NJ commuter bus company suspends service to avoid total ruin
DeCamp Bus Lines said it will suspend service at the end of Friday because of the drastic drop in ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of financial help from the federal government.
The Twitter account of the Montclair-based company, in business since 1870, blamed the “sustained effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" for the suspension of its service from points in North Jersey into Manhattan.
Along with other private bus carriers, it suspended service when Gov. Phil Murphy's stay-at-home executive order went into effect.
The company said it "did everything operationally and financially to avoid suspending service, even in the face of a 97% loss in ridership. As restrictions were lifted DeCamp resumed service but with just 3% of its ridership."
Murphy on July 15 lifted an executive order limiting ridership to just 50%.
"Unfortunately, the return of ridership never materialized and without any relief from the federal or state government we simply cannot sustain operations. While the CARES Act directed $1.4 billion in FTA funding to New Jersey, that amount has been allocated only to NJ Transit, leaving private carriers such as DeCamp without a similar lifeline," DeCamp said in a statement.
The company said it stretched its Paycheck Protection Program funds from the expected eight weeks into seventeen weeks and has to "conserve its resources" until ridership increases.
An employee told NBC 4 New York service could resume in September.
DeCamp on Thursday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.
The private bus carrier industry, including the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association is pushing for passage of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act that, if passed and signed into law, would provide $10 billion in emergency funding for motorcoach operators.