Boxcar Blog

Memberships

Boxcar is excited to announce that we have committed to being the Operating Partner for The Noe Pond Club. We will be responsible for daily operations as well as member services at this historic local institution.

Over the last 5 years, Boxcar has established itself as a responsive and innovative company with an ability to execute operationally, a strong focus on customer experience, and deep roots in the community. Providing high-quality services to suburban customers is in Boxcar’s DNA, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring that to The Noe Pond Club this summer. We believe in what the Management Team at the club is going to build, and that our experience, understanding of our customers, and focus on providing value make us a very good long-term partner.

The Boxcar Team lives in the communities we serve. We have families and we have children. We understand what Noe has been for prior generations, and the value in preserving Noe for future generations. We will be members at Noe, and will be managing the club with the Membership’s interests at heart.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Boxcar is excited. More specifically, Joe, April and I are excited. We’re excited by the opportunity to be part of something meaningful that brings a lot of joy to a lot of people. It’s our hope to be able to share this experience with as many families as possible. Noe is back and will be better than ever. If you’re interested in joining us for this journey, we’d love to have you!

We hope to see you at The Noe Pond Club this summer!

Owen Lee & The Noe Pond Club Team


You can:
learn more about membership here
start the membership process here
send any questions to membership@noepond.com

Boxcar + The Noe Pond Club!

March 1, 2022

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News

We announced back in the fall that we’d won the bid to run the Westfield Train Station Kiosk. Well, it took a little bit longer than we expected to get everything ready, from repairs and supplies to inspections. But we’re ready and raring to go, and excited to announce that we will open for business on Tuesday, January 18! We'll be open from 5:45 am to 9:45 am, Monday - Friday. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to see some of our Westfield customers in person on a daily basis! We'll have a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Mayor on 1/18 at 10, as well - stop by if you can!


As a commuting company, we know how important time is, especially in the mornings. That’s why we are introducing our Pay with Boxcar system at the kiosk. After you’ve signed up for a Boxcar account (which you can do in the App Store or Google Play if you haven’t already), you can just give your name to the folks in the kiosk and tell them when you’ve grabbed. Then you head for the train, and we charge your Boxcar account - easy as that! No lines, no hassle, just Boxcar simplifying your morning!


We’re going to start out simple - coffee from local favorite Boxwood, tea, newspapers and a few snacks. A place to fuel up before your commute, and get your day started right. Then as we fine-tune our system, we’ll add more options, and maybe some of Boxcar’s other services, as well.


If you’re commuting from Westfield, please stop by and grab a cup of coffee on your way to the bus or train in January - we’re looking forward to seeing you!  


Fuel Your Morning with Boxcar!

January 1, 2022

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People

As a Navy Veteran (and the husband of a Navy Veteran), I realize just how important service can be in shaping character. I also realize how incredibly tough it is to serve, day after day. I always tell people that my time in the Navy taught me two things: first, it taught me the importance of decisive action and smooth operations. Second, it taught me that I never want to not be in control of my own daily life and destiny again - that sucks.

When people on the fence about joining the military ask my opinion, I always encourage them to do so. It's not the rest of their life, it's just 4 to 8 years. By the time you’re 25 or 26 years old, you have this incredible experience, and you’ve also experienced a very difficult life, doing things that you often don't want to do, but must. The rest of your life, whatever job you get, it will seem easy compared to your time in uniform.

Between Boxcar and my 5 kids, I work pretty hard right now. But compared to my 4 years in the Navy when I didn't have any control over my own daily actions, had limited free time, and was away for months at a stretch, even my toughest days are comparatively easy. That’s a lesson I’ll hold on to forever. It has truly made me grateful, every day.

As a Veteran, I’m disappointed in the hiring message many companies put out. They often seem to offer to hire Veterans, not because of the valuable skills and strengths they bring to the table, but out of a misguided sense of pity.

Employers that focus on hiring Veterans solely because they feel sorry for us or think we need help are doing those applicants, and their own companies, a disservice. By treating my fellow Veterans like second-class citizens or people who need a leg up simply because they served, I honestly think many people are missing the point.

Those who have successfully completed a deployment are, in my mind, some of the strongest and best-performing workers in any hiring pool. While they may have a lack of expertise in certain fields, that’s easily outweighed by experience, operational excellence, and sheer strength of character. You can teach job-specific tasks fairly quickly, if there's a good base to build on. It takes someone special to put their own life on hold and give everything they have to something that’s bigger than themselves, and that’s what successful companies should be looking for in employees.

If you have served this great country of ours, enlisted or officer, Navy, Army, or Marines - and even Air Force, the entire Boxcar Team thanks you. And if you are a Veteran looking for a job in North Jersey, send me your resume (joe@boxcar.com). Whether you are about to get out of the service or have been out for a few years, I’d love to talk to you about Boxcar’s open positions.

Just be aware that if we give you a priority look over other applicants it won't because we want to help you, but because we want to help Boxcar.  Other companies should do the same.

On this Veterans Day, thank you to my fellow Veterans. Our country wouldn’t be what it is without you.

Joe


The Value of Veterans

November 1, 2021

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Bus Service

You can’t talk about the history of rail travel in America without talking about the New Haven. The Hartford and New Haven Railroad came to Darien in 1848, when the town’s population was a mere 1,154.  The railroad would turn this sleepy farming hamlet into, (first) a vacation destination for wealthy New Yorkers and then later into a thriving year-round community anchored by New York commuters.

Over time, this little railroad grew not only into one of America’s largest companies, but it transformed the Northeast and New England region from New York to Boston. Transportation transformed a sleepy farm region into a bustling manufacturing region with thriving commerce and community.

In 2017 Boxcar launched our premium bus service in New Jersey and since then over 3,000 commuters have chosen to ride our luxury buses with Wi-Fi, power outlets, and professional chauffeurs rather than drive themselves to work.

On December 1st Boxcar will launch our first Connecticut route, giving Darien area commuters a luxurious direct ride to Midtown, Hudson Yards, Chelsea, Tribeca, and the Financial District. We're in talks with several other Connecticut towns, as well, and hope to expand our pickups soon.

Our new bus will pick up each morning at Darien Train Station and Noroton Heights. From there we’ll head straight to NYC, making tops at Bryant Park, Hudson Yards, North Chelsea, South Chelsea, Tribeca, Goldman Sachs, and Battery Park. In the evening we’ll run the route in reverse, before dropping our riders off at Noroton Heights and Darien.



Boxcar is VERY excited to work with our new partners DATTCO, a third-generation family-owned transportation business that has called Connecticut home since their founding. Their luxury buses and professional drivers will help Boxcar elevate your commute - I hope we see you on the bus soon!

Click here to learn more or download the Boxcar app in the App Store or Google Play to reserve your ticket.





Boxcar's Fairfield Flyer!

November 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Ridership on Boxcar's Raritan Rocket, with service from Fanwood, Westfield, and Cranford, has been steadily increasing, as have requests for expanded service. Today I'm thrilled to announce that we're adding a new morning and evening bus to the line, as well as offering Friday service on our existing bus! Hopefully this will allow even more people to elevate their daily commute with Boxcar.


Starting Tuesday, October 12, our schedule will be:

Fanwood Train Station (North side): 6:05 am, 7:05 am

Westfield Train Station (North side): 6:15 am, 7:15 am

Cranford Train Station (North side): 6:25 am, 7:25 am

Return buses (departing 6th Ave, just South of 43rd): 5:10 pm, 6:10 pm


The new bus will make the same stops throughout Midtown as our existing bus, all the way up to Madison and 71st.

If you have any questions about the new route, please let us know!





Raritan Rocket Expansion

October 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Ridership on Boxcar's Ridgeliner line, with luxury commuter service from Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Summit, has been steadily increasing, as have requests for expanded service. Today I'm thrilled to announce that we're adding a new morning and evening bus to the line starting Monday, October 18! Hopefully this will allow even more people to elevate their daily commute with Boxcar.


Starting Monday, October 18, our schedule will be:

Berkeley Heights Train Station: 5:55 am, 6:40 am

New Providence Train Station: 6:05 am, 6:50 am

Summit (Broad St between Maple & Elm): 6:15 am, 7 am

Return buses (departing 6th Ave, just South of 43rd): 5:30 pm, 6:20 pm


The new bus will make the same stops throughout Midtown as our existing bus, all the way up to Madison and 71st. And as always, our buses include reclining seats, WiFi, and power outlets, to make your commute both comfortable and productive.

If you have any questions about the new route, please let us know!


Ridgeliner Route Expansion!

October 1, 2021

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Bus Service

This summer, like the 18 months before it, has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. From vaccines to variants, masks to meltdowns, it seems like the only thing we can count on is that everything is constantly changing.

While many things are still in a state of flux, it’s wonderful to see more people heading back to work as the summer wraps up. At Boxcar, we’ve spent the summer planning for a great fall commute, and I’m thrilled to be able to announce some big additions today.

Our Raritan Rocket line is expanding - starting Tuesday, September 7, this bus will originate in Fanwood at 6:10 am, before stopping in Westfield and Cranford. We're thrilled to open up Boxcar commuting to a whole new town!

For riders in Convent Station, Madison, and Chatham, we'll also be adding Friday bus service on our 6:15 am and 5:20 pm departures, starting Friday, September 10!

We’ll be keeping our COVID protocols in place for now, as well – our bus capacity is capped at 2/3 in order to give everyone a little more elbow room, and our partner bus companies are providing extra cleaning on all of our vehicles. We’re also following all federal mask mandates for public transportation.

I’m thrilled that Boxcar has been able to expand our bus service – nothing makes our team happier than being able to provide a comfortable, convenient commute for even more New Jersey residents. If you are commuting from one of our towns, I hope you’ll give Boxcar a try. If you know anyone in the towns where we are starting service, I hope you’ll let them know, as well.

Have a wonderful Labor Day, and as always, let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

Boxcar's Bus Expansion!

September 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Starting Monday September 13th, Boxcar will be bringing our luxury commute to Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Summit! The Ridgeliner will depart (Monday - Thursday):

—5:55 am: Berkeley Heights Train Station

—6:05 am: New Providence Train Station (Springfield Ave & Pittsford Way)

—6:15 am: Summit (Broad St between Maple & Elm).

After the stop in Summit, the bus will head directly to Midtown, making stops at 42 & 8, 42 &6, 43 & Madison, 47 & Madison, 52 & Madison, 57 & Madison, 67 & Madison, and 71 & Madison. These stops help many of our riders avoid not only Penn Station or Port Authority, but also a subway ride.

We’ll also be offering evening return service, with a departure from 6th Ave just south of 43rd at 5:30 pm.


So, what sets a Boxcar ride apart from other commuting options? We are focused on taking the stress out of your commute, every day. All of our routes offer reserved seating – book your ticket ahead of time through the Boxcar app, and you know you’ll have a seat waiting for you! The Ridgeliner, like all Boxcar buses, includes free WiFi and power outlets at each reclining seat, to make your drive time productive and comfortable. You’ll also see the same professional drivers every day – their focus is getting you to work quickly, safely, and conveniently.

As we're still navigating the post-COVID commuting world, our bus capacity is capped at 2/3 in order to give everyone a little more elbow room, and our partner bus companies are providing extra cleaning on all of our vehicles. We’re also following all federal mask mandates for public transportation.

Tickets can be purchased and displayed through the Box car app, which you can download for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Each ticket costs $19.99, or as low as $14.99 with a monthly Boxcar Commuter membership.

I hope you’ll give Boxcar’s Ridgeliner a try! If you have any questions, please email support@boxcar.com or call 908-485-7275 – we are always happy to help!

Boxcar's Ridgeliner Service Starts Sept 13!

September 1, 2021

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Events

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love all things Jersey. Throw in some history and a good party, and you can’t keep me away! That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that Boxcar will have a presence at The Far Hills Race Meeting on October 16. I’ve always been intrigued by The Hunt (as it’s known to its many, many fans), and I’m thrilled that this year Boxcar will be able to be part of it.

