Long Beach Township Residents Commemorate Continuation of Island-Wide Bus Service

Group Presents Governing Body With Framed ‘Save the LBI Shuttles’ Sign
Dec 06, 2017
Photo by: Jack Bushko

The shuttles will keep on rollin’.

During last month’s general election, on Nov. 7, voters in Long Beach Township approved a ballot question to allow the municipality to charge, if necessary, a nominal fee for the Island-wide shuttle bus service. Following the election, township Commissioner Joseph Lattanzi – who devised the program – thanked the Long Beach Island Chamber of Commerce for its efforts in promoting the program, including the “Save the LBI Shuttles” signs it placed throughout the township.

On Monday, at the municipality’s board of commissioners meeting, a number of residents presented the governing body with a framed “Save the LBI Shuttles” sign to commemorate the successful referendum, and to thank the township for the service.

“There is such a need for this. It really helps the community,” said Kevin Stretch, owner of Stretch Cleaning, who was joined by Bill Hutson, owner of Lorry’s Island End Motel; Mary Anne Hurley, owner of Hurley’s at Holgate Motel; Joni Bakum, Bayview Park director; Angelo Rinaldi, president of the Loveladies Taxpayers Association; John Fiore, president of the Brant Beach Homeowners Association; and Pat Prout, former president of the BBHA.

“Thank you for the vision and perseverance,” Stretch added.

“It’s only going to get better,” Mayor Joseph Mancini said in response.

Hutson, meanwhile, pointed out the election results for the shuttle bus question, which was 1,169 votes, or 79 percent, in favor, and 306 against.

As Lattanzi pointed out last month, ridership for the buses exceeded 110,000 this summer – a sign of the service’s popularity, but also an indication that it must expand. The introduction of a small fare seems more and more a necessity if the program is to continue, which means adding buses, he said.

Currently, the service is funded by grants, advertising revenue from bus wraps and signs inside the buses, and $10,000 annually from each municipality on LBI. These funding sources will continue, but they’re not enough because of the program’s success and its need to grow.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the township recognized Martin Truex Jr., originally of Cedar Run, for his recent victory at the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship. “He has donated a lot of money to the hospital (Southern Ocean Medical Center),” said Mancini. “He’s a good guy, and the family is very much committed to the community. We thank him and wish him luck in future races.”

The governing body also acknowledged Nora Muchanic, an Action News New Jersey correspondent for 30 years, on the occasion of her retirement earlier this year. Mancini said Muchanic spent a lot of time reporting on the Island following Superstorm Sandy. “She’s a class act,” he noted. “We wish her well in her retirement.”

The next meeting of the Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners will be held Monday, Dec. 18, at 4 p.m. —J.K.-H.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.