A major construction project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York is expected to snarl traffic on the inbound George Washington Bridge, which will also affect bus travelers on NJ Transit. NJ Transit Senior Director of Communications John Durso told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the transportation company has been monitoring the situation and will be cross-honoring bus tickets to give its customers additional options.
Durso said NJ Transit has made its customers aware of the project and the impact on bus routes. He said the project has been delayed several times and the company has been monitoring the start date.
“Our planners have been at the table throughout the entire process working with our colleagues over at the Department of Transportation to ensure that we can put together a plan that’s not only going to satisfy New Jersey Transit customers — particularly more than 5,000 customers that travel to the George Washington Bridge bus terminal each and every day — but also the residuals, the customers that travel through Fort Lee, which will also be impacted,” he said.
Durso said NJ Transit has been honest with customers, warning them that there will be delays. Starting Monday and for the following two weeks, NJ Transit will be cross-honoring bus tickets, which means they will be accepted on the rail lines.
While Durso said it’s unclear how many bus travelers will switch to the trains, he said, “This is a good faith effort to at least give our customers additional options. We understand that this is going to be very, very difficult, not only just for New Jersey Transit customers but the average commuter that goes over the bridge each day.”
Preparation is key for the project, according to Durso. “This is clearly a unique circumstance,” he said. “You are talking about one of the busiest thoroughfares in all of America that is going to be severely impacted.”
In addition to the bridge traffic, Durso said NJ Transit will be monitoring traffic on its other bus routes in the area. He added the New Jersey Department of Transportation has a comprehensive plan in place for the project.
When asked if the expected increased traffic could cost NJ Transit more money in fuel, Durso said it’s unclear at this time, but it could happen.
“The clear reality is there are going to be delays for customers that go over the George Washington Bridge,” he said. “New Jersey Transit is aware of that and we’re giving our customers additional options to get around that area.”