In its 100th year, The Far Hills Race Meeting is New Jersey’s answer to the Kentucky Derby – a fantastic mix of steeplechasing, tailgating, and parties. It attracts up to 30,000 guests every year, and is a major fundraiser for area health-care organizations. Over $18 million has been donated so far, and this year’s event is gearing up to raise even more.

As always, at Boxcar we want to make life as simple and convenient as possible for our customers. Are you headed to Far Hills this year, but don't have a ticket yet? We can help with that – purchase your ticket through Boxcar, and you'll not only be able to see the races, but you'll have access to Boxcar's exclusive Hilltop Hospitality tent, with food and drinks available throughout the day.

Getting to the Race Meeting (or home) can be tricky - a huge crowd on the streets of Far Hills can lead to stress and frustration, just what you don’t want at the end of a fun-filled fall day. Luckily, Boxcar has some experience making travel less stressful! We’ll be running our luxury buses from the Chatham train station to the Far Hills Race Meeting, so all you have to worry about is watching the races and having a good time. You can reserve your round-trip ticket here. If you'd rather drive, we've got reserved parking available, as well!

Anyone with an active Boxcar Membership - VP, Analyst, Super Parker or Commuter - as of October 1 is also welcome to come by and join us in our tent for food, drinks and fun. If you don’t already have a membership, you can join now through the app (in addition to entrance to our VIP Hilltop tent, you’ll get great discounts on transportation or parking)!

I hope we’ll see you at The Hunt!

Joe


Boxcar Goes to the Races!

September 1, 2021

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News

Since I started Boxcar as a parking company four years ago, my goal has been simple – I wanted to make life easier for our customers. Our parking and bus services save people time each day, which is a precious resource especially as everyone heads back to work. Over the last 18 months, as fewer people have been commuting, we’ve looked at other ways to streamline life for our suburban customer base. Offering services like grocery deliveries, grill and auto detailing, and knife sharpening through our app and website has helped hundreds of our customers have a little more time for the things they enjoy, while we take care of the To Do list.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that in addition to our app, Boxcar will have a physical presence in Westfield – we've been awarded the contract to run the kiosk at the Westfield Train Station starting this fall! We see this as a great opportunity to help the commuters of Westfield save time as they head back to work, providing Boxcar’s services as well as a welcome jolt of caffeine each morning (we’re partnering with a local coffee shop for the java).

Now, here’s where I need your help. The Boxcar team has lots of ideas for what we’d like to see in the kiosk in addition to delicious coffee. But more important – what would you like to see? What could we provide in the morning that would make your life just a bit easier? Is there a service you’d like to book, or a product you’d like to buy, before you start your commute? What would you like to cross off your list before your day begins, knowing Boxcar will take care of it? Please email me (joe@boxcar.com) and let me know. And make sure to stop by the kiosk and say hi!


Boxcar's New (Tiny) Home

August 1, 2021

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Bus Service

It's now been 500 days since demand for Boxcar services fell 100% and stayed there for what seems like ages. During that time we have learned a lot - some good, some bad, but all useful. Most importantly, we've kept our company going so that now, as things start to approach normal again, we can get back to what we love - making commuting (and life) easier and more comfortable for our customers. Thanks for commuting with Boxcar, both now and in the future.

We restarted our bus service 40 weeks ago and in the last few weeks we have seen demand pick up significantly (take a look at the graph to the left). It's wonderful to see so many people return to in-person work as vaccination rates climb and infection rates drop. We've done our best to add routes to compensate for this demand in our core towns, and are are looking at ways to expand our service. If you know someone who would like to commute with Boxcar from a town we don't currently serve, please ask them use the Request Route button to let us know!

A few of our buses in Convent Station/Madison/Chatham have started selling out recently, (at our 2/3 capacity cap). If you are riding, please remember to book ahead to ensure you have a seat! We've also added a later bus with an 8 am departure from Convent Station - if you know anyone who heads to NYC a little bit later, please let them know.

Many customers have been asking about our mask policy recently. We've worked with our bus company partners (and their attorneys) to make sure we are following the current Federal DOT regulations, which require masks on buses. We appreciate your continued patience with these guidelines as we await federal guidance updates (which is about as exciting as it sounds). Once something changes, we will let all of our riders know.

We all love what we do here at Boxcar.  Making you happy makes us happy, so let us know what we can do to make you happier.

Bus Riders Are Back!

July 1, 2021

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Memberships

At Boxcar, our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our business revolves around making life simpler, more comfortable, and more convenient for those who use our app.

One of the ways we do that is through our monthly memberships, and today we're thrilled to announce we've added some new benefits to our Boxcar Commuter membership!

Boxcar's Commuter membership is aimed at bus riders - for $24.99/month, you'll get 25% off any bus tickets you purchase. Starting today, members can book bus tickets 60 days in advance (as opposed to non-members, who have a 14 day booking window). That means if you know your post-Labor Day schedule, you can reserve those seats now.

Members also get a free bus ticket on their birthday, and can see how many seats are left on a bus. That way you'll know if you need to decide which of Boxcar's business-class commutes you'd like to book right away, or if you can wait and see how the day goes. Consider it your own commuting super power!

If you park with us regularly, check out the Super Parker membership - you'll get a discount on parking and an extended booking window, as well as free parking on your birthday!

If you are ready to sign up for either membership, you can do it right through the app (or web) - from the left-hand menu, just choose Memberships. If you've got any questions about the Boxcar Commuter membership, please email support@boxcar.com.

The Perks of Boxcar Membership

July 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen Boxcar's ridership increase with a vengeance. Our 6:15 am departure is frequently selling out, and the 7 am bus is coming close. I’m thrilled to see this, not just because it is good for Boxcar, but because it means people are returning to work, and life is returning to normal.

It’s a wonderful thing to see!

In talking to our customers over the last few weeks, we’ve heard from many that they’d like an earlier option, both in the morning and in the evening. So, Monday June 14, we’ll be providing just that!

Our luxury commuter bus lineup will now include a departure at 5:40 am from Convent Station, 5:45 am from Madison, and 5:50 am Chatham for those who need to be at their desks on the early side. We’re also adding a 4:30 pm return bus for those who want to beat the traffic heading home. These buses will make all the same stops our current buses make, and get you to work (or home) safely, comfortably, and quickly.

To reserve your spot, download our iPhone or Android apps today.

Boxcar started our business-class commuter bus service four years ago as of next month, and we plan to expand that service in the wake of the pandemic as people return to work. It allows us to wildly improve what has always been a tough, stressful part of the day for many suburbanites—one of the most rewarding things my team and I have done.

We’d like to continue expanding, to help even more people find an enjoyable commute. If you have an idea for our next departure town or time, use this link to request a route!

Morris Meteor Service Expansion!

June 1, 2021

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News

My wife and I have 5 children, although she often jokes that Boxcar is my 6th. Let me tell you, the last year has been one of amazing growth and change for baby #6, and I am so excited to unveil Boxcar’s new look today.

This is the culmination of months of work on the part of Team Boxcar, along with some talented designers and brand specialists. While we all loved our original logo, it’s become clear over the past few months that, as our business evolves, our look should as well.

When I started Boxcar 4 years ago, it was a parking company, plain and simple (well, not that simple, but that’s another story). Then we added buses. And then auto detailing, grocery deliveries, grill detailing, dog walking…plus plenty of other initiatives we are planning to announce over the next few months. Some of those experiments were successful, some were not, but they all helped shape what the company was becoming.

Over the last few months, our team realized that we were selling Boxcar short if we continued to call it a "parking company". We’ve grown into a platform focused on making life more convenient for suburban commuters, in whatever way we can. That’s a huge role to fill, but we’re ready for the challenge.

After we made that mental shift, we realized the company needed a new look to reflect our new focus. Something clean and simple, mature and focused, while still harking back to the Boxcar our customers know and trust.  A big thanks to my partner Owen for getting this project off the ground and seeing it through to completion - like most things around here I couldn't have done it without him.

We went through countless iterations before settling on our new logo and colors (I even made a pinterest board of all my favorite designs).  Our new logo, a deconstructed chevron, was inspired by the iconography of mid-century American design, a design era which captured movement, optimism, and American hope.

Boxcar believes in movement - getting people and things where they need to go.  We believe the future can be better than the present if we make it better, and we think that America's best years are ahead of us.

Boxcar continues to grow our business-class commuter service while at the same time expanding other local partnerships to help make our customers' lives less stressful and bolster small businesses: the lifeblood of our suburban economies.

This new logo will grow with Boxcar as we roll out more commuter lines and services to make life easier for our customers. You can check out our new look on the website now. We'll roll it out to the app over the next week - watch for updates in Google Play and the App Store. Here's a preview of what you'll see:

Please let me know what you think of my baby’s new grown-up look – I’d love your feedback. I hope you love it as much as I do, because (hopefully) you’ll be seeing it a lot.

Best,

Joe

Boxcar's New Look

June 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Starting tomorrow the Morris Meteor will originate in Morris Township's Convent Station, then proceed to Madison and Chatham as usual.  Boxcar is also adding a second bus to this route tomorrow, 45 minutes behind our early AM motor coach.

Here's what our route looks like on a map.


Here's our new schedule:

Morning Pickups:

Convent Station:    6:05 am   6:50 am

      ⬇️                         ⬇️          ⬇️

Madison:                6:15 am   7 am

      ⬇️                         ⬇️          ⬇️

Chatham:               6:20 am   7:05 am

      ⬇️                        

Midtown Manhattan

Evening Pickups:

  • Departures at 5:20 pm and 6 pm from 115 W 45th St.

Ridership on our one bus has really picked up.  Here's a graph of our total ridership since restarting service in September.  With 100 rides across 8 routes, we had an average of 12.5 riders per bus.

As long as ridership keeps increasing we'll keep adding more route options for customers - let us know where you think even more is needed.

We'll be sending out a survey to our Cranford/Westfield riders tomorrow regarding restarting that route.  Stay on the lookout!

Best,

Joe

P.S. I took the below photo in April 2018, when we first considered launching a bus from Morris Township's Convent Station.  Three years later, we're finally launching a route here!  In case it's not clear, we're on a long-term mission to improve commuting.


New: Morris Meteor

May 1, 2021

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Bus Service


I’m excited to announce that starting Monday, May 17 Boxcar is bringing back our round-trip Raritan Rocket bus route from Westfield and Cranford to Midtown! This route is near and dear to my heart as a Cranford native. We’ve heard from a number of customers in the area that they are headed back to work soon, and I wanted to make sure we were here to provide you with a convenient, comfortable alternative.

For this route, we’re partnering with Yankee Line, a premier bus provider. I know their ultra-luxury buses, complete with leather seats and extra legroom, will make your Boxcar commute even better.

Morning Schedule:

Westfield Train Station (North side): 6:15 am

Cranford Train Station (North side): 6:25 am

Evening Schedule:

115 W 45th St (between 6th & 7th): 5:10 pm

We’ve also added new stops in Midtown – our route now extends all the way to Madison and 71st. I hope this will help even more riders avoid the subways, in addition to the crowds at Port Authority or Penn Station.


We are capping our capacity at 50% right now, and all riders and drivers must wear masks on board. As always, getting our customers to their destination comfortably, quickly and safely is our primary goal.

If you have any questions about the new route, please let us know!



Raritan Rocket Returns!

May 1, 2021

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Bus Service

As most of you know, we are running one bus into NYC from Madison/Chatham and one bus out every day Monday-Thursday.  We're hoping for approval in the next week or two to extend the origin to Convent Station.

Last week we had 59 total rides booked, for an average of 7.4 riders on each bus (or 12% occupancy).  This route used to have 1,000+ weekly rides pre-pandemic, so we still have a little hill to climb!

We're an optimistic bunch, and things continue moving in the right direction.  59 rides is a new high since we restarted our bus in September, and just barely passed our October high when Lucy pulled the proverbial football away from our return.

Throughout the whole pandemic we've continued developing our technology back-end, and we'll soon be releasing a feature that will allow customers to track our bus's locations in real time.  What this will allow is for our return buses to drive through Manhattan, picking up throughout midtown (and elsewhere eventually).

We've added two new midtown stops in the morning, at Madison Ave & 67th and Madison Ave & 71st.

