Suburban Bus riders should not notice any differences as the commuter line's parent company begins started voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Coach USA, which operates commuter lines around the country and Megabus, filed Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The intention is to sell some assets, ensure continued service and maximize the value of its businesses for a potential sale. Agreements are already in place to sell several lines including Suburban to Bus Company Holdings, an affiliate of The Renco Group. Other lines will be sold to Avalon Transportation.

"Taken together, once completed, these proposed transactions will preserve thousands of jobs and ensure uninterrupted passenger transportation services to millions of passengers throughout the United States and Canada, many of whom rely on the Coach USA transportation network," the company said in a statement.

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CoachUSA bus at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford
CoachUSA bus at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford (CoachUSA)

Pandemic struggles

Commuter bus lines suffered during the pandemic in 2020 when ridership dropped by 90% compared to the previous year as COVID-19 restrictions on public transportation forced employees to work from home , according to Coach USA. Ridership still have not completely recovered.

Coach USA ended service on its ONE Bus routes in Newark, Elizabeth and Orange in October because of decreasing ridership, driver shortages and inflationary pressures on its operating expenses, according to Newel Scoon, vice president of the East for Coach USA.

NJ Transit took over DeCamp's commuter service in Essex County by modifying four existing routes. It's also took over A&C Bus routes on the west side of Jersey City. It has contributed to a nearly $1 billion budget deficit that has forced the agency to increase its fares across the board on July 1 for the first time in 15 years.

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