Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and the city council announced Thursday they will move ahead with a request for proposals to form a vendor partnership to create a transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand.
This technology-based transit system would be the first of its kind in New Jersey, Fulop said, expanding accessibility to public transit and connecting the city. Areas of Jersey City will be identified and targeted as primary service areas, with added connectivity to other key shopping and business districts, government facilities, as well as PATH, ferry and light rail stations.
“Typical bus systems are tailored to regulated routes and schedules, which can leave passengers waiting due to delays or having to walk blocks to their bus stop if there is not one close,” Fulop said in a statement. “We want to bring technology into the city that creates a fully dynamic, on-demand transit network. This ultimately will make rides faster, more convenient and connect the North and South parts of the City.”
At least 10 percent of the program’s fleet will be fully electric vehicles, with a goal to increase the number of electric cars in future years. Prices will be set near current mass transit ticket prices – below or around $2 per-ride – with discounts offered for certain populations including low-income residents, people who have disabilities and senior citizens.
Relying on a user interface and underlying technology, similar to ride-hailing services, the service will primarily focus on transit desert areas determined by the city. The system will pick up passengers from predetermined pickup locations and dynamically route shuttles based on passenger demand.
“We’re continually looking to incorporating innovative technology that improves the quality of life for all users and modes of travel within our transportation network. This type of transit system can maximize connectivity and access to transit hubs, major employment, shopping and recreational destinations, and between existing neighborhoods,” said Barkha Patel a senior transportation planner said in a statement.