I just finished reading staff writer Peter Elacqua’s article regarding the problems Wall Street commuters face every day with Academy Bus. As an Academy rider since 1994, I agree with (the section of the article which states) that after (a 2007) meeting with state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth), service got slightly better. Unfortunately, that improvement did not last.
Academy always has the same excuse – drivers called out – for its lack of buses, but in the morning, commuters will see two Academy Port Authority buses pass by on Route 9 while waiting 40 minutes for a downtown New York City bus.
I believe the company has expanded too much into other states and routes and charters and cannot accommodate its Route 9 riders.
Two weeks ago I waited for a 1:53 p.m. bus at the third stop, Church and Worth streets, to go home. When the bus pulled up, the driver announced he only had standing room. When asked why he did not save any seats for our stop, he said the dispatchers told him to fill up at the first two stops.
I called the dispatch office and inquired why that would be done. I was told it was a Friday and many people leave early. I said there were people at that stop who paid the same amount of money for a ticket as the people at the first two stops, only to be hung up on. I had to wait 40 minutes for the next bus. This is the treatment the company gives its ridership.
Academy switched from daily tickets where one could purchase 40 trips which would be for sufficient the month and if you were going away you could use them the following month, to only 10 trip tickets or a monthly pass. With that switch a price increase was imposed.
Service was not improved and bus conditions were not improved either. I have sat in seats where the back will not stay upright, causing me to endure a 90-minute bus ride in a fully reclined position; not very comfortable.
Coach Bus Company operates between East Brunswick and Wall Street as well as to the Port Authority and tickets can be used on either bus as well as weekends. Academy does not allow us to do that even though they operate out of both Wall Street and the Port Authority. This would be a major plus for commuters.
I have called Academy with complaints and posted on Facebook about delays and horrible customer service. Hopefully, Sen. Beck will read this and take some action.