When you return to work, even if it's just twice a week or once a month, you should try out Boxcar!  We're the safest and most enjoyable form of commuting.  We drop off all throughout midtown and our buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, and the best chauffeurs you've ever met!

I paid a visit to one of them last Friday, Nestor, and he's just so happy to see more riders on the bus every day and really enjoys driving you all!

Best,

Joe


Mid-April Bus update

April 1, 2021

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People

When we started Boxcar a little over 4 years ago, we had a lot of questions. But one thing we never questioned was our dedication to our customers. We always aimed to treat them well and provide service that removed the stress from what could be a very difficult part  of the day - commuting. As Boxcar has grown and evolved, our customer focus has remained, driving everything we do.

For the last 4 years, most of our customers have gotten to know April as she answers questions and solves problems as our Director of Customer Success. As Boxcar continues to pivot to better serve our customers, I’m happy to announce that April will be taking on a new role - that of Boxcar’s first Chief of Staff!

As Chief of Staff April will work closely with me, helping to oversee the daily work that keeps Boxcar growing—everything from operations and marketing to customer service. She’ll also be working with Owen on lots of special projects in our new initiative, “Powered by Boxcar” (you’ll hear about that more soon).

April’s step up in the Boxcar world leaves us with an opening for a new team member - a part-time Customer Service Associate. Because we are such a customer-focused company, I’ve always considered this role one of the most important we have. We need someone who shares our passion for the suburbs, loves answering questions and solving problems, and can work in a fast, often-changing environment. If you know someone who fits the bill, please have them send a resume and cover letter to april@boxcar.com - we’d love to talk to them!



Boxcar is growing, again!

April 1, 2021

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Boxcar's bus ridership is officially entering the GAMESTOP technical formation.  We hit a new post-pandemic high of over 10 riders per bus last week, with a high of 17 riders one day.

While this is still a maximum of 30% of total occupancy, it's a far cry from a few weeks ago when we were doing less than 5 riders per bus.  Combined with what I’m hearing from some of our long-time customers it looks like we’ll see another uptick in the next few weeks.

Boxcar isn’t going to wait to fill up our single bus route before adding more, though.  We expect to add a second AM and PM bus on our Madison/Chatham route next Monday next Monday, May 3rd.  Details on timing and whether we have permission to start that route at Convent Station (which is our goal) will be forthcoming.  Take this survey if you’re in that area and going back to commuting in the next few weeks.

We want to start our Westfield/Cranford route before summer and just went out for quotes.  We’ll send out a survey for that route soon.  The goal would be to start that in Fanwood eventually, but it looks like it might take a bit more time to get approved for a pickup there.

We're still dropping off all throughout midtown and our buses are all equipped with Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, and the best chauffeurs you've ever met!  We are still operating at 50% capacity and require masks but no proof of vaccination to ride.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions, comments, or requests!  I love hearing from our customers.

Best,

Joe

A quick visit with Luis earlier in the week.  Luis is overjoyed to see his favorite customers coming back to the bus again!




Late April Boxcar Bus Update

April 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Boxcar started our luxury commuter bus service in July 2017.  Our buses had Wi-Fi, reserved seating, power outlets at every seat and, most importantly, drop off locations all throughout Midtown Manhattan so our customers could skip Penn Station, subways, and (for many of them) the cost of driving.



Since then, we built our transit ridership from one motor coach that was half occupied to 6 that were nearly sold out every day. We were feeling pretty good.

Then the pandemic hit and our ridership cratered.  (See our weekly rides below.)

Boxcar restarted our commuter service in September, but the numbers remain significantly depressed from where they were pre-COVID.  We make cruise ships look good. 😂😂😂

We’re back to one bus in the morning and one in the evening, serving only Madison and Chatham.  For the last few weeks we’ve had less than 10% occupancy on these buses, so we lose money on each one. But we’ve made the decision to keep running them so that when things do start picking up again, we are here for our customers.

As I look ahead, here are a few thoughts on what the next months hold:

  • Expanded stops along our current route: We’re thinking about starting our current Madison/Chatham bus in Convent Station, allowing more people access to Boxcar’s transit service.  We’re going to get an application in to them shortly for use of their train station parking lot for morning pickups.
  • More frequent service along our existing route: A transit network’s value is proportional to the square of the number of routes it offers.  So if our transit network’s current value is X with 1 bus each way, it will be 4X the value with 2 buses each way, and 9x with 3.  I’d expect that as we get more people commuting we’ll be quick to add service, which increases the value to the people who use it.  If reopening continues, Morris Township, Madison and Chatham riders could eventually expect am service at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 am and return service 4:45, 5:30, and 6:30 pm.
  • New service areas - We’re moving very cautiously right now, but there’s a chance that the private commuting service Boxcar pioneered in 2017 just happens to be a perfect fit for a post-COVID world.  Even if commuting is down significantly, a large portion of those commuters may not want to drive or take the subway. We’re not going to try and serve every town in NJ, but regional hubs accessible to dense population centers might make sense.

If you want Boxcar’s service in your area, sign up here.  We generally need around 30 people committed to a new route in order to begin running it.

As always, we’re open to suggestions about how we can improve our service, I’m available at joe@boxcarapp.com

Have a great day and thanks to all who have supported us during this difficult time for our company!

Joe


Boxcar's Commuting Plans

March 1, 2021

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Bus Service

Boxcar Buses are coming back to Madison and Chatham!

As we navigate the new world of commuting, all vehicles will operate at 50% of their capacity. We are starting with a single am bus departing Madison at 6:15 am and Chatham at 6:20 am. In the evening, we’ll provide service with 3 sprinter vans, which will allow for a total capacity of 29 daily round trips to and from New York City. Baby steps.

If we are able to fill these reduced capacity buses, service will resume on July 6th and we will work to increase capacity and add additional departures as time goes on.

Safety

As always, our customer’s safety is of paramount importance. Boxcar’s initial bus reopening will be operated by Empire Chauffeured Limo Services, who has created a safety overview that is available for viewing here (link).

Drivers and riders must wear masks, hand sanitizer will be available upon boarding, and full contract tracing will be implemented by Boxcar’s software. Air will not recirculate—fresh air will be constantly brought in from outside.

Price and Capacity

Price of our morning bus service will increase to $19.99, with only 29/58 seats available to reserve.

Our evening van/limo service, priced at $39.99, will be limited to 10 riders per van, which will ensure that all commuters have an empty seat next to them.

We will offer Boxcar Commuter memberships which, for $24.99/month, will allow customers to purchase tickets at a 25% discount. Existing Analyst and Vice President members will continue to be grandfathered in with their old status and receive commensurate benefits but these membership levels will be sunsetted for all non-members.

Start Date

Boxcar is aiming to restart service on July 6th, but we are not in a position to run empty buses. If we are not able to fill these vehicles to their 50% capacity, we will push back the start date on a weekly basis until we are able to do so.

Route

Boxcar's route will remain the same, dropping customers closer to work without transfers or requiring underground mass transit.

In the evening our vans will leave from W 45th St, between 6th and 7th Ave and travel directly to Chatham and Madison stations

Bringing Back Boxcar Buses

June 1, 2020

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Local Services

There are a lot of frustrating things about quarantine, from boredom to homeschooling to running out of Tiger King episodes. I know that getting groceries delivered has become a pain point for a lot of people, me included – no matter when I check, there don’t seem to be delivery slots available near me.

While we can’t do anything about Tiger King, we decided to use our Boxcar connections to make filling your fridge a little bit easier! We’ve partnered with Gargiulo Produce to provide drive-thru grocery pickups in Madison, NJ, on Wednesday, 4/8.

Each Boxcar Basics box will contain 1 dozen eggs, 1 gallon whole milk, 3 romaine hearts, 5 lbs tomatoes, 5 lbs potatoes, 2 onions, 2 pints of blueberries, 6 apples, 6 oranges, and 1 cantaloupe. At $49.99, that’s comparable to grocery store prices, without the hassle.

Boxes can be ordered now through Boxcar – click here to reserve yours. You’ll be prompted to add your car make, model and plate #, unless you already have one linked to your Boxcar account.

Then just drive through Madison’s Kings Road Lot #3 (next to the police station) on Wednesday from noon – 3 pm. Pop the trunk, we’ll put your box in your car, and you are all set.

I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. If you have any questions about Boxcar Basics, please email support@boxcarapp.com.

Boxcar Grocery Pickups!

April 1, 2020

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The world is a very different place than it was 6 weeks ago. Six weeks ago, Boxcar was a parking app, connecting commuters in NJ, MA, NY, CT and CA who needed a spot with property owners who had extra capacity. Once people stopped commuting, though, that all changed. After a week of brainstorming, I talked to a friend whose family owns a local produce supplier. Now that schools and hotels weren’t buying produce, they had extra inventory, but no way to get it to consumers. From that conversation, Boxcar’s contactless grocery pickup was born.

Over our first 3 weeks of grocery pickups, we’ve gotten 26.5 tons of produce to consumers in New Jersey, instead of letting it go to waste. With the help of some great press, what started as a local idea in Madison and Cranford has spread to 5 different NJ counties (with more on the way). And now, I’m excited to announce that we are partnering with Yankee Line to bring the same high-quality, contactless grocery pickup service to the Boston area, starting with Newton!

Yankee Line has long been a trusted Boxcar partner. They are dedicated to providing the best service possible, which is one of the many reasons we like working with them. They have a great network in the Boston area, and were looking for a way to keep their staff employed while transportation needs were low. After a conversation with Mike Costa from Yankee, I knew this was a partnership that would work out well for our companies, the region’s food chain, and consumers trying to source fresh produce.  Starting Wednesday, April 29, customers in the Newton, Mass. area will be able to get their own BoxcarBasics grocery delivery, powered by the great employees of Yankee Line. The pickup will be in the Riverside MBTA parking lot. Customers with a reservation can just pull in, pop their trunk, and we’ll load everything.

In addition to helping keep the Boxcar team busy in these difficult times, this company pivot has taught me more about our nation’s food supply chain than I could have ever imagined. If customers stop buying food, distributors like Gargiulo’s stop ordering it. That means that farmer’s growing the produce or dairy products aren’t getting paid, and often can’t afford to replant for next season. It also means that truck drivers who transport the produce, as well as those who tend and harvest it, will be out of work. If that happens, we could be facing empty shelves in the grocery store just when life is getting back to normal. But by getting the food to the folks who need it with options like BoxcarBasics, we can keep that supply chain intact so it’s there in the weeks and months ahead.

Our contactless pickups also cut down on the number of trips (and related anxiety) customers have to make to grocery stores, while still having access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

For our first three years in business, Boxcar worked to simplify commuting. We’ll be back to that again soon, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled we can help simplify groceries, and help keep things running smoothly.

BoxcarBasics comes to Mass

April 1, 2020

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Bus Service

I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy. At Boxcar we're a team, and an important part of that team is our bus drivers, who greet our riders each morning and ensure they get to work quickly, comfortably, and safely. During this difficult time, several of our riders have reached out to ask about our bus drivers, and how they can support them.

Luis, Carlos, and Aramis are an important part of our team, and it warms my heart to know that they have come to mean so much to many of you, as well. I know that they really enjoy making your commute a little bit easier each morning, and look forward to the day (hopefully soon) when they can do it again.

We are happy to pass on any messages you have for our drivers – it will certainly brighten their day. For those of you who have asked about doing more, like offering holiday tips early, the easiest way to do that is through Venmo. You can reach them at:

Carlos (Madison/Chatham 6:15): @Carlos-Cajiga

Luis (Madison/Chatham 6:45, pictured below): @luiscadena59

Aramis (Westfield/Cranford): @aramis-tejada

Thanks again for your support. We’ll be back, stronger than ever, as soon as we can. In the meantime, please stay home, and stay healthy!

Best,

Joe

Boxcar's Amazing Drivers

March 1, 2020

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I hope you and your families are staying healthy (and sane)! As the disruption due to COVID-19 continues, many customers have asked about purchasing Boxcar gift certificates to help our small business through this difficult time. You have no idea how much your concern means to all of us on the Boxcar Team! We love being part of the communities we serve, and look forward to coming back even stronger when this is all over.

