The Pascale Sykes Foundation has awarded a $142,000 grant to continue operations of the successful Great Bridgeton Area Transit Program.
The continuation grant to the consortium of Gateway Community Action Partnership and the Cumberland County Department of Employment and Training, along with additional collaborative partners such as area housing complexes and the Guidance Center, will fund a second year of operations.
The 18-passenger bus travels a day-long loop route on weekdays from housing complexes in Bridgeton and the Bridgeton Industrial Park to downtown Bridgeton and Carlls Corner which includes stops at Upper Deerfield shopping centers, Seabrook Brothers and Clement Pappas so that riders can access work, medical appointments, shopping or entertainment purposes. The Greater Bridgeton Area Transit also connects with other county transit services and New Jersey Transit. The bus is also available with more limited hours on Saturday. Suggested donation is $1 per rider per trip.
Bridgeton Mayor Albert B. Kelly noted the expanded bus service funded through Pascale Sykes Foundation, has been well-received. Since beginning expanded operations on November 1, 2012, Kelly said ridership has increased 30%.
The bus is family-friendly with accommodations available for adults and children of all ages. The bus is handicap accessible and equipped to handle child safety seats so that families can travel the route safely. Inspected and approved child safety seats are available for use by contacting Gateway Community Action Partnership.
In addition to transportation for employment, entertainment, shopping and medical or social service appointments, the bus is equipped with a television monitor that displays valuable information to riders including social services, employment opportunities, family development information and also offers an opportunity for local business advertisement. Also available is a service directory that highlights programs provided by health and social service providers and faith-based organizations.
Initially, the Pascale Sykes Foundation made a $100,000 grant to the Cumberland County collaborative to improve transportation options for individuals and families in the Bridgeton area in a public/private partnership built on existing resources.
For additional information on the Greater Bridgeton Area Transit Program, including a bus route schedule, visit Gateway’s webstie at www.gatewaycap.org or call the Cumberland County Department of Employment and Training at 856-451-8920.