It’s the most wonderful bus ride of the year. The commuters are ringing, the driver is singing (if it’s Sal) and there’s lots of good cheer. It’s the most wonderful ride of the year.


At least that’s the feeling you get from reading the gushy commuter report on DeCamp. The writer seemed to only find happy DeCampers to talk to (where were all these folks…?) From the New York Times

At the Port Authority, Patricia Cronin was first in line at the gate. She moved from Battery Park City to what she jokingly referred to as “the Upper West Side of the suburbs” 14 years ago. “Our son was a year old and we wanted to raise him in the suburbs,” she said.
Ms. Cronin said that she used to take the train, but has switched to the bus because it offers more frequent and more convenient service in the evening. “Most of theses buses will stop at whatever corner you ring.”
Last night’s certainly did. People signaled for personal bus stops every few minutes, and the bus easily pulled to the side of the charming, tree-lined residential main road.
“I’ve heard DeCamp has lost customers to the train, but I still struggle to get a seat on most days,” Ms. Cronin said. “But I think the bus is great.”
DeCamp Bus Lines is the oldest privately-owned bus company in the country. “And proud of it,” said Gary Pard, the vice president of operations, “despite the complaints.” By the end of March, he expects the company’s Web site to be revamped to include route maps, fare schedules, online customer service and the ability to send traffic notices to subscribers √¢‚Ǩ‚Äù the latter in the hopes of allaying the most common gripe, delays.

Revamped website? Say it ain’t so. We’d miss Pard’s reprimands and social commentary. We are so unworthy.
The article did include these helpful DeCamp tips…

“Live on the beginning or middle of the bus route so you can get a seat,” said Sean, a recent Brooklyn transplant to Montclair. “Standing is dangerous and we’ve seen people get thrown.”

Liz George is the publisher of Montclair Local.

15 replies on “New York Times DeCamp “Commercial””

  1. Where did they find these people? Were they taken to lunch and plied with libations?
    Seriously, I DO have to say that since I moved to West Orange and now take the 66R intio NYC rather than the 33 EXP, service HAS improved. (Please don’t jinx it!) The bus is on time about 95% of the time and I get always a seat.
    However, the 33 line (all of ’em) still needs fixin’. In plain English, there are simply not enough buses to handle the number of commuters, especially in the Montclair-Bloomfield area. The 33 line is also plagued with constant delays.

  2. I have been taking the train to Penn in the morning and the Decamp 66 back home from PA in the evenings for a couple years. Overall, the Decamp experience has not been too bad. The Clever Commute service has been really helpful in warning about delays and allowing me to alter my routine if there is a problem effecting either the trains or buses.
    I recognize that some folks have had bad experiences with Decamp, but 95% of the time I get home at about the expected time. Maybe it’s because I take the later buses (7pm or after). And I have not had any bad experiences with the drivers. The passenger/driver conflicts that I have witnessed were initiated by obnoxious passengers, not the driver.

  3. Look, there are certainly people in Montclair for whom the bus is the better option. For me, even though the bus stop is a little closer than the train station, the train is — by far — the better choice. There is more room, drinking and eating is permitted, use of Ipods is permitted and the conductors are pleasant. The only downside is the train’s popularity. Rush hour trains are often standing room. In my years of riding the bus, I grew very tired of the stop-and-go traffic on Rt. 3 and the tunnel approaches. Then there were the drivers. A more sour, angry bunch I have never met. The DeCamp drivers routinely drove past my stop. I swear, I actually witnessed one driver intentionally get into a fender bender with a car. Finally, I find hard to believe that DeCamp’s numbers have rebounded as much as they say since the earlier losses to the train. Don’t think the numbers would hold up to an audit.

  4. Jerzee Giant, are you inferring that DeCamp bans the use of iPods and the like? That’s a crock.

  5. I never heard of an Ipod ban, but they do have signs warning against cell use. But then, invariably there is some lady gabbing the entire way and no one says a thing.

  6. I agree with Miss Marta about the need for more buses on the 33 line. This morning at 7:15 I got the last seat, and I’m 10 stops or so from Route 3.
    I’m debating taking the NJTransit 72 bus down to Newark, then switching to the Wall Street PATH. Anyone have any experience with this?

  7. I was thinking about taking the bus into NYC on Saturday instead of my usual MO (driving to Hoboken and taking the PATH). But, DeCamp’s website doesn’t have fare info on it.
    Does anyone know how much a round trip ticket from and back to the Gates Street stop in Montclair costs?

  8. This NY Times Article is a crock of sh*t. Commute Time 37 minutes? Are they joking? The fastest commute I’ve had using DeCamp during non-rushhour times was 50 minutes, with an 1.25 hours being average. The train gets to the city in about 31 to 47 minutes.
    My advice is to use your train pass to ride the bus to a train station.

  9. ubuwalker31
    I’m no fan of DeCamp, but during non-rush hour, especially after 8pm, it usually never takes more than 30 minutes to get from NY Penn St. to the village center of Upper Montclair. Then again, it takes about 50 minutes on average by train to get from Upper Montclair to NY Penn. Bottom line is, if you live closer to the Watsessing station, the train is going to be a heckuva lot quicker than any DeCamp bus. On the other hand, if you live in Upper Montclair, you’re going an awful lot out of your way on the train to go twelve miles into NY. Still, I’d choose a pleasant 50 minute train ride any day over the unreliability and poor attitude from DeCamp.

  10. TERRIBLE IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT FOR DECAMP!! NASTY, INCONSIDERATE DRIVERS, NO CUSTOMER SERVICE….It is unfortunate that unless you live by the train, or a NJ transit bus stop, the DeCamp is the only other way to commute into the City.

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