Private bus companies continue to be affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis with Lakeland Bus suspending all service into New York starting Thursday as NJ Transit tries to pick up the slack.

Ridership on Lakeland's commuter buses from Morris County to the Port Authority in New York has dropped to 200 a day from previous average of 7,000 a day, according to a company spokeswoman.

The company will continue operating an emergency schedule until the end of Wednesday, April 1.

Trans-Bridge, which runs commuter buses along Route 78 to New York, suspended service on March 23.

Academy Bus has ended service from East Windsor, Twin Rivers, Sayreville, Westampton and along Route 36 to Wall Street. It has also closed ticket windows at Lincroft, Airport Plaza in Linden, Cheesequake and Leonardo Terminal.

NJ Transit began cross-honoring its bus and rail tickets to give bus passengers more options.

Buses in the agency's northern and southern service areas are running on modified levels of service. Passengers may also only enter buses using the rear entrance.

NJ Transit has seen a 90% drop in ridership and has taken a financial hit because of a drop in revenue and the added expense of extra cleaning as most people heed Gov. Phil Murphy's emergency order closing non-essential retail businesses and working from home.

Ticket windows are also closed at NJ Transit stations and customers are being urged  to buy their tickets in advance.

"We strongly urge customers to purchase their tickets using our app or the ticket vending machines, which also take cash," NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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