By TALIA WIENER
DeCamp Bus Lines will resume limited weekday commuter services to New York City beginning June 14.
“It’s been a long, difficult road to get to this point; the pandemic has devastated the private motorcoach industry,” company Vice President Jonathan DeCamp said in a June 3 press release. “However, thanks to a second round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, we’re able to resume limited weekday service with the goal of adding additional schedules as New Jersey and New York continue to open up and ridership levels increase.”
DeCamp services have been suspended for more than 10 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, DeCamp buses carried an average of 6,500 to 7,000 passengers a day. In August 2020, ridership was down to an average of 400 passengers a day, DeCamp said at the time.
DeCamp representatives said in August the company had exhausted all of its available financial resources, including trying to stretch its first Paycheck Protection Program funds from eight weeks into 17 weeks.
Limited service will be offered on bus route No. 33 serving West Caldwell, Caldwell, Verona, Montclair, Bloomfield, and Nutley; route No. 66 serving West Orange, Montclair, Upper Montclair, Clifton; and route 44 serving Bloomfield, North Newark, Belleville, North Arlington, Lyndhurst and Rutherford, according to the company.
Outstanding, expired tickets will be honored until Aug. 31 of this year, the company said in its release.
Tickets can be purchased at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, at local ticket agents, or purchased on NYC-bound buses using cash.
DeCamp said it is is adhering to all CDC and regulatory guidelines and will continue disinfecting motorcoaches using the CURIS Decontamination system, which uses a hydrogen peroxide solution to eliminate harmful pathogens. All passengers boarding, riding and leaving a bus must wear a face mask, per federal law.
In addition to the NYC commuter services, DeCamp is currently booking group travel charters operating weekly casino service to Wind Creek, Bethlehem.
The company is based in Montclair.
NJ Transit received $1.4 billion in CARES Act funding, but none of that was passed to private bus carriers. The private carriers argued they should have received about $200 million of those funds, noting the passenger miles they travel each year help determine non-COVID federal funding for NJ Transit. Under longstanding contracts, the private carriers are given free buses instead of subsidies. NJ Transit officials told NJ.com last year they couldn’t pass through that money to private companies without changing those contracts.
Jonathan DeCamp said the company hasn’t received any additional funding since then.
Montclair residents looking to use mass transit can currently use the NJ Transit rail service along the Morris and Essex and Montclair-Boonton lines. Additionally, NJ Transit bus No. 191 to and from New York serves Montclair on weekdays.
In state, NJ Transit buses Nos. 28 and 29 to and from Newark serve areas of Montclair, including sections of Bloomfield Avenue.
This post has been updated to link directly to current schedules on the DeCamp website. The DeCamp site also still lists older schedules on a different page.