaces were not available by the station. Would it be possible to open up at least some of these spaces?
Meryl Stone November 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Has anyone taken the Shuttle bus from Maplewood to LSP? How often does it run? What are its hours? How many passengers fit on a bus?
John Connor November 14, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Yesterday a.m. it took about 1 3/4 hrs. Mplwd Stn to Battery Park. Last night 1 hr. from Battery Park to Maplewood Stn. (Excellent). This a.m., with a driver from Florida, 2 1/2 hrs. stn. to Battery. Driver got lost, ending up on 1 & 9 (with open drawbridge for 1/2 hr), having missed the lane for Tpk. Extension. Guided him through Jersey City to LSP. It all depends on the driver, his familiarity with roads here and driving in "northern" traffic conditions, which require an aggressiveness not required in the South. Under optimum conditions, a very good option, which is also "free."
Mary Bryan November 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM
When Iowa flooded four years ago people on I-80 were routed to hwy 20 - about four hours out of anyone's way to get over the Iowa, Cedar, and Mississippi Rivers. That was a major inconvenience. I grew up in So. Orange so I know the area and how much people depend on NJT. I read about the free shuttle and thought it would be great for some, but what about everyone else? You will look back and wonder how you got through this and you will be stronger. We are still rebuilding from our mess four years ago. It takes a lot of time and hard work.


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