I recently took the bus from the Aldrich Road Park and Ride in Howell, NJ to New York Port Authority. When I take a mode of transportation I've never taken before, I like to do a little research about fares, tickets, parking and all that. I couldn't find much on the web about daily parking at the park and ride so I set out in the real world to find out and am sharing my knowledge with you here.
Note: At off-peak hours, the bus to NYC doesn't stop at the Aldrich Road park and ride, instead it picks passengers up at the bus stop on Route 9 North just before Aldrich Road. You can park at the park and ride regardless of where you board the bus.
Costs (as of July 28, 2006):
- The bus costs $12 one-way. It seems that you can't buy a round-trip ticket, so you'll have to buy two one-way tickets.
- The park and ride costs $.25 to park for 3 hours. You can park for a maximum of 24 hours.
To use the park and ride when boarding the bus in the park and ride:
- Buy your ticket(s) from the Colonial Coffee Shoppe in the Aldrich Plaza strip mall, located at the Southwest corner of Route 9 North and Aldrich Road.
Park your car in the park and ride, just behind the strip mall on Aldrich.
Daily parking is in the West side of the lot (the side furthest from Route 9).
Daily parking spaces are numbered. Only monthly permit holders should park in non-numbered spaces.
- Remember your parking space number.
At the park and ride bus shelter, go to the machine with the big 'P' on it and pay for your parking.
Follow the instructions on the screen.
- Sit back and wait with joyous anticipation for your bus.
To use the park and ride when boarding at the bus stop on Route 9 North: I suggest parking your car at the park and ride first, walking to the Colonial Coffee Shoppe to get your tickets, and then walk up to the bus stop.
- Sometimes buses from the Academy bus line substitute for NJ Transit. So don't be surprised if you wait in line at the Port Authority at the gate that says it's for NJ Transit route 139 and then get to the bus and find Academy bus #500-something. You can politely ask the driver whether or not the bus will be stopping at your stop.
- Don't sit directly behind the driver if you plan on talking to your companion or on your cell phone. I've learned this from experience. Apparently, if you look out the window while talking, your voice in full volume travels up the window to the driver and distracts him. The driver will get very angry and start yelling at you to keep it down.
Update (8/3/06):Here's the Wikipedia article about bus 139.