The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is planning to provide a free shuttle bus when the New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge’s walkway is closed for replacement and associated painting work during portions of the first four months of 2024.
The Commission has completed a procurement process for an outside vendor that will provide the shuttle service at no cost to its users. The service is intended solely for walkway patrons affected by the facility’s closure during its hours of heaviest use.
The shuttle service will have single stops in New Hope and Lambertville; both stops are proximate to the bridge. The shuttle will travel between the two communities via the New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge. The ride time between the designated pickup/discharge points is estimated at 15 minutes.
The current plan for the service is expected to be as follows:
- New Hope loading/unloading stop: on the northbound side of North Main Street near the building that houses the PNC Bank and Starbucks Coffee.
- Lambertville loading/unloading stop: the Pennsylvania-bound side of Bridge Street in the general area of the former Black River and Western Railroad crossing.
- Operating hours Sundays to Thursdays: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. - two shuttles in service with one starting in New Hope at 7 a.m. and the other starting at 7 a.m. in Lambertville.
- Operating hours Fridays and Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. - two shuttles in service with one starting in New Hope at 7 a.m. and the other starting at 7 a.m. in Lambertville; 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (next day) – one shuttle in service to handle hospitality-sector patrons in the two municipalities.
- Vehicles: Two-axle minibuses with maximum seating capacities for 20 passengers and racks for two bicycles. Each minibus also is capable of loading and transporting disabled people in wheelchairs. Each vehicle can be configured to carry up to four wheelchairs, with a corresponding reduction of four passenger seats for each wheelchair. Four wheelchairs – an unlikely occurrence -- would leave eight standard passenger seats available for a trip between the two towns.)
- Operations: Shuttles are to cycle back and forth between the towns, loading and unloading passengers at the respective stop in each town. Aside from the start and end times, there is not a set arrival/departure schedule; service would be first-come first-served at a shuttle stop.
- Route: Each minibus exceeds the 4-ton gross vehicle weight restriction on the New Hope-Lambertville Toll-Supported Bridge, the free crossing linking the riverfront towns’ commercial centers. For this reason, the shuttle must travel across the toll bridge immediately north of New Hope and Lambertville.
- Signage: The two designated shuttle stops will be marked with signs in English and Spanish. Bi-lingual signs or banners also will be displayed at the bridge’s walkway approaches, directing the public to that side’s respective shuttle pickup point.
- Public awareness: The Commission plans to distribute flyers and handout cards, and place posters at select locations. These materials will be in English and Spanish. Some advertising also will be undertaken. Other periodic communications, like this press release, will be periodically issued when warranted.
- Inclement weather: The shuttle will not operate if a governor declares a state of emergency affecting either New Hope or Lambertville.
- Adjustments: The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, at its sole discretion, may alter the extent of service as warranted based on actual usage trends.
- Duration of service: Shuttle operation will begin when the walkway is shut down. Service will end when the walkway reopens. Specific start and end dates for the service can’t be determined at this time. The Commission has yet to award a construction contract. Once a contract is awarded, the project contractor will need time to map out its work plan and set a firm date for the walkway shutdown. The end date for the service won’t be determined until the walkway-replacement and painting work on the bridge’s downstream side nears completion in the spring.
The Commission should be able to provide the shuttle service start date and some additional related information sometime in December.
A project-specific webpage is available with additional information on the Commission’s website at: http://www.drjtbc.org/project/newhopelambertville.