In a move to take action to correct the unreliable Rockland Coaches bus service, during May and June we asked bus riders to send us their bus times to prove poor service. Thank you to all those who e-mailed their times. On August 28 I met with Matthew Bowen, General Manager at Rockland Coaches since December, who has been very available and desires to improve bus service. Our bus times range anywhere from five minutes to forty-five minutes late or no shows. He found these bus times very helpful and disturbing. We will be meeting again in late October. We spoke about late buses, no shows, GPS, ticketing, lack of information, customer service, etc. What was clear was that getting a bus on time, although other cities are successful, is very complex.

Variant Equity, a hedge fund group, finalized the purchase of Rockland Coaches from the Stagecoach Group (since 1922) in April for $271.4 million. Variant specializes in technology acquisitions and is intending to invest money in technology upgrades to Rockland Coaches. Currently, they are in dialogues with three companies that provide commuter GPS programs and are hoping to roll out a consumer app around the end of the year. Improvements to the archaic ticketing system are also on the horizon. They increased their bus fleet to 100 buses from 75 and are adding 30 more later this year. Unfortunately, most of the breakdowns are on the new buses.

There are eight bus routes out of Rockland; ours #9 (T, A, AT) is the most complicated with the most stops. Now that we targeted the problems, at the next meeting, Matt will report on any changes and continue the dialogue about solutions. So in preparation, please CONTINUE to e-mail what time your bus was scheduled and what time it arrived. (Going to NYC only) E-mail to:rt9wbus@gmail.com. Your feedback is very important. If we don’t identify the problem, it can’t be fixed.