We do have gift certificates available at this time, and I’m happy to help you with that. You can purchase a general Boxcar gift certificate, good for either parking or transportation, with a personal credit card. These credits will be good for one year.

If you have transit account funds that are set to expire at the end of the month, they can be used to purchase a Boxcar gift certificate. Funds from a parking account can only be used to pay for future parking, and funds from a transportation account can only be used to pay for future transportation.

If you’d like to purchase a gift certificate, please email support@boxcarapp.com and let me know the amount, the last 4 digits of the card to use from your Boxcar account, and whether it is for parking or transportation (if it’s a transit card).

If you have any questions, or there’s anything we at Boxcar can do to help you during this time, please let me know!

Boxcar gift certificates!

March 1, 2020

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Everybody knows working from home is more fun with a good playlist. Thanks to all the customers who sent me your favorite WFH songs! I've added them to the Boxcar Team's picks, to create our virtual mix tape. I hope it brightens your Friday a bit - let me know what you think after you give it a listen.

Want a sneak peak before you listen? Here are our WFH favorite songs, in no particular order:

Change – John Waite

Ocean eyes – Billi Eilish

Germany to Germany – Ratatat

COVID-19

Blinding Light – The Weeknd

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright – Sweetbox

It’s the End of the World, REM

Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might be Giants

Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms

Traffic & Weather – Fountains of Wayne

Don’t Stop Me Now- Queen

B**** Better Have My Money - Rhianna

Beer Can’t Fix- Thomas Rhett

Mr. Blue Sky- Electric Light Orchestra

A Trick of the Light - Villagers

Crash – The Primitives

All the Stars- Kendrick Lamar

More Than Yesterday - Spiral Starecase

Since I've Been Loving you - Led Zeppelin

Windows are Rolled Down – Amos Lee

The Truth - Handsome Boy Modeling School

Intentions - Justin Bieber (ft. Quavo)

Chasin' You - Morgan Wallen

Fix You - Coldplay

Boxcar's Ultimate WFH Mix Tape

March 1, 2020

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As 2019 comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on everything we’ve achieved at Boxcar in the last 12 months. It’s been a year of amazing growth for us, which has allowed us to help more commuters and communities than ever before.

Right now, we’ve got 5,000 active customers (vs. 2,000 in 2018). In 2019, those customers booked over 120,000 reservations - 70,000+ parking spaces in 43 cities, and 50,000 bus reservations along our 3 luxury commuter bus routes. I hope that each of those 5,000 customers’ commutes were made a little bit easier because of our app.

It’s not just commuters that benefit from Boxcar, though. Our parking partners, many of whom are churches and community organizations, receive a majority of the money from each parking reservation. The income they earn by renting out this previously unused resource helps them pay for the important work they do, making it easier for them, in turn, to help the community.

In 2019, the churches we partner with earned $83,000+ from parking. Non-profit art centers received over $9,000, and American Legions, VFWs and Masonic Temples earned over $2,000. In towns where Boxcar manages the municipal parking, those municipalities earned $90,000+. This is especially important for towns, where every dollar counts toward balancing the budget. We also paid more than $165,000 to small businesses, taking some of the financial strain off of those business owners.

Getting involved in the communities we serve is one of my favorite parts of working for Boxcar – I love knowing that we are not only making life easier for people, but helping support the events and causes that are important to them. In 2019 we sponsored a number of things near and dear to our customers' hearts. They included Chatham and Madison Little Leagues, the Sunshine Striders Fun Run to support Cycle for Survival, the Madison Education Foundation, Milton Ave School’s annual silent auction, the Chatham Turkey Trot, Cranford’s Firecracker 4 Miler, the Cranford Tuff Paddle, and a drunk driving prevention event in Madison.

Thank you for helping make 2019 Boxcar’s best year yet. There are lots of great things in the pipeline for 2020 – we can’t wait to share them with you!

Boxcar's Year in Review: 2019

December 1, 2019

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Bus Service

As we head into the holiday season, it’s a great time to think about what we are most thankful for and count our many blessings. At Boxcar, we’re grateful not only for our customers, but for the great towns around the country that we partner with. From our home base in Chatham, NJ, to New Cannan, Ct, and Orinda, Ca, to Wellesley, Ma, our expansion has been driven by our desire to help ease the burden on suburban commuters. By doing the legwork with elected officials and property owners before we launch in a town and collecting feedback afterward, we can ensure that we provide the best fit of services for each area.

From reserved parking near suburban train stations in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California, to luxury bus service from select NJ towns to Midtown Manhattan, we do our best to make this a more enjoyable, less stressful part of the day for our customers.

And, while commuting is a part of life, we realize it shouldn’t be the biggest part. Each of the towns we partner with is a vibrant community full of great opportunities, and those communities are what it’s all about. I love getting to know our customers, whether it’s in person or via email. And when customers refer friends to Boxcar, I know we’re doing something right. More than just providing a service, each Boxcar team member works hard to become a part of the towns we serve. As a New Jersey-based company with strong Jersey roots, we are all happy to be able to give a little bit back to not only our own hometowns, but the many communities we partner with. Whether it’s sponsoring local youth sports teams like the Madison Little League, or fundraising runs like the Sunshine Striders Fun Run for rare cancer research in Chatham and the Firecracker 4 Miler in Cranford, we want to show our support for the great communities we work in.

Beyond sponsorships, we love to show up to cheer on our teams and encourage the runners. In the end, we’re all in this together. So next time you’re at one of these events, keep an eye out – you’ll probably see one of us in the crowd!

Putting the Community Back in Commuting

October 1, 2019

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I started Boxcar to help make life better for New Jersey commuters. Over the past 3 years, I’ve met countless people working with other organizations that are also making a difference in our area, in so many ways. One of my favorites is the All Stars Project of New Jersey. This group, working in Newark since 1999, is dedicated to improving the lives of area kids who are often overlooked. Through resume workshops, interview coaching, and an amazing summer internship program, these students get a chance to see what opportunities are out there, and how to reach them. I am proud to be a supporter and trustee of the organization.

The All Stars have placed over 2,000 New Jersey high school students in paid summer internships at companies including PSEG, Investors Bank, and the Port Authority. At Boxcar, we’ve been lucky enough to host two of these great interns. They were both hard working, driven, bright kids, who just needed a chance. While I hope they learned from us over their weeks at Boxcar, I know we all learned from them. They brought a fresh perspective and excitement to the office, and worked hard at each project given to them. One is in college now, and the other is in his senior year of high school. I know they both have bright futures ahead of them, thanks in part to the All Stars Project.

To continue offering these great opportunities, the All Stars need some help. This year, the organization has an ambitious fundraising goal of $600,000 to help support their programs for inner-city youth. If you are looking for a worthy cause this holiday season, this is a great one. You can donate by clicking this link. You can also purchase a ticket to join me at the All Stars Project of New Jersey Annual Benefit Dinner on November 21st.

If you’d rather be more hands-on, the All Stars are always looking for professionals to donate a few hours to help students create resumes or practice interview skills. Just an hour here or there can make a huge difference in the lives of these kids. If you know of a company looking for a summer intern, I can’t recommend that program highly enough.  You can find more information about all of this here. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this great organization.

Shooting for the All Stars

October 1, 2019

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This is the first in a series of articles highlighting interesting tidbits about Boxcar’s transportation and parking partner towns!

Town: Madison, NJ

Nickname: The Rose City

Incorporated: 1889

Named after: President James Madison

Population: 16,000

Size: 4 square miles

County: Morris

Since long before it was named the Best Place to Live in New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly (September 2019), Madison has gone by another nickname: the Rose City. While it’s now known as a lovely suburb with great schools and a vibrant downtown, Madison was once home to greenhouses that grew many of the roses sold and distributed along the East coast.

In the 1800s, many wealthy New Yorkers escaped the crowded, sweltering city for country estates along what was known as Millionaire’s Row in and around Madison. Many of these properties had large greenhouses and well-trained horticulturists on staff, with plants being grown mostly for use on-site. T. J. Slaughter is credited as the first land owner to sense the commercial value of roses in Madison. In 1877, his family bought an estate in town, and he added five greenhouses for strictly commercial purposes. Slaughter hired John N. May, a leading rose authority from England, to manage the rose growing operation. Many other landowners followed suit, and Madison’s floral industry blossomed.

In March 1888, T. J. Slaughter’s rose business produced half a million buds, with revenue averaging $1.78 per plant. The American Beauty rose, popular (and more expensive) at the time, fetched $5.09 per plant. And as the supply coming out of Madison increased, the demand and prices remained high.

By 1889, roses were being shipped into New York City by train at a rate of 40,000-50,000 per day. Sending them by rail meant that these highly perishable flowers could be picked in the evening, carefully packed, and arrive at wholesalers in the city by 9 am, ready for distribution to florists around the area.

Madison’s roses were known for their high quality, and growers developed several distinct varieties in town. These included Vanity Fair, Copper Luster, Shawyer, Totty Red, Matchless, Kathleen Nash, Little Princess and Spellbound, several of which can still be purchased today.

Rose growing remained strong for decades. The peak year for production was 1950, when one million plants were growing in and around Madison. While it remained a thriving industry for several more years, a number of factors eventually combined to spell the end of the local rose industry. From higher land prices to improved air travel options (which allowed roses to be reliably shipped from as far away as South America), Madison could no longer compete on the global horticultural market.

Although the rose industry is no longer active in the Borough of Madison, it has certainly left its mark. From business names around town to the borough Website (rosenet.org), this lovely flower is still an important part of the Rose City.

Town Spotlight: Why is Madison called the Rose City?

August 1, 2019

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Events

Click here to purchase a scooter/see remaining inventory

Boxcar is always looking for new ways to improve suburban mobility. Last year we partnered with the Borough of Madison to see whether electric scooters might help commuters get to and from the train station more easily and ease the burden on downtown commuter parking.  We distributed 24 scooters and over 6 weeks saw an average of 8 people per day using their scooters for their first-mile commutes, as well as running errands and riding just for the joy of it.

Electric scooters have a number of benefits over other single-person transit methods:

 

  • Faster than walking  
  • Less sweaty than a bicycle  
  • Require less balance than an electric skateboard  
  • Don't feel as dorky as a segway.

Boxcar won't be running a scooter sharing program in 2019, primarily due to the high cost of insurance and our need to focus our limited resources on improving and expanding our suburban parking. It's also not clear that any shared scooter program would be successful in the suburbs, where space is less of a concern and many people will prefer to own their own scooters.

Scooter Sale

We've had so much interest in these scooters, though, that we reached out to Segway-Ninebot to see whether we might be able to get our customers a good deal on their best-in-class scooter, the ES2.  We're happy to announce that, for the next week, we are selling a max of 100 Segway ES2 scooters at a steep discount.

Boxcar will sell 100 ES2 Scooters (typically $589) for $459 for the next week (order by 3 pm on Friday, June 21st).

Some features of the ES2 electric kickscooter include:

 

  • Top speed of 15.5 MPH  
  • Travels 20 miles on a single charge  
  • Weighs 28 pounds  
  • collapsible for easy stowage and transport  
  • Headlight/tail lights/undercarriage LEDs

For Boxcar's main service areas (Union and Morris Counties, New Canaan and Darien) Boxcar will deliver your scooter for no charge.  We will deliver scooters to the Westchester, Fairfield, and Nassau Counties for a $20 charge.  Customers outside that area are not eligible for scooter delivery but can arrange to pick up a scooter at Boxcar's Newark or Chatham offices for no fee.

Suburban Scooter Sale

June 1, 2019

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Well Game of Thrones is finally over.  In an homage to George RR Martin's general tardiness we thought we'd slow-roll the release of our pool winners as well as give everyone the chance to get caught up who wanted to get caught up so as to reduce spoilers.  Congrats to our dual winners, who will split the $100 pot and each receive $50 in credit as well as unlimited bragging rights for eternity.

