New 655 Bus Represents the Best Example of Public-Private Partnership

For immediate release:                                                                                  May 14, 2012

Contact: Kevin Wilkes, 908.966.4591

Kevin Wilkes Says New 655 Bus Represents the Best Example of Public-Private Partnership 

Mayoral candidate and Borough Councilman Kevin Wilkes said Monday that the new NJ TRANSIT 655 bus is an excellent example of how local, state and federal governments can work with private institutions to achieve community-based solutions that benefit the public at large.

The new NJ TRANSIT 655 bus, which debuts today, runs betweenPlainsboroTownshipinMiddlesexCountyto Princeton Borough and Township inMercerCounty, has been in the works for a number of years. It was initially developed as part of the Route 1 Bus Rapid Transit study, and Princeton Healthcare System’s move from Princeton to Plainsboro gave the project added importance.

“But it was the financial support provided byPrincetonUniversityand Princeton HealthCare System that brought the new bus route from concept to reality. This is the first time in the history of NJ Transit that a new transit route has been accomplished with a private/public partnership. I hope to seek out other creative partnerships to deal with other initiatives that have a significantly positive impact on our community,” Wilkes said.

The route is designed to serve the needs of numerous populations, including anyone who currently walks or takes transit to the current (until May 22nd) hospital location on Witherspoon Street in Princeton; Princeton University faculty, staff, and students; visitors and employees of the University’s proposed Arts & Transit District; users of the Dinky train station; employees and residents of Plainsboro for trips to downtown Princeton, particularly the 1000+ new employees anticipated coming to the expanded NovoNordisk headquarters on Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro.  

“The hospital’s move out of town presented us with a unique transportation challenge: how can we get Princeton-based patients and hospital employees to the new facility if they currently walk and have no access to a vehicle? Or even if they do have a car, how can we provide people with more environmentally sustainable transportation options to get where they need to go?” Wilkes said. “That this new bus exists is a testament to what happens when our community works hand-in-hand with its neighbors to solve problems. I’m delighted that I was able to be involved in this process in my work on Princeton Borough Council.”

Kevin Wilkes is a candidate in the June 5th primary for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of the consolidated Princeton. 

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