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Ocean City to Expand Jitney Service for Seniors

Ocean City to Expand Jitney Service for Seniors

By mvitale, OCNJDAILY

The jitney service in Ocean City is not only returning for the 2024 summer season, but it is also expanding to offer stops at several senior citizen housing complexes throughout town.

In a resolution that City Council is expected to approve during Thursday’s meeting, the contract will be awarded to the same company that has provided the jitney service over the past two summers. In addition, the service has provided riders a convenient and inexpensive way to head up to the Boardwalk.

Ocean City launched jitney service in the summer of 2022 in partnership with the Atlantic City Jitney Association under a pilot program to see whether shuttle service to the Boardwalk and downtown business district would be popular with residents and visitors.

Dan Kelchner, the city’s director of Community Services, gave his support for renewing the Jitney Transportation Services contract with the Atlantic City Jitney Association (ACJA) for the 2024 season.

“The ACJA was the city’s provider for this service the past two years and their performance was beyond satisfactory. The ACJA is reliable, consistent, and the ridership feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kelchner said in a city memo.

Ridership was nearly 15,000 passengers – 14,735 to be exact – for the summer of 2023. It was up from 12,000 riders in the service’s pilot year in 2022, according to city officials.

Kelchner noted that the route, ridership fee, and service parameters “are largely the same as the 2023 program.”

The jitney service runs in a continuous loop. (Image courtesy of Ocean City)

The jitney fare is $2 one way, payable by cash. Drivers can provide change. There is no charge for children age 5 and under to ride the jitney.

It is anticipated that Council will approve the contract for the ACJA for $128,625, which will include two routes.

There will be a “primary evening route,” which runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. in a continuous loop from 55th Street to Battersea Road.

There will also be a “senior center route,” which will serve senior housing communities, including Wesley by the Bay, Speitel Commons, Bayview Manor, United Methodist Communities at The Shores and Pecks Beach Village.

The senior center route will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. year-round and will be free to members of the senior center.

There are two changes to the 2024 season.

The morning service – business district loop (the downtown) will be removed for the 2024 season. The route was not implemented in 2023 and Kelchner noted that there was “minimal usage during its pilot year in 2022.”

The change reduces the contract by $12,000.

The second change added the senior center route to the Howard S. Stainton Senior Center.

“This service will run on a continuous loop from the senior center to several senior housing facilities throughout town,” Kelchner explained in the memo of the senior center service.

In February, the city took over the senior center, which is housed in the city’s Community Center at 1735 Simpson Ave. Prior to that, the county ran the senior center.

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After hopping off the jitney, families can stroll the Boardwalk, shop, dine and enjoy the attractions.