Final status (SPOILERS)

  • Bran Stark - Alive - King of Westeros  
  • Daenerys Targaryen - Dead  
  • Jon Snow - Alive  
  • Sansa Stark - Alive  
  • Gendry - Alive  
  • Arya Stark - Alive  
  • The Night King - Dead  
  • Tyrion Lannister - Alive  
  • Varys - Dead  
  • Jamie Lannister - Dead  
  • Samwell Tarly - Alive  
  • Cersei Lannister - Dead  
  • Euron Greyjoy - Dead  
  • Tormund Giantsbane - Alive  
  • The Mountain - Dead  
  • The Hound - Dead  
  • Yara Greyjoy - Alive  
  • Davos Seaworth - Alive  
  • Brienne of Tarth - Alive

Boxcar's Game of Thrones Pool: Final Results

June 1, 2019

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At Boxcar, we value working toward leaving the world a little better than we found it. Shared commuting drastically reduces each traveler’s carbon footprint. Driving directly to your reserved parking spot instead of circling while looking for a space does, too. We think we’ve made a good start on improving our environment, but know there’s always more we can do. And sometimes, small steps make a big difference.

In the US, 60 million disposable plastic water bottles end up in the trash each year—even bottles that are put in recycling bins often end up in a landfill. Each of those bottles takes an average of 450 years to decompose. Even worse are the millions of bottles that make their way into our oceans, wreaking havoc with wildlife and polluting our waterways. According to recent findings, the energy used to produce and deal with disposable plastic water bottles could provide power for 190,000 homes. Or, 37,280 charter bus trips (holding a total of 2.1 million riders) on Boxcar’s most popular route. That’s a lot of energy devoted to something we don’t really need.

In light of this, we’ve decided to eliminate water bottle service on our buses—it’s a simple step we can take to help the environment. But we also realize how thirsty a Midtown commute can make you, and don’t want to leave you high and dry. On Wednesday, 6/26, we’ll be giving out REUSABLE Boxcar water bottles to all riders on our Madison, Chatham, and Summit Routes. On Thursday, 6/27, we’ll distribute them to riders in Westfield and Cranford. We hope you’ll use yours throughout the week and help us cut down on the plastic headed for a landfill. With this small change, I hope we can make the world a little better, one Boxcar commute at a time. If you have any suggestions for other positive environmental changes we could implement, please let me know.

Doing Our Part

June 1, 2019

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A very busy week has turned the rankings into disarray.  With just 90 minutes left in the show a lot of questions still remain and it's anyone's game.

Current status (SPOILERS)

  • Bran Stark - Alive  
  • Daenerys Targaryen - Alive  
  • Jon Snow - Alive  
  • Sansa Stark - Alive  
  • Gendry - Alive  
  • Arya Stark - Alive  
  • The Night King - Dead  
  • Tyrion Lannister - Alive  
  • Varys - Dead  
  • Jamie Lannister - Dead  
  • Samwell Tarly - Alive  
  • Cersei Lannister - Dead  
  • Euron Greyjoy - Dead  
  • Tormund Giantsbane - Alive  
  • The Mountain - Dead  
  • The Hound - Dead  
  • Yara Greyjoy - Alive  
  • Davos Seaworth - Alive  
  • Brienne of Tarth - Alive

Boxcar's Game of Thrones Pool: Week 5 Update

May 1, 2019

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Bus Service

Boxcar will be giving sunglasses away on select days throughout May at each bus pickup location - stay tuned for your giveaway day!

Boxcar's May 2019 schedule for transportation is as follows:

Westfield/Cranford:

  • 6:25/6:35 - All weekdays except 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/27 (Memorial Day), and 5/31  
  • 6:55/7:05 - All weekdays except 5/27 (Memorial Day)

Summit:

  • 6:15 - All weekdays except 5/24 and 5/27 (Memorial Day)

Madison/Chatham

  • 5:45 - All weekdays except 5/24 and 5/27 (Memorial Day)  
  • 6:15 - All weekdays except 5/27 (Memorial Day)  
  • 6:45 - All weekdays except 5/27 (Memorial Day)

New York to Madison/Chatham:

  • 5:15 pm - All weekdays except 5/27 (Memorial Day)  
  • 5:45 pm - All weekdays except 5/24 and 5/27 (Memorial Day)  
  • 6:30 pm - All weekdays except 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/27 (Memorial Day), and 5/31

Remember that with our new Memberships you can save between 20% and 50% off of listed ticket prices!

Boxcar's May Transportation Schedule

April 1, 2019

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Bus Service

Return service has been Boxcar’s number one requested feature since launching our morning bus service in July of 2017.

While round trip service aligns 100% with our mission of improving the commuter experience, success has been elusive for a number of reasons.  These include the lack of a dedicated return bus lane, the large difference in when commuters leave work in the afternoon, and New York City regulations which prohibit motor coaches from idling in areas convenient to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Boxcar is excited to announce that we are launching return service from New York City to Summit, Chatham and Madison starting Monday, March 11th, using smaller 14-passenger Sprinter-style vans operated by MyLimo.

These don’t have WiFi or bathrooms on board, but do have comfortable seats and will provide a safe, reliable ride home (without stepping foot in Penn Station).  Plus, because they will arrive at the pickup location 15 minutes early, you can wait comfortably until departure.

We will operate this service for Madison, Chatham, and Summit commuters through April 15th, at which point we will assess how the service can be improved and, if successful, expanded to serve our Westfield/Cranford commuters.

Details on the service can be found below. Please give it a try at some point in the next month and send your feedback to support@boxcarapp.com.

Details:

  • NYC Pickup: 41st Street between 7th Ave and 8th Ave - look for the high top van with MyLimo on the side.  
  • Schedule: Monday-Friday with departures at 5:00, 5:45, and 6:30pm  
  • Route: Summit Station, Chatham Station, Madison Station  
  • Cost: $14.99/trip (as low as $7.50 with in-app discounts)

Return Service

March 1, 2019

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Memberships

We’re about to roll out something the Boxcar team is very excited about: Monthly Boxcar Memberships!  For bus riders, these will replace the current Multi Pack system, eliminating the need to remember to add credits each month. For parkers, this will add additional benefits and help you make sure you always get your favorite parking spot.

We’re launching memberships for a couple of reasons.  The first is to make it easier for riders to access our discounted tickets.  Prior to this, customers would email us to manually purchase a Multi Pack. With memberships, discounted tickets are just two clicks away in our app.

Second, we want to reward the customers who use Boxcar most frequently.  Approximately three quarters of our transit customers will save money with the new system.

Third, Boxcar wants to continue making life better for commuters.  That includes return bus service (launching Monday in Chatham, Madison and Summit), a co-working space in Chatham (details coming soon), and additional local partnerships that benefit our members.  As we add additional membership benefits, this structure fully aligns Boxcar's interests with those of our customers.

You can find all our memberships in our Android and iPhone apps.  Below is a quicks summary of what you'll find:

 

  • Analyst ($4.99/month): This is our least expensive membership, targeted towards bus riders who may have previously purchased multi-packs manually.  Bus riders will receive 20% off all their bus tickets ($11.19-$11.99). These customers will also get a chance to see exactly how many seats remain on each bus and cancel their bus tickets up until 5 minutes prior to departure.  
  • Associate ($11.99/month): For our parking customers who may have a favorite spot, Associate extends their ability to reserve parking by 14 days (from 14 to 28 days in advance).  It also lets them see how many parking spots remain at a location on a given day and is paired with 5% off parking, plus free parking on their birthday!  
  • Vice President ($74.99/month): For our regular bus riders, this package gives deeper discounts (50% off ticket price), the ability to cancel your ticket up until departure, and a free bus ticket on your birthday.

For those who ride our buses in Chatham, Madison, or Summit, below is an overview of what per-ticket prices will be with each membership plan:

Finally, if memberships aren't your thing, we totally understand.  Through Monday we'll be selling our traditional ticket Multi Packs and raising the limit to 50 trips.

Announcing Boxcar Memberships

March 1, 2019

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"As the enemy drew nearer to Moscow the attitude taken by its inhabitants in regard to their position did not become more serious, but, on the contrary, more frivolous, as is always the case with people who see a great danger approaching. At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man: one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonably says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger."

                           -Tolstoy, War and Peace

In 2012 Superstorm Sandy flooded the ancient rail tunnels that connect New Jersey and New York with saltwater, tunnels so old they were constructed by the sons of men who fought in the Civil War.

The prognosis was horrible:

 

  • Report: NEC New York tunnels need major work (Oct 2014)  
  • New York on the brink of a rail tunnel crisis (Nov 2014)  
  • The nightmare that awaits N.J. if a Hudson rail tunnel is forced to close (Aug 2015)  
  • Time is running out on Amtrak's aging tunnels (Nov 2015)

Since then, the situation has only worsened, yet in many ways our sense of urgency about what needs to be done has diminished.

As a Division Officer aboard the USS GERMANTOWN, I was a foot soldier in the war on salt water corrosion.  Salt water in a poorly lit and ventilated tunnel like the North River Tunnels is a terminal diagnosis. Without closure, equipment replacement, and fresh water flushing, it will corrode everything made of metal or concrete.  

The clock is ticking on these tunnels that carry 400,000 passengers between New Jersey and New York and it is unlikely that the Gateway project will be complete by the time the first tunnel is rendered inoperable or only capable of reduced operations.  

Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association, recently said that there "will be major disruptions before Gateway is built under any scenario. The question is how long we're going to suffer under that math."

As if tunnel troubles weren’t enough, years of preventative maintenance have been deferred as NJ Transit has raided their capital improvements budget to pay for operating costs.  This is all to mention nothing of the Portal Bridge, Sawtooth Bridge, or a number of other absolutely critical pieces of infrastructure all in need of replacement or massive refurbishing.

As bad as commuting is right now, it’s going to get worse.

At the same time, politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to use this funding as a bargaining chip and carry on as though this is business as usual, rather than the dire emergency that it is.  While a contingent of local lawmakers toured the tunnels recently, there has been no movement on funding and no sign of compromise with the Senate majority that would be necessary to secure this funding.

Like the high society of Moscow as Napoleon approached, our situation is becoming more dire and our actions are becoming more frivolous.  We collectively need to stop deluding ourselves that these tunnels will survive until Gateway is built.  As our region’s outlook becomes more dire and a seamless transition to new tunnels looks less likely, attention needs to be focused on developing a contingency plan for how to best survive a tunnel failure.

This plan needs to involve relevant agencies and private companies, happen in public, and be treated with the same sense of urgency as building Gateway itself.  We have the resources needed to see our state through the impending crisis, but we need to start planning now and bringing all parties to the table.

New Jersey is a great state nestled between two amazing cities - access to those cities remains our region’s lifeblood and we need to prioritize protecting these essential connections.

Prepare for Disaster

January 1, 2019

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Bus Service

Starting tomorrow (December 11th) Boxcar will add two additional pickup locations for its bus customers in Westfield and Cranford, in response to customer requests!

After departing the Westfield train station, Boxcar will pick up at 440 North Ave E, located between Vine Ripe Markets and McIntyre's, at 6:26 am and 6:56 am.  Boxcar has 40+ parking spots available at this location that commuters can reserve for the new low price of $2 daily. Parking at these two locations this week will be free for all bus riders.

After picking up at the Cranford train station, Boxcar will do an additional pickup just West of John Street on North Avenue at 6:36 and 7:06 am.  

These new stops will be "hailing stops" - if you want to board the bus, reserve your ticket through the Boxcar app, then wave when you see the bus. Stops and pickup times at both the Westfield and Cranford train station will remain the same.

Core to Boxcar's mission is an effort to remove commuter vehicles from suburban town centers, where they sit idly by all day in spots that could be more efficiently used by shoppers and downtown employees.  We hope that these additional spots and pickup locations do just that!

Westfield Pickup Location

Cranford Pickup Location

Westfield Pickup Location - Street

Cranford Pickup Location -Street

New Boxcar Pickup Locations

December 1, 2018

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Boxcar is a two-year-old startup that focuses on issues facing suburban commuters. Through our app, we link commuters looking for parking with underused spaces near train stations. We are a typical technology enabled start up in many ways. We began with a just a few people, a single developer, and a brand new concept, which meant focusing on building our product without a ton of time to spend on infrastructure. We knew that we would eventually scale up using the capabilities of our cloud provider but we didn't want to boil the ocean at the expense of delivering features.

