Schaer wants bus shelters, Rivera had opposed them because “they attract nuisances such as the homeless, public urination and graffiti,” and Jewish residents concerned about inappropriate ads.

10 08 2008

by PCJN Staff, with some quotes and information from a Herald news article by Karen Keller.

Passaic, NJ — Acting Mayor Gary Schaer would like a private company to install bus shelters in Passaic, in return for advertising rights. Of the city’s 119 NJ Transit bus stops, only three have shelters. Schaer himself takes a public bus from the intersection of Van Houten and Main avenues to his finance job in Manhattan at least twice a week.

Schaer, also a state assemblyman, pushed for the concept in January, But Samuel Rivera, then the mayor, said he didn’t want shelters. Rivera said he believes they attract nuisances such as the homeless, public urination and graffiti.

Many residents rely on buses in Passaic, where 31 percent of city residents over age 16 do not have access to a car, according to the Census. Statewide, 6 percent of adults don’t have car access.

With the rising cost of gas, that figure is likely to increase.

“The cost of gasoline is such that (riding the bus) is the way everyone is going,” Schaer said.

Many residents of Passaic have expressed concern about the shelters. Shelters in other cities are known to attract undesirables, litter, and even used drug needles. Jewish residents are also concerned about the appropriateness of the ads, in terms of modesty. Often, oversized images of barely-clad females can be seen at bus shelters throughout city’s that have them. A local Passaic Rabbi, on condition of anonymity told a PCJN staff member, “better to get wet in the rain occasionally, than have ourselves and our children exposed to constant schmutz (filth)!”

On the blog PassaicJews, poster Kalman Eller writes: “Any way to make sure that the ads are not a-la-Times Square?”

A quick search of the words “bus shelter ad” on Google Image Search, reveals images of a number of highly inappropriate ads on the first results page alone.