A ribbon cutting ceremony held on Tuesday, September 4, welcomed a newfreeform of transportation available for all students and staff. The city of Long Branch’s “EZ Ride Bus Shuttle” created a new route that will include the University Health Center.
“I look around the campus, and where the cars are going to go is one of the biggest issues,” said Adam Schneider, mayor of Long Branch. “This helps.”
Finding a place to park on the University campus has been an unresolved issue for many years. University President Paul Brown and Schneider believe that the shuttle will minimize the issue.
“I hope that it definitely does help with parking,” explains Brown. “What I would like to see is this bus inundated with students and staff.”
Students were happy to see a new form of transportation at the University. “I think the shuttle service is an awesome idea for students,” said Nicole Adamusik, a Business Management senior at the University. “It will be so much more convenient and easier to get around, especially for those students who don’t have a car on campus.”
Brown agrees that the shuttle will create more convenience for students while providing them the opportunity to further explore the surrounding area. “Boy, do I see what we have here in the community,” said Brown. “I really do think it is a way our students will get down to the community.”
Schneider, who was happy to create the partnership with the University, says that the shuttle will not only minimize the parking issue, but will also decrease traffic flow in the surrounding area.
Howard Woolley, LB Business Administrator, said that the shuttle will make stops Monday through Friday every half hour from 6:30 am to 8:11 pm.
Students will now have the opportunity to take the shuttle service to business districts and off-campus housing at no cost to them.
The shuttle will make stops at different locations in West End, Pier Village, downtown Long Branch, Monmouth University and the Long Branch train station.
The idea to bring a stop to the University was created by LB. Wholley explained that when the city officials contacted the University to ask them to consider bringing a shuttle stop on campus, the University was more than happy to accept.
Woolley said that Paul Dement, Director of Community and Government Relations at the University, quickly agreed with the proposal and began to move forward to make it a reality. “Dement bought in right away,” said Woolley. “He got it endorsed by the administration. Without Paul’s work, we wouldn’t be here.”
The University is not the only party that will benefit from the new partnership with LB.
“It’s a first step which I think will be an extremely productive relationship which will develop over time as more kid’s live on our oceanfront.” Schneider said.
Adamusik agrees with Scheider, “The shuttle service will definitely prove to be an advantage to not only Monmouth University students but also to the Long Branch community.”
The shuttle service will cost one dollar for riders, but is free for all University students that show proof of school identification. A $2,000 contribution from the University was given to the city, allowing students to ride for free. The remaining cost of the shuttle was funded through Long Branch and a federal grant.
When the shuttle was originally created two years ago, it was only used during the summer season. September 4 marked the first day of a new stop as well as a new schedule that will allow the stop to now run every day.
In the future, the city hopes to extend the shuttle service to incorporate weekends and evenings, Woolley explained.
“It worked well this summer and it’s going to continue to work well,” Schneider said. “We are going to make moving around Long Branch and West Long Branch a whole lot easier.”