There are many options available to developers today. In our case, growth in infrastructure has been relatively predictable and linear so we've been able to evolve our configuration very deliberately and steadily, from dead simple to increasingly sophisticated. We hope that sharing our experience will help start ups in a similar situation.

Starting

We chose the Google Cloud platform for the simplicity of spinning up servers on demand and its favorable pricing relative to peers. We knew we needed to start with a simple cloud-based strategy and with a provider that would scale up as our business and infrastructure grew. We looked at all of the big cloud providers, but decided on Google Cloud for both our test and production environments.

Google Cloud is modern, extremely capable, and integrated with other Google services that we also use heavily to support our business. Google made experimentation with their cloud infrastructure easy by providing $300 of credit for twelve months for new accounts. This allowed us to dial in our out-of-the-gate infrastructure strategy without a financial penalty for early iterations.

We started in the most straight-forward way: compute instances for our front and back end services using pre-configured servers from partners like Bitnami. Google Cloud supplies a large menu of pre-configured services from which to choose, provided either by Google or its many partners. Using this approach we were able to create Apache, Wildfly, and MySQL servers quickly and painlessly. As a start up focused on software, we don't have the time to spend on provisioning and configuring infrastructure. With Google Cloud we had our full stack up and running fast and were able to focus on our company's R&D roadmap.

Scaling

As our business has grown we've taken advantage of various features of Google's Cloud. For example, as we started to grow our customer base and they began to rely on our services for their day-to-day commute, our data requirements and need to scale and keep services available increased. We migrated away from dedicated MySQL servers and to Google's Cloud SQL as a result.

Cloud SQL took the worry out of managing scalability, clustering, failover, storage, and backups. We were able to quickly provision Google Cloud SQL, configure the MySQL parameters and type of failover we required, import our databases, set up security, and start using our new database servers. This is hands down the easiest way to scale MySQL in a high availability configuration.

Over time we've learned more about Google Cloud and this has confirmed that we've made a great choice. For example, Google's APIs are integrated and we're able to manage which APIs we use in one place as well as have a single place for monitoring our activity and billing.

We've also been impressed by Google Cloud’s rapid pace of improvement. We use the gcloud command line tools and there are constant rollouts of features, advancements, and fixes. The pace is staggering and a great indication of Google's commitment to remaining a leader in cloud-based services. Based on what we've seen, we're very confident that Google Cloud will continue to evolve rapidly and will certainly scale to handle our needs.

Usability has also been excellent. We like Google's UI, which is modern compared to peers. We use G Suite, Google DNS, Google APIs, Firebase, and deploy our app on Android, as well as Google Cloud services. Google seems to have a plan for making their services work similarly and seamlessly. It's nice to have a one-stop-shop for all of our company's needs and a cohesive experience at the same time. Google provides an outstanding assortment of services for startups.

What Comes Next

Most recently we've been containerizing our infrastructure. This involves creating docker containers for our app servers for our development, test, and production environments. Google provides a private repository for our docker containers where we can push and version our containers as needed. It offers Kubernetes, which allows us to declaratively configure and manage our infrastructure. Our next iteration of Boxcar's infrastructure will be even more simple, reliable, scalable, manageable, portable, modular, and secure.

Google Cloud (and the entire fleet of Google services) is a great way for a start up to manage its infrastructure and essential services. Google has a very competitive offering in terms of features and price. Google's breadth of services is simply wonderful: cloud, APIs, DNS, office, mobile. With Google Cloud it's simple to experiment with cloud services and to build simple to complex infrastructure that supports small to large businesses. We're looking forward to continuing to grow our business on Google Cloud.

Additional Resources​​

The benefits of Google Cloud don't end with their technology though.  As a​​ client we were recently invited to Google's NYC Headquarters for a mixer with other startups, investors, and job-seekers.  It was a terrific opportunity to learn more about the product and meet the people behind the product.

Startups that are interested in taking advantage of similar programs to those that Google Cloud offers can learn more and apply here.

Photo: Google's latest startup ecosystem mixer, free to clients

Building Boxcar to Scale with Google Cloud

November 1, 2018

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Bus Service

September is a time of change - kids go back to school, commuters get back to work, trees start turning color, everything suddenly tastes like pumpkin spice… At Boxcar, we are very excited to announce a new change, as well - something we’ve been working on all summer. As of Monday, September 10, we will have parking available in New Canaan, Connecticut! This is a big deal for us in many ways.

It means we have expanded enough to help take the stress out of commuting in three different states - New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.

It’s also our biggest parking lot to date, with 60 spots at St. Aloysius RC Church, just steps from the train station. And it’s our biggest collaboration with a town - New Canaan will provide the parking enforcement for this lot, in order to help its residents simplify their commutes.

New Canaan is a town like many in the tri-state area - a large majority of people commute to New York City by train, but there isn’t enough commuter parking available. Municipal lots have years-long waiting lists, and there aren’t a lot of other options.

That’s where we come in - linking commuters with under-used spots, creating options where there weren’t any before. It’s what we love to do: take some of the stress out of commuting. And the Town of New Canaan has been a perfect partner in this process - willing to work to find solutions to make life a little easier for its residents.

This particular deal took several months from start to finish. But it wasn’t all contract negotiations and meetings with the New Canaan Selectmen. We also did lots of site work, getting those 60 spots ready for commuters. From painting lines to adding that beautiful Boxcar logo (in 90-degree heat), prepping spaces takes a lot of work—as you can see from photo below! And when you pull into a Boxcar parking space in New Canaan next week, pumpkin-spice latte in hand, take a moment to admire the hard work!

Want to reserve a spot in New Canaan or any of our other lots? Start by downloading the free Boxcar app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and creating an account. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 908-485-7275.

Boxcar Heads to Connecticut!

September 1, 2018

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Bus Service

You asked for it, and now you’ve got it!

Boxcar is happy to announce an even earlier bus from Madison & Chatham!! Starting Monday, September 17th, we will begin a 2 week trial using a new luxury minibus, departing from outside the Hartley Dodge building at 5:45 am and from the Chatham Train Station at 5:50 am, Monday - Thursday. Tickets are bookable now: download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

As the construction on 495 ramps up, we've heard from many people who currently drive to NYC each day, who are looking for another option now that traffic is worse than usual. In order to help everyone get to work on time, we've decided to try running an earlier bus. It's our hope that we can take some cars off of the road each morning, and make commuting less stressful for a whole new group of Madison and Chatham residents.

As with all of our buses, tickets must be reserved through the Boxcar app. Single ride tickets cost. Discount Multi Packs are also available: 10 rides for $139.90 ($13.99/ticket) or 20 rides for $249.80 ($12.49/ticket). If you’d like to set one up, please email support@boxcarapp.com. If you already have a Boxcar Multi Pack, you can use it on this new bus, as well as on our 6:15/6:20 am and 6:45/6:50 am departures.

As an added bonus, everyone who rides the new bus EVERY DAY during the 2 week trial will be entered in a random drawing for a stylish Boxcar jacket from Lands End, a perfect addition to anyone's fall/winter wardrobe!

If you are also interested in Friday service, or have any other feedback, let us know by emailing support@boxcarapp.com.

Download the Boxcar app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and book your tickets today!

An earlier Boxcar commute for Madison and Chatham!

September 1, 2018

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In case you haven't heard, a $90 million dollar infrastructure project will kick off next week.  This project will reinforce the supporting structures to Route 495 (the 3-mile long strip of road that connects the NJ Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel).  The project is expected to last 2.5 years, during which the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel will lose one lane of traffic.

At this time we cannot be sure of the effect on traffic, or Boxcar's bus schedule.  On the one hand, Lincoln Tunnel traffic is tough to begin with, and it's hard to see how removing 1/3 of the lanes will make it any better.  On the other hand, Braess's paradox gives us some optimism that - well - who knows.

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we are watching the situation closely.  If we need to tweak our bus schedules to continue making sure you get to work on time, we’ll let you know.  For the moment, though, our schedules will remain the same.

If there is a silver lining for Boxcar riders it is that the Express Bus Lane will remain unaffected and open throughout this construction.

As we did during the 2017 Summer of Hell, we’d like to help make this mess a little more manageable for Garden State commuters. We’ve talked to many residents of Chatham and Madison who currently drive to NYC each day and are looking for alternatives.  If we have enough interest, we’d like to start a 5:45 am bus.

If you know someone who would be interested, please ask them to email support@boxcarapp.com, or fill out this form. If you have suggestions for other routes/times, we’d love to hear them as well.

Construction at the Tunnel Gate

August 1, 2018

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As you know, Boxcar has been operating the former OurBus route through Livingston/West Orange on a 2 week trial basis. We have spent that time analyzing the stops and ridership, and think we have come up with a workable solution to keep the route going! While there will be some changes, we hope you'll agree that commuting is #BetterWithBoxcar. Our goal is to continue to expand our service in these towns, with more departure times in the future. In order to do that, we need to have a sustainable base on which to build.

Starting Monday, August 13, will will provide service Monday - Thursday with new, 39-passenger luxury minibuses. These buses include leather seats, WiFi and power outlets, but no bathroom. And they can use the bus lane, so the upcoming 495 construction shouldn’t affect your commute time.

Our revised schedule:

  • Livingston & Cedar - the bus will arrive at this stop for 20 minutes before departure, which will be at 7:05  
  • Cedar St. & Sycamore Ave - 7:08  
  • Northfield Ave & Old Short Hills Rd - 7:11 am  
  • West Orange Arena Park & Ride - 7:15 am  
  • Northfield Ave & Prospect - 7:18 am  
  • In NYC, we will stop at 42nd & 8th, 42nd & 6th, 43rd & Madison, 47th & Madison, 52nd & Madison, 57th & Madison

Pricing:

  • Single ride: $13.99  
  • 10 Ticket Multi Pack: $129.90 ($12.99/ticket)  
  • 20 Ticket Multi Pack: $229.80 ($11.49/ticket)

Single tickets can be purchased through the Boxcar app, which you can download from the from the Apple App Store or Google Play. If you'd like to purchase a discounted Ticket Multi Pack, please email support@boxcarapp.com and we will get it set up for you.

We hope you will give the new Boxcar route a try. If you have any questions or feedback, please email support@boxcarapp.com.

A New Route for Livingston/West Orange!

August 1, 2018

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Events

It’s hard to believe, but one year ago today the first Boxcar commuter bus took a load of happy, stress-free commuters directly to Midtown. Before that, we were strictly a parking company, helping commuters find convenient parking near their local train stations. Then came the “Summer of Hell,” thanks to New Jersey Transit’s construction plans. With a commuting nightmare imminent we sprang into action, providing up a comfortable, civilized commute for as many people as possible.

Our buses were originally meant to be temporary, a fleeting salve for stranded commuters.  In several towns, that’s what happened. Once the trains went back to normal schedules, we went back to focusing on parking. But in Madison and Chatham, our customers loved their new commute so much that we kept it going, and are even looking at ways to expand. We’ve also recently added service in Westfield and Cranford, helping a whole new group of commuters enjoy their mornings a bit more.

Over the past 12 months, more than 1,000 customers have enjoyed over 20,000 rides with Boxcar. And we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We’ve worked hard to provide our riders with a pleasant experience on their way to work, from finding drivers committed to excellence, to tweaking our route and schedule to make things even more convenient. Along the way, we’ve gotten amazing feedback, both positive and negative, from the folks who ride with us every day.

The first year of the Boxcar bus has been busy, but it’s also been fun. We’ve met some amazing people, and everyone on the Boxcar team loves the fact that we can help turn an onerous commute into something people look forward to each morning. So, Happy “busiversary” to all of our riders, and here’s to many more years made #BetterWithBoxcar!

Happy Boxcar Busiversary!

July 1, 2018

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A few weeks ago, our friends at OurBus contacted Boxcar with news of a difficult decision they had reached. Due to their focus on inter-city bus routes, the company would be unable to maintain their Livingston/West Orange commuter routes beginning July 30th.  Over the past two weeks we have had a chance to analyze the ridership on these lines and meet many of the frequent riders.  We observed that, similar to Boxcar's bus routes, OurBus has developed a community of dedicated riders who were very interested to keeping the route alive.

