Ramapo College of New Jersey launched a new shuttle bus service that will take students to and from its Mahwah campus with stops at the Westfield Garden State Plaza and Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J.
The Ramapo Roadrunner Express, the first-ever direct public transit link in the College’s 50-year history, will provide a direct link to buses that travel to the Westfield Garden State Plaza from many areas, including Hackensack, Union City, Weehawken, Fort Lee, Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, Bloomfield, Rutherford and more (bus routes 709, 163, 770, 758).
“Ramapo College has long been the only New Jersey State public institution that is not serviced by public transit. The College’s initiation of this service will provide prospective students from Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties with free daily access to Ramapo College from the Garden State Plaza,” Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer said. “This new direct transit link to our campus is sure to enhance regional educational opportunities and be of mutual benefit to the State’s economy, the College, our staff, students and their families, who not only rely on mass transit but are entitled, as residents of New Jersey, to have reliable and affordable transportation access to all of its state colleges and universities,” Mercer added.
Among those in attendance were Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, who, Mercer acknowledged, was instrumental in sponsoring the budget resolution in the State for the shuttle funding, and Chairwoman of the Bergen County Freeholders Mary Amoroso.
Said Assemblyman Johnson, “Ramapo College was always that secret place in Bergen County that had a beautiful campus in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. But if you didn’t have a car, you couldn’t get here. This shuttle will now allow students from all over to have access to a quality education. Linking this campus to one of the busiest NJ Transit stops at the Garden State Plaza is so important.”
Freeholder Amoroso, a Mahwah resident, said she knows “how hard it is to get to and from” Mahwah to anywhere else in Bergen County. “I applaud the College for using the State funds so well. This shuttle will help workforce development, for students who are working in the Paramus area or nursing students who get jobs at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson. It will also expand commuter opportunities to students of other counties who deserve to be here.”
Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis, who was unable to attend the event, said in a statement, “Transportation can be a barrier for students and add to their costs for higher education. We are excited about Ramapo College’s commitment to students through the launch of their new shuttle service, which will also help connect students to the larger community.”
The free shuttle will run five round trips daily, Monday through Friday, leaving directly from the College’s Bradley Center.