UPDATE DeCamp Bus Line Suspending Service Due to ‘Sustained Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic’

UPDATE: DeCamp provided Baristanet with this statement:

DeCamp Bus Lines, a privately-owned motorcoach company that has provided transportation services to northeast New Jersey since 1870, announced that as of midnight on Friday, August 7, 2020, all service will be suspended. When the COVID-19 Pandemic shutdowns were put into effect by the State of New Jersey and the City of New York, we did everything operationally and financially to avoid suspending service, even in the face of a 97% loss in ridership. Unfortunately, we were forced to suspend service on March 24, 2020. We resumed limited service beginning on June 8, 2020, anticipating ridership returning and increasing as the State of New Jersey and the City of New York began to re-open. Unfortunately, the return of ridership never materialized and without any relief from the federal or state government we simply cannot sustain operations. While the CARES Act directed $1.4 billion in FTA funding to New Jersey, that amount has been allocated only to NJ Transit, leaving private carriers such as DeCamp without a similar lifeline. Private carriers account for an estimated 35% of the scheduled bus service in the state, based on passenger miles, and our collective operations actually help to generate FTA funding for the State of NJ. So it is disappointing that we cannot access relief funds that would enable us to continue to serve our passengers and to provide jobs for our employees.

DeCamp has exhausted all the financial resources it had available, including stretching the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds from the expected eight weeks into seventeen weeks. Without access to the federal CARES Act funding or the passage of the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act (CERTS), we had no choice except to suspend service again to conserve resources until passenger volumes return to a sustainable level.

Thank you,

DeCamp Bus Lines

DeCamp is suspending service effective midnight August 7, 2020, the company announced Wednesday. The announcement only states the suspension is due to sustained effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cryptic announcement, made on their website, as well as Twitter, has commuters asking whether the suspension is permanent. Other questioned the announcement meant drivers had been affected by the pandemic. We’ve reached out to DeCamp and will update if they provide additional information.

A spokesperson said the company is getting roughly 300 riders a day, as opposed to the 3000 riders that daily used the bus line pre-COVID, NBC reports.

DeCamp suspended service due to the pandemic on March 25. DeCamp resumed service in June, limiting capacity to 26 passengers.

Over the years, DeCamp bus drivers have become familiar faces to commuters and some have made the bus ride memorable, especially Salvatore Siano, known to riders as Sal.

DeCamp is the oldest privately-owned and operated bus company in New Jersey. In 1870, Major Jonathan W. DeCamp originated the idea of operating a stage coach service between Roseland and Newark via the Newark-Mount Pleasant Turnpike (known today as Mt. Pleasant Avenue).

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  1. Re DeCamp Bus Lines’s shutdown:

    UPDATE: see how STUPID they are? To the very end? They send a notice Wednesday about total shutdown Friday — yes, TWO days’ notice is typical! THEN on Friday they suddenly announce they’ve gotten Coach to take over SOME of their routes. How about striking that deal FIRST? THEN tell people “we’re shutting down, BUT Coach is taking some of our routes” in ONE notice?? You don’t keep people believing “total shutdown” for TWO DAYS, and THEN retract it, even partially!!

    I have no pity. How typical of DeCamp that they announce this shutdown only Two Days prior! Normally — yes, Normally! — when they even bother to get off their lazy arses to type a mere 140 characters, they’ve said “the 7:15 33 will not run” at 7:23 or so, that is, Well After the fact! And normally — Yes, Normally! — drivers are rude, late and so ignorant they seem never to have Heard of the advent of this magic technology called “radio”! That’s right, ask one “when’s the next one?” and s/he’ll just sit there and say either “I don’t know” or “Right behind” — meaning half an hour! — without touching the radio at all.
    DeCamp Bus Lines has ROYALLY SUCKED for all six generations, with few exceptions, notably the late and legendary Sal Sciano, the Rubber Ducky man who took us to Tahiti and Aruba high on oregano. He must be rolling in his grave…

