Five of Sussex County Transit's buses were destroyed by fire on February 18th. Fire departments from Andover Township, Branchville, Frankford, Fredon, Hampton, Lafayette and Newton responded to the scene to extinguish the blaze. The New Jersey State Police, emergency crews from Lafayette, Sparta and the Blue Ridge Rescue Squad, as well as New Jersey Central Power and Light were also on the scene to render assistance. Thanks to prompt action on the part of these first responders, the fire was put out before it could damage additional vehicles.
On the day after the fire, only emergency transportation services were available throughout the day, but the public LOOPS buses were running by early afternoon. New Jersey Transit, which owns three of the destroyed vehicles, put out a call to surrounding counties for assistance, and several counties have responded with the loan of vehicles until the destroyed buses can be replaced.
Morris, Warren, Somerset, Hunterdon, Bergen and Passaic Counties have all come to the aid of Sussex County Transit with the loan of vehicles, some of which were on the road by February 26th. Sussex County residents should be aware that they will be seeing a variety of transit vehicles on the road for the next few weeks but that these vehicles are being operated by Sussex County Transit. Loaned vehicles will carry the name of the lending county, such as Morris Area ParaTransit, Warren County, and LINKS. While most of the vehicles are the usual white with various markings, the LINKS bus, which will be operating on the public LOOPS route, is chocolate-colored. Riders should recognize that these vehicles are in use for Sussex County Transit customers.
Sussex County Transit thanks all those who responded to this emergency for their quick action and those who have offered the use of vehicles to help restore full transportation services to Sussex County residents.