The Warren Township Committee has been contracting with the Somerset County Division of Transportation to provide free bus service to Warren senior citizens since 2002.
But in that time, the service has gone largely unused. Rather than drop the bus service entirely, the township announced Wednesday that the service will be cut by 50 percent to allow officials time to determine whether there is any interest in keeping the buses on the road.
The decision was made after talks between the Township Committee and the Senior Advisory Committee and the Warren Senior Citizen Club. The groups came to an agreement to continue the bus service but decrease it from two days per week to one day per week starting Sept. 1. Officials said this will be a temporary trial program that will allow the township to determine whether seniors have an interest in the bus service.
The Township Committee approved a new bus contract at its Aug. 15 meeting that will put the trial into effect from Sept. 1 through March 31, 2014. As part of the deal, the shuttle service will be offered on Wednesdays. For two hours in the morning, the bus will visit the Blue Star Shopping Center on Route 22, in Watchung to visit stores such as Shop Rite, Kohl’s and Dollar General. In the afternoons, the bus will visit Bridgewater Commons Mall. The bus service also will be available to offer seniors transportation to the annual senior picnic, senior citizen club meetings and the Christmas party, events that all take place on Wednesdays.
Interested seniors must register by contacting the Somerset County Division of Transportation at 908231-7115 or 800-246-0547. The Township Committee and the Warren Township Senior Advisory Committee are encouraging all Warren seniors to utilize the service.