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NJ Transit buses run late 32 percent of the time

Many commuters who use NJ Transit buses frequently complain about buses always running late. New data released by the agency shows they may actually have reason to complain.

According to NJ Transit Spokesman William Smith, new technology that allows the agency to track individual buses as they follow their routes, shows they arrive at various stops on time about 68 percent of the time.

“What we’ve been doing is taking this data and doing a deep dive to see where some of the problems lie on our respective routes along the way,” he said.

Even as the data is analyzed, Smith said there are some obvious reasons why buses are delayed.

“Besides areas like the Lincoln Tunnel and around the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan, there are things like traffic conditions in a specific neighborhood, weather conditions, potholes,” Smith said. “Obviously New Jersey is a very densely populated state and traffic conditions in some areas can be much worse than others.”

He said it’s also true that “sometimes a bus can be slowed down if we have a disabled passenger who needs to come on with a wheelchair, or if we have a passenger who wants to bring a bike on board and needs to strap it on the front on a bus rack. All those factors can influence what on-time performance is and how long it takes us to get from stop to stop.”

Smith added the agency has two goals moving forward.

“We want to get folks to their final destination as safely and quickly as possible,” he said. “But we also want to give them information. We want to let them know if a bus is going to be delayed, how much it’s going to be delayed by. We find most of the time with our customers that if there’s a problem due to a car accident or traffic in a certain area, they’re understanding.”

He also advised commuters to visit the NJ Transit website to learn how you can send a text to My Bus Now, which will allow you to get a text back telling you when you can expect a specific bus to arrive at your stop.

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