In 1999, South Orange, NJ was one of the first towns to be designated as a Transit Village by NJ Transit's own Transit Village Task Force. The Village of South Orange has demonstrated a commitment to revitalizing and redeveloping the area around their transit facilities into a compact, mixed-use neighborhood with a strong residential component.
Last week, NJ Transit greatly reduced service to South Orange station, removing all but few express evening rush hour trains to South Orange, eliminating direct service yet adding multiple direct trains to other towns not designated as Transit Villages.
The South Orange train station not only serves the residents of South Orange, but surrounding towns that provide shuttle service to the station. In addition, South Orange hosts a NJ Transit parking lot that is not for the exclusive use of South Orange residents.
The changes in the schedule have resulted in over-crowded, slow moving trains that stop at every station between NY Penn (or Hoboken) and South Orange. As a result, commuters are struggling to make daycare pick-up times, have less time with family, and arrive too late to patronize our town's small businesses. Families looking to relocate to a commuter-friendly village are looking elsewhere, negatively affecting South Orange property values. South Orange has deeply invested in the success of our train station, only to be left in the cold with recent service reductions.
We demand NJ Transit restore the level of service that a designated Transit Village deserves.