Seven Additional Counties Added to Innovative Program Which Supplements Access Link Service for Customers with Disabilities
“The Riders’ Choice Pilot Program has helped improve on-time performance and reduce wait times for customers and is much more cost-effective for NJ TRANSIT on a per-trip basis,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “We are pleased to be able to expand this program to seven additional counties and deliver a more seamless and reliable transportation experience for our Access Link customers.”
At the start of the pilot in May 2023, the initial service area of the program includedEssex, Morris, Union, Somerset, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties and parts of Cumberland County with rides provided by Uber and Lyft.
The Access Link Riders’ Choice Pilot Program has been successful in reducing wait and trip times, while maintaining Access Link prices and the reservation process to which customers are accustomed.
With the addition of service to seven additional counties, this program will provide additional transportation options to a multitude of customers that rely on Access Link services for medical appointments, grocery shopping and other critical mobility needs. Customers who do not opt into the pilot program will continue to have all of their trips serviced by the current Access Link providers. Participation in the pilot program is strictly voluntary. Benefits of the pilot program include:
- Improvement of on-time performance and productivity
- Decreased missed trips
- Improvement in retention of Access Link drivers
Prior to scheduling a trip, Access Link customers in the Riders’ Choice Pilot Program must update their profile to indicate which rideshare service they would like to use. Customers also have the option to indicate they have no preference and are willing to utilize all available providers. Use of the rideshare company’s app is not necessary, and customers will not be required to contact rideshare companies directly. The determination to dispatch a rideshare in lieu of an Access Link vehicle will be made based upon the best available scheduling option at the time.
Access Link is NJ TRANSIT's American with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit program established to provide public transportation to people with disabilities who are unable to utilize local bus services. The area covered by Access Link is comparable to NJ TRANSIT's Local Fixed Route bus system. The service can be used to travel to any destination – for any reason – as long as the origin and destination are within the Access Link service area. Because Access Link is a “shared ride” service, other customers may be picked up during a scheduled ride if their location is on the way to the requested destination.