    Just for kicks go to http://www.wbmatv.com/media-center and type “decamp” in the Search field. You’ll see two public forums from 2014, May and October. I’m the guy that started those, bringing so many people they had to move it from IHOP to the church. Mays was well-attended and -publicized, and they were hammered so badly — by yours truly twice! — that they immediately hired a public relations director to LIE about the October follow-up’s day, time, place and even existence before oh-so-proudly declaring they’d have forums only on THEIR terms, NOT those of local politicians, who in October were clearly pandering before the election! Never mind that their constituent base EQUALS DeCamp’s customer base…

    And folks, in OVER SIX YEARS they have NEVER have held even ONE public forum, as they PROMISED! So visit http://www.decamp.com or on Twitter at @DeCampBusLines or https://twitter.com/decampbuslines, and wish them GOOD RIDDANCE!!

  2. In the wake of DeCamp’s indefinite shutdown with Coach and NJT’s cross-honoring, and also of its cause, COVID-19, the subject of commuting certainly has our attention. Therefore I write to ask that you support the re-introduction and ultimate passage of State-Senate bill S2529, which establishes a commuter’s bill of rights and an advocate’s office for complaints about private bus companies. It was introduced in 2016, but it died in committee. Both pre- and post-DeCamp Bus Lines, we have always needed it! Here it is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uc2qx4cd7IBycZ3FEUeegfPPIqDFotbv/view?usp=drivesdk

    Yes, I’ve definitely posted and commented and replied and otherwise written a great deal by now regarding my many issues with DeCamp. Yes, I’m the guy that put together the racous April 2014 public forum, which WBMA-TV still has on http://www.wbmatv.com/media-center, where you can search for “decamp”. But clearly I am neither alone nor recent: a quick look at DeCamp’s Facebook page’s reviews (https://www.facebook.com/pages/De-Camp-Bus-Lines-Inc/121312207918659), of which I can contribute only one, shows a score of 1.5 out of 5 stars and many more disparaging comments. Also a quick look at DeCamp’s main line of communication, @DeCampBusLines on Twitter (https://www.twitter.com/DeCampBusLines) shows largely negative replies to practically their every tweet, which may explain why they send so few, especially when most needed.

    For the record I haven’t always hated them; I started riding DeCamp in the early 90s, and my first regular driver was none other than the legend, tbe man, the myth, the icon, Mr. High-on-Oregano Rubbery Ducky man himself, the late, great Sal Sciano. But ever since his retirement and passing DeCamp has sadly gone downhill, and now it comes to this, a shutdown notice many still regard as permanent, clumsy and very partial takeover by Coach, and cross-honoring by Coach and NJ Transit.

    For decades we riders have put up with Decamp’s awful service, from so many late and missing buses to rude drivers and dispatchers to complete lack of communication to by far the worst handling of major events like train power outages, major traffic accidents, heavy rains with floods, etc., of all private bus companies in New York and New Jersey. And we deserve better, far better, because I’m sure I’m not the only one wbo chose to settle in some Essex-County town along a DeCamp route largely because of that route. And you’d think a company with six generations of history would be better too. But it’s simply not; it doesn’t even meet common-sense-minimal requirements.

    But the fact is, such requirements were memorialized and introduced to the NJ State Senate as S2529, which, again, died in committee. However I have recently written to Sen. Ronald Rice, Asm. Ralph Caputo and Asm Cleo Tucker to reintroduce it. So I’m calling on You, dear readers, to help me support re-introduction and passage of this bill. Ofher bus companies like Academy have received many complaints and negative reviews; DeCamp may be the worst, but it is hardly alone. And a decent commute is why most of us live in Essex County, it keeps our property values up, and it eliminates the need to live in NYC to work there.

    Please contact these or your State representatives, especially Sens Rice and O’Scanlon, who would physically re-introduce S2529. Here’s their information:

    Sen. Rice: tel:973-371-5665, tel:973-371-8636, mailto:senrice@njleg.org

    Sen O’Scanlon: tel:732-444-1838, mailto:senoscanlon@njleg.org

    Asm. Caputo: tel:973-450-0484, mailto:asmcaputo@njleg.org

    Asm. Tucker: tel:973-926-4320, mailto:asmtucker@njleg.org

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