Jitneys cleared for airport, charter work

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ATLANTIC CITY- The FTA has decided to allow Atlantic City’s jitneys to continue operating as usual, including using some of the vehicles for charter services.

Tom Woodruff, president of the Atlantic City Jitney Association, said that the Federal Transit Administration repealed its cease and desist order issued to the jitneys last week.

“It was our position all along that we were compliant,” Woodruff said Monday. “It was just a misunderstanding.”

The order stated that the jitneys were in violation of regulations attached to federal funding the association had received to purchase vehicles. According to those regulations, the jitneys could not operate charter services, or its airport shuttle service, because it created competition for private charter service owners.

According to a letter from the ACJA’s lawyer, Keith Davis, the FTA and association has agreed to stop private charter services at the airport, but will operate a scheduled shuttle.

Also, the jitneys that were not purchased with grant money will be able to continue charter service, the letter states. Woodruff said that shuttles expected to run in Cape May County shore towns Stone Harbor, Avalon, and Sea Isle will be on for the summer.

According to Woodruff, 100 of the jitneys were purchased with grant money, while the fleet’s remaining 90 was bought with private funds.

According to the order, issued by Dorval Carter, chief counsel to the Federal Transit Administration, the ACNJ received two federal grants to purchase jitneys in August 2009 and January 2010. As part of the agreement for the money, the association agreed to comply with the FTA’s standards.

One of those standards was not to use federally funded vehicles for charter service, the order states.

The cease and desist order came after Richard Adelizzi, owner of the Five Mile Beach Electric Trolley Company, made a complaint against the jitneys last year.

Adelizzi had said that the jitneys were operating out of their jurisdiction, and had created competition among private owners by offering low rates on charter services.

“The equipment was bought on our tax dollars,” Adelizzi said last week. “If you take money from the federal government, you can’t compete with private operators.”

Five Mile was formed in 1902 and is under the umbrella of the Great American Trolley Company. It operates trolleys to the boardwalks and downtowns in Ocean City, Cape May, and the Wildwoods. It also conducts trolley tours and offers private charters for groups, weddings, and proms.

Adelizzi did not immediately respond to calls for comment for this story.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.shorenewsotday.com. 

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