Boxcar has agreed to assume a portion of this route to maintain service continuity, and will initiate service on this beginning July 30.  We will maintain OurBus' previous provider, driver, and route unchanged for a two week trial period.

Route Details:

 

  • Days of the week: Monday-Thursday  
  • Number of morning routes: 1  
  • Number of evening routes: 0  
  • Pickup locations: Identical to OurBus' previous 6:53 am pickup locations and times (listed below)  
  • Price: $11.99 per ride  
  • Drop-off locations in New York City:  
  • 42nd & 8th  
  • 42nd & 6th  
  • 43rd & Madison  
  • 47th & Madison  
  • 52nd & Madison  
  • 57th & Madison  

A Boxcar representative will be onboard all three of tomorrow's (Thursday, July 26th) OurBus morning Livingston legs to distribute material and answer any additional questions you may have.

In order to make this a sustainable business proposition, Boxcar needs to raise ticket prices in line with costs. Starting Monday, tickets will cost $11.99, and can be purchased through the Boxcar app - download it from the Apple App Store or Google Play.  There will be no ticket multi-packs sold during this two week trial.

As with our routes in Madison, Chatham, Westfield and Cranford, the bus will include WiFi, power outlets, air conditioning and bathrooms.  If you have any questions about the new Livingston-West Orange route, please email support@boxcarapp.com.

Boxcar Bus Route and Schedule (beginning July 30)

Boxcar Heads to Livingston-West Orange!

July 1, 2018

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Bus Service

The gorgeous weather outside Boxcar’s office windows can mean only one thing: Summer is finally here! And with summer comes Boxcar’s new Summer Schedule. We know everyone is busy this time of year, between vacations, holidays, and the sudden need to do down the Shore. But on the days you do head to the office, Boxcar will be there to make your morning commute more civilized and less stressful.

Madison/Chatham Summer Schedule:

 

  • Fridays in July and August: - 6:45/6:50 bus only  
  • Wednesday, July 4th: no buses (Happy Independence Day!)  
  • Thursday, July 5: 6:45/6:50 bus only

Westfield/Cranford Summer Schedule:

 

  • Friday, June 29 - 7:10/7:20 am bus only  
  • Fridays in July and August: - 7:10/7:20 am bus only  
  • Wednesday, July 4th: no buses (Happy Independence Day!)  
  • Thursday, July 5: 7:10/7:20 bus only

Still haven't tried Boxcar?  Download our app today on iTunes or Google Play

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at support@boxcarapp.com.

Boxcar's Summer Schedule is Here!

June 1, 2018

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Last year it was train issues - this year it looks like construction surrounding the Lincoln Tunnel will cause headaches for folks who commute to NYC. Luckily, as of now, the express bus lanes will be unaffected by construction, and Boxcar would like to help cure those headaches for Madison and Chatham commuters!

We’ve been approached by a number of people recently who are interested in a 5:45 am/5:50 am bus from Madison/Chatham, to replace their usual drive or carpool during construction.  We’re thinking about holding an informational get-together in the next week to gauge interest in this early option.

If you know someone who currently drives in to the city early and would be interested in trading that headache for a stress-free Boxcar commute, please ask them to email support@boxcarapp.com as soon as possible. If we have enough interest, we’ll get a bus started to help get people through this new commuting horror.

A Second Summer of Hell?

June 1, 2018

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Bus Service

We've got great news for commuters in Cranford and Westfield - Boxcar is ready to take the stress out of your morning and give you the one-seat ride to midtown that you deserve.  Our private bus service, with a route that makes sense for your commute, is launching May 29th, the Tuesday after Memorial Day.

This expansion is especially meaningful to all of us at Boxcar, since our company was founded in, and inspired by, commuters in the town of Cranford.

So, what sets our buses apart, besides the comfortable seats and reliable air conditioning?

  • Reserved seating. Say goodbye to wondering if you’ll be able to squeeze on to the bus.  If you have a Boxcar ticket, you’re guaranteed a seat on that bus.  
  • Free WiFi. Each of our buses is equipped with WiFi. Whether you are getting a jump start on work, or just catching up on email, we’ll make it easier.  
  • Dedicated, professional drivers. You'll see the same driver each morning, and know you are in good hands with someone who cares about your comfort and safety.  
  • Responsive customer support. If you ever have a question, leave something behind on the bus, or have a suggestion for how we can improve our service, email us. We'll do our best to take care of it as quickly as possible.  
  • Convenient drop-off locations. Our buses drop off curbside at 42nd & 8th, 42nd & 6th, 43rd & Madison, 47th & Madison, 52nd & Madison and 57th & Madison. For a majority of the riders on our current buses this makes for a one-seat commute, with no subway necessary!  
  • Express Service. Buses use the Express Bus Lane for a faster commute.

At Boxcar, we are always looking for ways to take the stress out of commuting. We hope that by expanding our bus service to Cranford and Westfield we can do just that. If you have any questions, please shoot us an email at support@boxcarapp.com.

Morning Schedule:

 

  • Westfield (Train Station, North Side): 6:40, 7:10  
  • Cranford(Train Station, North Side): 6:50, 7:20

Cost:

 

  • 20-Pack*      -   $11.49/ride  
  • 10-Pack*      -   $12.99/ride  
  • Single Ride  -   $13.99

*(All multi-packs are valid for one year after date of purchase)

How to purchase

 

  • Download the Boxcar app in Google Play or the Apple App Store  
  • Select the days/times you'd like to reserve a seat and purchase with credit card (cancel with a refund up until the moment the bus leaves its first stop)  
  • All tickets are displayed in the mobile app the day of the ride  
  • YES!  Boxcar accepts most major commuter benefits programs, including Wageworks and TransitChek

More questions?  Check our Bus FAQ or email support@boxcarapp.com.  You can also call us at 908-485-7275.

Boxcar buses coming to Cranford & Westfield

May 1, 2018

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Memberships

At Boxcar, we realize there are a few things that can really affect how well your morning goes - how many times you hit snooze, the quality of your coffee, knowing you have a comfortable, stress-free commute coming up…

Well, we can’t help with the snoozing, and we’ve already got your morning commute handled, so we thought, why not add coffee?? That’s right, starting Tuesday, April 17, Boxcar is partnering with Drip for a trial-run coffee (and muffin) delivery service!

Here's how it will work: Book your bus ticket through the Boxcar app AND email coffee@boxcarapp.com with your order (and where you will board the bus) before midnight, and your caffeine fix will be waiting for you at the bus the next morning. (All of your orders will be billed in one charge at the end of the week.)

Right now, we are offering:

Medium coffee, hot or iced - $4

Medium latte - $6

Blueberry Muffin - $4

Coffees will be delivered black, but we’ll have cream and sugar for you to add yourself.

If you’re a creature of habit, just let us know it’s a recurring order and we’ll have it waiting for you every time you ride the bus!

One of our friendly Boxcar representatives will be meeting the buses on Monday, April 16 to answer questions. You can even place your Tuesday order then, if you’d like.

Now, all you have to worry about is getting to the bus on time!

Boxcar + Drip Coffee

April 1, 2018

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Over the last 8 months Boxcar has operated more than 500 commuter bus trips, delivering a quality product with a 100% on-time departure rate.

Ground Force One: 6 Luxurious Seats & 2 Large Flat Screen Televisions

We know that transportation isn’t only important during a commute, though. Many of our customers have approached us with requests to provide a-la-carte transportation services for non-commuter events, and we have been happy to oblige. Today we want to open that up to the broader customer base at Boxcar.

We are happy to assist our customers with any special trips or events that could benefit from transportation services, including:

  • Weddings  
  • Proms  
  • School Trips  
  • Inter-city travel (trips to Boston, DC, or the Jersey Shore for example)  
  • Athletic trips

We can offer a range of equipment for this travel, including:

  • 2-passenger Rolls Royce Phantom  
  • 7-passenger "Ground Force One" Luxury Sprinter (pictured above)  
  • 14-passenger Mercedes Benz Sprinter  
  • 39-passenger minibus  
  • 56 passenger motor coach

Boxcar will provide the same level of personalized customer service we are known for to all transportation charters that we fulfill, and we will guarantee on-time, professional service.

To request a quote or more information, email april@boxcarapp.com or call 908-485-7275

14-Passenger Mercedes Sprinter Interior

Go more places with Boxcar

March 1, 2018

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Around the Boxcar offices, when we talk about our team, we don’t just mean those of us who work for the company. We mean everyone with a vested interest in our success, from employees to property owners to the commuters who depend on us every day. Today, I’m proud to announce the release of our app, Boxcar 2.0.  This was an amazing collaboration between each of those groups. We’ve been listening to the feedback we have collected from parkers and bus riders over the past few months, and we think you’ll be happy with the changes we’ve made.

So, what’s different about this new version?

Well, once you open the app, you’ll see we’ve got a new look - the same Boxcar functionality you love, but in a sleeker, easier-to-use package. Any current reservations you have will be displayed on the home screen. You’ll also see your Favorites - the reservation options you use most, whether it’s a particular bus or your favorite parking spot - as soon as you open the app, to make rebooking easier than ever.

Boxcar 2.0 Screen Shot

Improved Map View

Our new map view for parking displays the cost of each spot right on the map. No more clicking back and forth, deciding between distance and cost - it’s all right there, on one screen!

You’ll also be able to filter parking by date. If you need a spot on a specific day, but don’t have a lot preference, we’ll show you everything that’s available so you can make the best choice. And, parking listings now include the distance from the train station, so you will know exactly how far you are going to walk.

There’s lots more that’s been updated, as well, from viewing past or current charges to listing a parking space, it’s all at your fingertips. Boxcar 2.0 will be rolling out to all of our customers over the next week - please give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Boxcar 2.0

March 1, 2018

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Bus Service

Looking back over 2017, it’s easy to see where we fell short of our goals. Perhaps we could have planned more for the future, saving for the proverbial rainy day. Perhaps we could have embraced new technologies, and invested in new ideas. And by “we,” of course, I’m talking not only about each of us as individuals, but also the 565 municipalities that make up our great Garden State.

Fortunately, 2018 gives us (and our towns) a chance to refocus our priorities and make important decisions that will set all of us up for success. With that in mind, here’s my suburban wishlist:

Prepare for A New Tax Regime

An overhaul of the tax system looks likely to become law very soon. It is clear that higher-tax states and municipalities will become less competitive nationally as state and local tax (SALT) deductions are capped.

Moody’s Analytics recently modeled the impact that the tax bill would have on home prices. Of the 30 worst-affected counties nationally, 15 were located in New Jersey[1]. The Borough of Madison is already taking steps to beef up their Tax Appeal Reserve in anticipation of increased tax appeals.  The faster towns can adjust their tax expectations and reduce their budgets, the more likely they will be to avoid a scenario in which they are caught between rising obligations and falling revenues. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Innovate to Solve Long-Term Problems

The City of Summit made headlines late last year when they sidestepped the need to build a new $10 million parking garage, instead subsidizing Uber (and now Lyft) rides for their residents. While this innovative program is expected to cost $5 million over 20 years, Summit has avoided sacrificing valuable downtown real estate to an inefficient and unsightly garage that may be obsolete in 20 years, when self-driving cars decrease parking requirements.

Boxcar helps New Jersey towns with downtown parking problems in a different way, by letting commuters and employees rent parking within walking distance of train stations. Nearby business owners, even residents with large driveways, are able to list available spots, while helping their community solve an ongoing parking problem.

Ridgewood recently outsourced their crossing guard management to a private company. In doing so, they decreased the number of slots filled by police officers from 666 in 2016 to just 13 in 2017.

Focus on Density Downtown

Affordable housing requirements, stemming from a 1975 court case, aren’t going away. While some towns are heading to court to avoid or alter this requirement, others have decided that the best plan is to get ahead of the problem by ensuring that they build the type of affordable housing that best suits their town.

Locating denser housing in downtown areas has three major benefits. First, it attracts people interested in a more walkable area, who often don’t need parking and don’t bring cars. Second, units are usually on the smaller side, which is more efficient in meeting a town’s obligation. Third, residents provide a built-in customer base for downtown retail establishments, helping downtowns thrive.

