Community Shuttle Marks 2 Years With Week of Free Rides
Posted on May 23, 2017 at 4:21 PM on NJ.com
By Matt Gray
June will mark the two-year anniversary of the Pureland East-West Community Shuttle and operators are marking the occasion with a week of free rides June 5-9.
The shuttle — which runs across the county through Wiiliamstown, Glassboro, Mullica Hill and Swedesboro, ending at Pureland Industrial Park in Logan Township — was launched as an effort to address a public transit shortfall in Gloucester County.
While NJ Transit offered plenty of north to south bus routes, residents had no way to easily travel east to west.
A shuttle trip normally costs $1 each way, while a connecting circulator shuttle within Pureland is always free.
The shuttle’s primary goal was to assist workers employed at Pureland, which is home to more than 180 businesses and more than 8,500 workers. Organizers have touted its value for others not headed for the industrial park who need a way to get to appointments, go shopping or catch a connecting NJ Transit bus.
Interest in the line has grown steadily since its launch, with ridership increasing from 738 riders in June 2015 to 2,267 in June 2016. More than 3,000 riders used the service this past January.
Between the first and second years, ridership has grown 54 percent, operators report.
County officials say the new Pureland East-West Shuttle service is steadily gaining riders since launching in June.
“While the growth of ridership has been tremendous, the program is really about helping people,” said United Way Executive Director Michael Gower. “We are improving lives of each individual who is provided with low cost transportation to reach their job. The vision of the United Way is to build better lives in Gloucester County. This is one way we are achieving our mission.”
The shuttle is a collaborative effort between the United Way, Gloucester County government, the Pascale Sykes Foundation, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, NJ Transit, Heart of Gloucester County and Cross County Connection Transportation Management Association.
Initial funding to support the shuttle came from $1.2 million in grants to be distributed over a three-year period.
In addition to the week of free rides, operators have a few new features coming this year. Bike racks will be installed on the buses this summer. Five new enclosures will be installed for riders waiting for the shuttle in Logan Township.
To learn more about the shuttle, go online to driverless.com or call 856-614-1072.