LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP CREATES $75,000 SHUTTLE BUS LIASION POSITION

As earlier reported here on FAA News (https://www.faanews.com/2022/05/lakewood-township-to-hire-separate.html), Lakewood Township officials are in the process of hiring a dedicated Shuttle Bus Liasion.


For the past few years, Lakewood Township has been operating buses to shuttle members of the Hassidic Belz and Satmar communities from their neighborhoods in South Lakewood to CHEMED and other businesses in Downtown Lakewood.


The buses are operated in-house by Lakewood's Department of Public Works, and their office staff is supposed to be able to provide phone support to community members who need information on the bus routes.


Lipa Klein, an Askan (community activist) in the Hassidic Belz community in South Lakewood, is well known for lobbying for these busses. Since the buses have begun running, Lipa has become the "go-to guy" to call with any questions or comments regarding the buses, and Lipa has unofficially served as liasion to the Township regarding the buses.


Lipa is now requesting a modest salary for his services, in a new position of Shuttle Bus Liasion, separate from the Department of Public Works.


Lipa has requested the Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) to use $75,000 of UEZ funds (a sales tax supported grant which they administer) to make him an official Shuttle Bus Liasion. Of this money, $55,000 would be used for his salary and taxes, $15,000 would be used for spending on public relations marketing for the buses and $5,000 would be available for him to spend on a phone and computer.


Lipa provided to the LDC members his phone call log from the past year. He claims that he received over 1,200 phone calls from community members regarding the buses.


At the LDC meeting in March, Board Member Rabbi Moshe Zev Weissberg presented the proposal to the LDC. Board Member Albert Isaac Akerman, who also serves on the Township Committee, questioned why there is a need for a separate Shuttle Bus Liasion when the Township should already be covering the needs for this service through Public Works.

Board Chairman Abe Mueller also questioned why the LDC is being asked to spend so much money on such a position. Board Member Rabbi Moshe Zev Weissberg responded that he doesn't know the answer, but that since this proposal came to his desk he does want to go forward with it.


Legally, spending this amount of money requires the Township to offer the position in an open bid known as a Request for Proposals. 


The LDC agreed to tentatively spend this money, and they published a Request for Proposals for a Shuttle Bus Liasion.


The Request for Proposals seeks as follows:


LAKEWOOD SHUTTLE BUSING LIAISON

A. Planning and organizing Shuttle schedule, routes and timing of the buses. 

B. Assessing route efficiencies, and modifying routes, stops and hours.

C. Assessing route efficiencies for holiday periods.

D. Shuttle schedule publicity: Responsible to provide schedule accessibility to the 

Lakewood community such as recording messages on the Shuttle hotline, etc.

E. Communal feedback: communicate with the community members regarding 

system upgrades, such as routes, hours, lost and found on buses, sanitization during 

pandemic, music choices on buses, carriages, masks etc. and directing comments

 and concerns to the Township.

F. Corresponding with business owners and high traffic offices that need additional 

shuttle services. 

G. Relaying comments and concerns of the Public Works director and/or managers 

and/or drivers to the community members. 

H. Holidays: Coordinate with the Public Works director, managers and drivers to 

arrange holiday schedules on *New Year’s Day, *MLK’s Birthday, *Lincoln’s 

Birthday, *President’s Day, *Good Friday, *Memorial Day, *Independence Day, 

*Labor Day, *Columbus Day, *Election Day, *Veteran’s Day, *Thanksgiving Day, 

*Day after Thanksgiving, *Christmas Day, *Schools off.

I. Changes in Shuttle busing schedule: Broadcasting to the community via multiple 

media channels of changes in schedule due to holidays, bus repairs or an emergency 

change in schedule due to driver calling in sick or accident, snow storms etc. 

J. Hold meetings and keep township committee members, manager, Public Works 

employees/drivers abreast of important current events regarding the Lakewood 

Shuttle Service.

K. Bus tracking: Adding live bus tracking capabilities.


Today, the LDC held a special meeting to adopt a resolution creating the Shuttle Bus Liasion. It is not the final step as the LDC also needs to award the contract and that will likely take place at their Sept. 6 meeting. Additionally, under State law, the Lakewood Township Committee must also adopt a resolution authorizing use of UEZ funds for this project.


The resolution voted on at today's LDC meeting states:


"Whereas, the Township of Lakewood continues to experience relatively high levels of vehicular congestion that impedes Lakewood residents ability to patronize businesses in the UEZ zone.


"Whereas, the Township of Lakewood operates a Lakewood Shuttle that provides busing for Lakewood residents to transport them to various UEZ zoned shopping areas in the township to help ameliorate the vehicular congestion however the Shuttle service is inadequately mismanaged, and


"Whereas the Township of Lakewood desires the operation of "Lakewood Shuttle Bus Liasion" as a means of providing the needed proper management and services as delineated in a RFP published by the LDC.


The current proposal would use $75,000 in UEZ funds for a one year commitment from October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023.


As stated earlier, of these funds, $55,000 would be used for the salary and taxes, $15,000 would be used for spending on public relations marketing for the buses and $5,000 would be available for the liasion to spend on a phone and computer.


*Follow FAA's WhatsApp Status for all post updates*









No comments:

Post a Comment