Hoboken to North Bergen via Park Av
The 89, for the most part, is a pretty sensical route. It provides local service up Park Av, starting from Hoboken, then serving the eastern parts of Weehawken, Union City, and West New York, before running up to 91st St in North Bergen, providing connections to many other routes. However, the route defeats its own purpose by deviating to serve a section of Bergenline Av from 48th to 60th Sts. This doesn't make a lot of sense, because there is already plenty of local bus service on Bergenline, and said buses already serve the light rail station there, allowing for connections. In addition, other buses run on the section of Park Av from 48th to 60th, so it can support bus traffic. So, NJT, why, just why? Anyway, let's start the review!
My bus pulled into Hoboken Terminal Lane 4, and I boarded, paid my $2.55, and sat down. We pulled out of the terminal a minute late, and headed down Observer Highway, before quickly turning right on Washington St, Hoboken's main corridor.
My bus pulling into the terminal
We headed up Washington St, passing many shops and restaurants, and getting quite a few people on the bus. We turned onto 14th St, and a lot of people got off, using the bus for local travel in Hoboken. Maybe this is a sign that the Hoboken Hop system should be expanded?
Some businesses on Washington St
Turning onto 14th St
We continued down 14th St, before turning right onto Willow Av. We crossed over the light rail tracks, and entered Weehawken, almost immediately passing entrance roads for the Lincoln Tunnel. We then continued uphill and passed under the Route 495 Expressway.
A view of Midtown from Willow Av
Passing the Lincoln Tunnel's entrance roads
We veered right to stay on Park Av, and headed north through Weehawken and Union City, passing mostly three-story buildings, with businesses on the ground floor. We then turned left onto Broadway, and began our deviation to Bergenline Avenue.
Buildings in Weehawken
Turning left onto Broadway
We turned left onto 48th St, and immediately got stuck in traffic. We inched slowly to Bergenline, turning right and passing the light rail station, before getting stuck in MORE traffic! This deviation is wonderful and amazing and not annoying at all!
Turning left onto 48th St
Turning onto Bergenline, caught in traffic
We eventually made it off of Bergenline, turning onto 60th St, and making our way back to Park Av. We turned left ending the deviation. This deviation took SEVENTEEN MINUTES! Fair, it got a few people, but going direct would have taken five minutes, tops. the deviation was 3.4 TIMES SLOWER!
There's a reason the 159X doesn't use Bergenline until 60th - it's just too slow south of there
Ending the deviation
We continued up Park Av, entering North Bergen, and passing more three-story homes. We then turned left onto 77th St, which was mostly single-family homes. We used this street to access Bergenline Avenue, where we turned right, passing Braddock Park, and pulling up to Nungessers, (the intersection of Bergenline Av, Anderson Av, Fairview Av, Woodcliff Av, and Boulevard East) where the route ends
Some houses on 77th St
The entrance to Braddock Park
The bus at Nungessers
Route: NJT 89 (Hoboken to North Bergen via Park Av)
Ridership: I couldn't find any official ridership figures, however my bus got approximately 50-60 people throughout the course of the route, and was standing room only not once, but twice. So, it is evidently a high-ridership route!
Pros: It provides Park Avenue with local bus service to Hoboken, and gets a lot of ridership. It also has a great service span, running from 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM on weekdays, and 6:30 AM to 11:30 PM on weekends.
Cons: The bus gets crowded quick. That is partially due to the schedule, because it runs every 30 minutes at best. However, I think that it would also help to put articulated buses on the route. Meadowlands Garage does have XD60s, and I'm fairly sure the route's turns could support them, so I think it would be great to implement! Also, the deviation to Bergenline makes little sense. It appears that this happened as part of a restructuring of routes after the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail opened, but I think that NJT needs to rethink this routing. I'd say completely cut it, and then boost service on the 22 to compensate. This way, the only area without direct service to Bergenline would be a short stretch of Willow Av in Weehawken, easily within walking distance of the 22 or 86.
Nearby and Noteworthy: The infamous Bergenline deviation has a strong Latin American influence, and you can find some great food there! Also, Washington St in Hoboken has some really cute cafés and stores!
Final Verdict: 8/10
I like the 89. It serves the area it goes through well, and it obviously gets high ridership. I think if NJT boosted service on this route, and cut the Bergenline deviation, and maybe even added articulated buses, it would be a lot better!