Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let's go to the Hop

City of Hoboken announces:

Three convenient, simplified routes with GPS technology

"The Hop," Hoboken's shuttle system formerly known as the Crosstown Bus, is expanding into a full-fledged mini-transit system to provide residents and visitors with convenient, predictable, and reliable transportation throughout the city.

"When I ran for Mayor, I promised to look into restoring the Crosstown Bus," said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. "We didn't just bring it back, we created a complete state-of-the-art mini-transit system unlike anything Hoboken has seen before."

The Hop system has three overlapping routes - the Blue Hop (downtown), Green Hop (uptown west side), and Red Hop (uptown east side) - which are within a 3 minute walk of 99 percent of residents.  All routes stop at the PATH station and loop twice per hour between 7am and 7pm, Monday through Friday. In order to complete the loop during rush hour, the Green Hop travels north only to 12th Street from 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm. At other times, the Green Hop continues up to 15th Street

The fare is just $1 per ride. Students pay just $0.50 while senior citizens and children under 12 years of age ride for free. Exact change is required.

"The Hop is a critical component of our efforts to reduce congestion and improve Hoboken's parking situation," said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs. "In conjunction with car-sharing, taxi service enhancements, and improvements to make Hoboken more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly, we are providing residents with a variety of convenient, less expensive alternatives to driving a personal vehicle."

The shuttle system was recently rebranded as "The Hop" to reflect how easy it is to use --  riders can hop on or off at any far-side corner (after the intersection) along the route by simply notifying the driver.

Through GPS technology, riders can track the Hop online or on their mobile phones via text messaging. The current location of the Hop shuttles is displayed and updated live online at http://hobokennj.org/thehop. Riders on the go can text "bus bluehop", "bus greenhop" or "bus redhop" to 41411 (Note the space after "bus") to instantly receive the current nearest intersection of the corresponding bus. Tracking for the Red Hop will be available soon.

For senior citizens, the Hop offers double the frequency, extended hours, and broader coverage compared to the senior shuttle bus. Unlike with the senior shuttle, they will also be able to ride with children, grandchildren and other family and guests on the same bus. The Hop routes were designed to provide service to all senior buildings. Free medical transportation and bus trips to the Newport Mall will not be affected.

The City will soon be offering unlimited monthly ride passes for $35 and yearly unlimited ride passes for $300 to allow residents and visitors to ride all Hop routes as often as they like without having to pay a fare for each ride.

The Blue Hop is out of service daily between 11:30 am and 1:00 pm, the Red Hop is out of service between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm, and the Green Hop is out of service between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm.

Residents can find route maps, schedules, and learn more about The Hop at http://hobokennj.org/thehop or by calling 201-653-1919.

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Police union details complaints against City

The police union yesterday announced their opposition to the proposed reductions in the police department.  Here's their itemized list of concerns:

1) If there are 19 demotions, the City may save $220,000 and 18 layoffs may save $990,000 in salary and benefits for a total of $1.21 million. That’s a $75 per year savings for each of the City's 16,000 taxpayers. That equates to approximately $1.50 per week. If this cut in policing causes a crime increase, property values will decline much more than $75. Some who would destroy the department made claims on their websites earlier this year that the police demotions would save $5.2 million. That is simply not true. As stated, the fact is that the savings would approximate only $220,000.

2) The Mayor has asserted since her first mayoral campaign in the Spring of 2009 that demotions would take police officers away from their desks and put them on the streets. She has further represented that layoffs and demotions will not reduce the numbers of officers patrolling the streets. It must be observed that 15 of the 19 officers being demoted perform their supervisory duties on the streets while on patrol.

Only 4 of the 19 are in administrative/staff positions. Laying off 18 officers and possibly putting four more officers on the streets is still a NET LOSS of 14 officers working on the streets of Hoboken.

3)Patrol to supervisor ratios are tabulated by calculating first line supervisors to patrol officers. Administrators, managers and other upper level supervisors are excluded from these ratios.. For example, the Chief does not supervise the dispatchers. An Army General does not supervise those who recently completed basic training. A CEO in a company does not supervise the mailroom. We have 97 patrolmen and 30 sergeants which is a 3.3 to 1 ratio. The table of organization calls for 120 patrol officers and 30 sergeants. That is a 4 to 1 ratio. Every police administration book suggests anywhere from a 3 to 5 officer to 1 supervisor ratio. We are well within that range. However, the Mayor and Director Alicea insist on suggesting that we have a 2 to 1 ratio number. This is obviously intended to rally residents against us. Alicea went further and commented on Hoboken Patch that they are following the police audit's recommendation of a 4 to 1 ratio. That is simply and undeniably false. The City's audit calls for 60 patrol officers and 26 sergeants--a 2.2 to 1 ratio. Based on that premise, the auditor, former Maplewood Chief Richardella is lowering our ratio, which means he concluded that the department is not "top heavy."

4) On the same day that Mayor Zimmer announced layoffs, spokesman Juan Melli received a $15,000 raise and Mayoral Aide Daniel Bryan received a $12,000 raise.

Open thread and the reek of a rotting HudCo Weehawken fish

Everyone needs to stand up now and then, have a good stretch and get something off their chest.  If you're just dying to tell what your horrible sister did at the Black Bear last weekend or how your neighbor got caught doing the unthinkable in the backyard this is the thread for you.

You can also talk about any issue on your mind in our fair town such as a possible police department overhaul, the police union counterproposal or what you think disgraced former mayor Cammarano's sentence will be.  It's anticipated to fall in the two year ballpark although the felony carries a twenty year maximum.  Just do it judge!

The famous Cammarano condescending scowl seen here
is now gone replaced by a more humbled visage.
After Thursday's announcement in Newark federal court, Cammarano will look ahead to serving his sentence and should leave prison a convicted felon, forfeiting his law license.

We're not sure of the standards at Seton Hall Law School anyway these days.  There's a fishy Weehawken employee attending there now and like his hero Cammarano, he's not very fond of ethics.

Forgetting the outlier fish for the moment, one question people are asking; did Peter Cammarano give up some valuable evidence re: rat to obtain a relatively light sentence recommendation from the prosecutor of two to two and a half years?  His criminal defense lawyer is one of the state's best but the boys of summer down in Newark had an airtight case with Cammarano openly bragging on tape he was more than willing to trade on the office of mayor for yet more green than the $25,000 he had netted.

Wonder how the "locked down" vote thinks about their Petey boy these days?  "A dream has been put on hold," goes one lovely refrain after his arrest.  For Hoboken at least, that nightmare is finally almost over.

Will Jimmy Barracuta, aka fin boy of Weehawken be taking off Thursday to see off his pal Cammarano?  The fish announced the plea bargain several hours before anyone else posted the story back in the spring.  When he brags about consorting with those in the sewer in HudCo, he's not lying.  Give fin boy credit, he's made one true statement in 2010.  Congrats Jimmy!

Fin Boy and his HudCo pals are not looking so good lately with Cammarano's sentencing this Thursday

In fact one of fin boy's favorite local bands is The Hudson County Scumbags.  Before he took down his social network websites, he listed them among his favs.

Having said that, don't feel you need to discuss any of these topics.  You're more than free to choose your own.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Related: Hoboken Patch.com has a story now up on the police union's announced plan reduction focusing on attrition as being a more stable and safe way to downsize.

Photo: courtesy NJ.com