Friday, April 13, 2007

More buses proposed for I-78 commuters

An agency studying how to reduce congestion on Interstate 78 has proposed a new commuter bus route that would take Lehigh Valley residents to jobs in New Jersey.

Buses would depart from the William Penn park-and-ride lot in Bethlehem Township and go to Alpha, N.J., south of Phillipsburg, where officials are proposing a park-and-ride lot. The buses would go on to places such as Clinton, N.J.

Group members hope that companies would run shuttle buses that would take workers from the drop-off points to their offices.

The suggestion is part of a multi-year effort by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to reduce the number of cars on I-78 during the peak morning and evening commutes.

Traffic on I-78 has jumped 66 percent in a decade, based on the number of vehicles crossing the Delaware River bridge. That increase comes in part from a growing number of people who live in eastern Pennsylvania but work in New York and New Jersey.

A new the study will focus on extending rail service to Phillipsburg because the town received a federal grant to examine the possibility of restoring rail service to New York, which ceased in 1983.

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