Princeton has now become a new pickup spot for an OurBus route due to a determined group of Princeton University graduate students and alumni.
OurBus is a technology transportation company in New York that specializes in intercity and crowdsourced bus routes, according to officials.
The new pickup spot and route at 76 Nassau St., which is available now, takes riders in Princeton to Union Station in Washington, D.C. on the weekends. The route is a round trip on Fridays and Sundays that will make stops and pickups in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
“This route developed gradually over the last year or so. When spring arrived we had 100 people hit the threshold of requesting this same route,” said Axel Hellman, OurBus co-founder and head of Transportation Planning. “We waited from the spring until this September because this is like a college campus route and wanted to start the route up when school was starting up.”
He said right now the route is one round trip on Friday and Sunday.
“We have the ability to add more trips as we see the demand and how people want to travel. The first couple buses were pretty full when we began the route on Sept.20,” Hellman said. “We are going to be going to two buses on the days pretty soon. We believe that this route will be sustained with riders going forward.”
OurBus is able to add more bus trips to routes due to the company contracting out to local owners and operators of high-end coach buses, according to officials.
The new route is due to 100 Princeton University graduate students and alumni requesting a pickup spot in Princeton by working through the company’s ‘Request a Route’ feature.
Prior to this route, Princeton University students who desired to go to Washington, D.C. through this system had to travel to Hamilton to take that OurBus route.
“I am a Masters of Public Affairs graduate student at Princeton University and I, along with many of my classmates, frequently travel to D.C. for professional and personal development,” said Jasmine Haddaway, one of riders of the new route. “There is not a direct way to go from Princeton to D.C. and the Amtrak train can be prohibitively expensive during certain times and days.”
She said she and her classmates have gotten by over the past few years by starting a “carpool to D.C.” message group on WhatsApp, a secure mobile messaging app.
“That relies solely on the generosity of others and the availability of a seat in their car – not even addressing if someone is traveling to and from D.C. during a weekend I’m interested in. I’m looking forward to having an affordable, consistent, direct option to get from Princeton to D.C.,” Haddaway added. “This route will fill a major hole in transportation options in central New Jersey.”
According to Hellman, OurBus to date through all of the company’s routes has had 500,000 passengers across the country.
“We want to be the most convenient and affordable option between these two points. I want to make it easier for people to travel,” Hellman said. “Hopefully we can encourage people to take the trip they want to.”
For more information about OurBus and routes, visit www.ourbus.com.