I was at the GWB Bus Station on a Sunday, and discovered that there is a regular-route van service that leaves from Washington Heights to Pennsylvania! I was previously not aware of this service.
The vans advertised service from Hazleton and Stroudsburg, PA to Paterson, NJ and New York. They were boarding at the corner of 180th and Broadway. Vehicle quality ranged from somewhat old, to brand shining new vans.
There were at least two separate van companies providing this service. One was C & P Transportations [sic] . Neither seem to have an online presence. They operate on a reservation basis, with the option to pay cash on-site. The vans said C & P Transportations, but there are online reviews for C & G Transportations, with the same phone number. It is unclear if this is a typo or the company changed names.
These companies seem to provide a much lower fare than their traditional competitors, Martz and Fullington Trailways, which charge $30-$50 for tickets from New York to the Poconos. With an intermediate stop in Paterson, and customer service in Spanish and English, they also seem to serve the needs of travelers better. I assume they have taken the majority of the market share.
There are also online reviews for a similar company called Dxt Transportation, but I could not find anything online.
C & P Transportations: (570) 453-6926
Dxt Transportation: (570) 454-1398
For the first time ever, a jitney route has its information displayed on Google Maps/Google Transit. Now travelers can access the route and (rough) schedule of the Paterson-George Washington Bridge jitney route when searching for transit directions.
Google Transit works off of a data format called GTFS. Usually, public transit agencies convert their routes and timetables into GTFS files, which Google Transit then verifies and publishes. Jitney companies do not have the technical expertise necessary to compile this information. In this case, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) assisted with converting information about jitney operation into Google-friendly format.
There is an interesting issue here- how do you convert an unscheduled jitney route into a publishable bus schedule? The solution here was to provide approximate headways. The Google Transit schedule shows Paterson jitneys running every 12 minutes. This is a minimum level of service and they usually run more frequently than that.
GTFS information can be displayed on a variety of transit information platforms. Two big ones are Transit App, and Citymapper. I could not find the Paterson-GWB jitney on either of those apps.
While not precisely accurate, having information about the hours of service, frequency, and stops for a jitney route is a leap forward for transit information in New Jersey. This is a model that could be applied to other jitney routes in future.