SEPTA has loaned buses to N.J. Transit to help the state's remaining operable vehicles shuttle riders between New Jersey and New York City. Jersey's transit system – especially its light and commuter railways – were hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy, leading to statewide service suspensions.
The convoy of 31 SEPTA buses departed from the 1500 block of Alan Wood
Road in Conshohocken at 10 a.m. this morning and is making the 62-mile journey to New Brunswick, N.J. via the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the N.J. Turnpike and I-95. The fleet is comprised of eight buses from each of SEPTA's eight bus districts, all of which recently passed a 3,000-mile maintenance inspection.
The buses will be dropped off at Suburban Transit on the 700 block of Somerset Street in New Brunswick. Bus drivers with the commuter and charter company that services Mercer, Middle and Somerset counties in New Jersey will operate the 30 SEPTA buses for N.J. Transit. Thirty of the donated buses will be used as "loaners," while one bus will used to transport the SEPTA drivers manning the fleet back home.
SEPTA officials said they don't expect the act of charity to impact local transit riders. "We do not anticipate that this slight reduction of our bus fleet will cause bus passengers to experience any inconvenience or overcrowding," General Manager Joe Casey said in a statement. "I'm confident that our riders will agree that helping our neighbors in New Jersey, who have limited public transportation options, is the right thing to do."