Reimagine offices

Offices that aren’t walking distance from transit centers have been most adversely affected by the changing desires of young workers, with many sitting vacant. These developments pose a systematic revenue risk for the towns that depend on their tax revenue.

Many are already preparing.  Warren Corporate Center is building a 19,000-square-foot amenity hub reminiscent of a Silicon Valley-style office. Berkeley Heights recently rezoned 12 acres of Connell Corporate Park to help create a mixed-use center, complete with high-end hotel, residential units, and 3 miles of jogging trails. Madison Borough aggressively revised zoning and parking regulations for Giralda Farms, attracting Allergan along with 1,400 new employees.  Similar investments are occurring at Bell Works in Holmdel and Kearny Point.

Some may bristle at the unconventional nature of these ideas.  Hopefully, 2018 will usher in a year of renewed hope and new beginnings, and municipalities can resolve to keep an open mind about new ideas for the benefit their residents.

[1] https://slate.com/business/2017/12/housing-markets-worst-hit-by-republican-tax-plan.html

2018 New Years Resolutions for the NJ Suburbs

January 1, 2018

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Events

Even before the railroad, Chatham and Madison had relatively convenient overland transportation. What is today Main Street finds its origins in the Minisink path, an overland trail of the Leni-Lenape.  In 1801 the "Morris and Essex Turnpike Company" was formed and the era of the stagecoach began.  Rides to Newark were uncomfortable and took as long as three hours (tolls were collected at what is today the club maintenance building at Canoe Brook Country Club).

On October 2nd, 2017 (180 years ago today) the engine “Orange,” pulled two 20-foot carriages through Chatham to the end of the line at Madison.  Seth Boyden, one of America’s most prolific inventors, served as the lead conductor on that maiden voyage.  The first engines employed teams of oxen to make the trip uphill to Summit (known then as Turkey Hill).​​

The first rails were made of wood and covered with strips of iron.  Sometimes the iron, under the weight of the train, would snap upward and impale passengers.  This was known as a "snakehead" and can be compared favorably with the hazards of modern commuting.

In 1914 the Delaware Lackawanna company, working with the towns of Chatham and Madison, elevated the rails.  In 1930 they were electrified.  The era of steam finally came to an end on this line in1953.

By 1957, Chatham and Madison stations had reached 73 daily train trips, including trains that went to Chicago and Buffalo. The era of steam in Chatham and Madison finally ended in 1953, with the final passage of the Since the train’s arrival in 1837, Chatham and Madison’s daily trains have reached 79 daily trains.

Boxcar is proud to join the rich history of private transportation companies that have come before us in providing superior service to the commuter towns of Chatham and Madison.

Some pictures of the railroad through the years:

There were two proposed routes for the railroad, one (the Northern) through Summit, Chatham, and Madison, another (The Southern) through Irvington and Springfield.  The reason the railroad followed the northern route?  Residents of Chatham and Madison were among the largest purchasers of the company stock.

As they elevated the tracks, they had to elevate the stations as well.  

Pictured below, Chatham Station being raised.

Plenty of parking...Madison Station in 1916

Commuters waiting for an Erie Lackawanna Train in Chatham Station, 1977

(2 years before the formation of NJ Transit)

Erie Lackawanna commuter train, Madison, NJ (1977)

The "Fishawack Papers" were used as a source for a great deal of the above information.  If you are interested in the local history of Chatham and the surrounding area, they are a terrific and publicly available resource.

Morris-Essex Celebrates 180 Years

October 1, 2017

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Bus Service

When Brian Chesky founded Airbnb, he imagined what a "10-star experience" would be like and said that "A ten star check in would be The Beatles check in. In 1964. I'd get off the plane and there'd be 5,000 high school kids cheering my name welcoming me to the country. I'd get to the front yard of your house and there'd be a press conference for me."

At Boxcar, we think a "10-star commute" is one where you open a door in your house and inside there's a portal.  You walk through it and are in your office.

That's it.  No bells or whistles; no pampering or celebrations.  The best commute is no commute at all.  If you live in the suburbs and commute to the city you probably have a lot going on in your life.  For you, the best experience is one that lets you focus on your personal life when you're home and your professional life when you're at work.

Boxcar hasn't perfected our teleportation technology yet (we keep misplacing all our dark matter).  While we're working on that we're unveiling the next best alternative: curbside drop-off within 2 blocks of your office.

By now over 450 commuters in Madison and Chatham have ridden Boxcar.  On average they rate our service 4.9 out of 5.0 stars.

In an effort to improve even more, we have conducted a thorough analysis of where our riders, as well as Morris County commuters, work.

Starting October 27th, Boxcar will roll out a new route to provide 90% of our frequent riders a curbside drop-off within 2-and-a-half-blocks of their midtown office.

Boxcar commuters choose whether to spend their time working or relaxing while aboard our motor coaches. Whether they watch shows on Wi-Fi or catch up on emails, riders arrive to work refreshed and ready to face the day ahead.

Book your ride today with our mobile app, available on:

Teleportation 1.0 - Curbside drop-off at your office

October 1, 2017

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Bus Service

Starting today, September 13th, Boxcar is offering a new bus that leaves NYC at 5:20PM.

Starting Friday, Boxcar is adding an earlier bus option from Madison & Chatham to NYC that leaves at 6:30 am.

Commuters can try these new buses for the next week for $0.99!

In order to book either of these trips, please download the Boxcar App from the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.

If you haven't tried out a Boxcar Return Bus, now is the perfect opportunity! What can you expect?

  • A Comfortable Ride - in a luxury bus with fast WiFi  
  • A Reserved Seat - never overcrowded  
  • Curbside Pickup & Drop-off - skip the escalators  
  • A Quick Trip - 45 - 60 minutes  
  • A Dedicated Customer Service Team

New Morning Bus

New Evening Bus

In order to book either of these trips, please download the Boxcar App from the iTunes Store or Google Play Store.

If you have any questions, or would like more information about the buses, schedules, or our new discount packages, please reach out to support@boxcarapp.com.

New Madison & Chatham Routes!

September 1, 2017

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Memberships

We are announcing an updated pricing package for our loyal users to take advantage of during the month of October and moving forward.  To lock in these low prices, email support@boxcarapp.com today.

Email support@boxcarapp.com or call 908-485-7275 to take advantage of this offer.

Updates:

We also have new pickup times and drop-off locations for all Chatham and Madison customers.

New Drop-Off Locations

Morning Pickup times:

 

  • Madison - 6:30, 7:00  
  • Chatham - 6:35, 7:05

Evening Departures:

  • 41st St, Between 7th & 8th Ave: 5:20, 6:00pm

Monthly Pricing

September 1, 2017

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Bus Service

We're pleased to announce that starting next Monday, July 10th, Murray Hill and New Providence train stations will be added to our morning bus service.  The bus will depart Murray Hill Train Station promptly at 7:00, stop at New Providence at 7:15, and head directly into NYC Penn Station from there, continuing on to 34th St and Park Ave.

***We need this bus to be 50% full by the end of day Friday, July 7th for it to run on Monday, July 10th.  Please reserve your seats in our iPhone or Android app today. Email support@boxcarapp.com with any questions***

Read about our first day's bus service.

Go to work in style.

Murray Hill-New Providence Midtown Bus

July 1, 2017

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Bus Service

Tomorrow, July 7th, we're running a direct bus from Summit Train Station to Penn Station.  It's a $3.99 ticket for a luxury bus with Wi-Fi, Power outlets, air conditioning, and restrooms.  Reserve on our app, available on iPhone and Android.

With tonight's Penn Station derailment, we thought we would highlight this to commuters tonight.

This is the bus, seriously.

Summit Bus - July 7th

July 1, 2017

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Boxcar’s bus service into New York City had a great first day.

Most importantly: Buses left the following stations on time and arrived to Penn Station under an hour.

All six buses showed up at least 45 minutes early to allow passengers to board early and enjoy the air conditioning.

The Murray Hill/New Providence Bus

We enjoyed a visit from the mayor of Madison, Bob Conley.

Boxcar buses cruised through the tunnel traffic.

Passengers had a great time.  Some feedback:

  • I took the bus this morning to Park and 34th. Thought the service was great. SOOOO easy. Thanks for making this summer commute easier.  
  • Service was excellent. Hoping the service continues post completion of Penn Station repairs.  
  • I was on the bus from Chatham and it got me to my midtown office by 8:30am. I have now signed up for all the July days that I am planning to be in the city.  Thanks for making it happen and turning a potential business crisis into (hopefully) a business solution. I know how hard it is to make that kind of move in a short timeline, and I was particularly impressed at how you continually worked with your customers to get it right (so many companies skip that step...)  
  • In my twelve years commuting into New York City, I've never enjoyed my morning commute so much.  Thanks!

The complete schedule went really well, and we're looking forward to another 39 days of this!

Have questions about our service?  e-mail support@boxcarapp.com or visit our Bus FAQ.

The First Day of "Summer of Heaven" for Boxcar Customers

July 1, 2017

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Bus Service

It has been a rough few months for New Jersey commuters.  Derailments and delays have pushed New York tunnel infrastructure, and its commuters, to the breaking point.

In an attempt to ease the pain, Amtrak will be completing maintenance on the tracks that carry trains under the Hudson Tunnel and into Penn Station.  This maintenance is expected to last from July 10th to September 1st and will reduce the usable track bandwidth by one third.  

To cope with the resulting limited capacity, NJ Transit will redirect all Morris and Essex Midtown direct trains to Hoboken, where midtown commuters will transfer to the PATH and, after an additional 14 minute ride, arrive at 33rd St.

Boxcar is aware that this shutdown, which is expected to increase commute times 1-2 hours daily, will drastically degrade the quality of life for affected commuters.

To ease the additional burden placed on commuters by this modified schedule, Boxcar began researching the operation of midtown-direct charter buses in early June.  After spending two weeks interviewing over 250 commuters we assessed that there was high demand for direct-to-midtown alternatives during this shutdown.  

We shared this information with townships whose commuters will be most affected by this shutdown.  Across the board, we found that representatives of every municipal government shared the same desire: to assist their resident commuters as much as possible.

Buses

All buses are 2014 or later luxury models and equipped with wi-fi, power outlets, air-conditioning, and bathrooms.  

Timetable

We expect additional origin locations to be added in the next couple of days and are currently finalizing details with township and borough officials.  These officials are working to balance their advocacy for their commuting residents with their responsibility to protect public safety and ensure that bus pickup and drop offs are in compliance with their town code.

The below schedule will be updated to include service additions as they are made.

Our customers place a lot of value on their time, and rightfully so.  They have shared with us how having reserved parking in the mornings alone has changed their lives for the better, letting them spend more time at home in the mornings.  During the hot summer, we hope this air-conditioned midtown-direct alternative will serve them well.

To reserve bus tickets, download the latest version of our mobile app, available for iPhone and Android.

Note on Service

We are currently offering morning-only service.  Arranging return logistics with street pickup is a very costly and challenging endeavor that we are still working to solve.

74% of our 251 survey respondents said that they would prefer morning service over no service.

If there is sufficient interest in our initial bus service and follow-on interest in return trips, we will do our best to add evening service as July 10th approaches.  Check out our Bus FAQs for any questions you may have. Email support@boxcarapp.com to express interest in these return trips or ask additional questions.

Express Bus Service

June 1, 2017

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Parking

There are few things more frustrating than looking for a parking spot in a crowded lot or on busy downtown streets.  But that frustration is just the tip of the inefficient iceberg.  Consider the following statistics:

  • A parking garage costs, on average, $18,599 per parking spot to build. (1)  
  • Cars are parked roughly 95% of their working lives  
  • Drivers searching for parking are estimated to account for 30%-40% of traffic congestion in downtown areas.  
  • Driving around searching for parking accounts for 366,000 excess vehicle miles traveled and produces 325 tons of CO2 annually.  
  • Commuter permit waitlists in many suburban NJ and NY towns exceed 3 years in length, despite ease of commute consistently being ranked as one of the top considerations for people moving from urban to suburban areas.

The above facts combine to tell a powerful story about just how expensive and inefficient parking, especially in suburban areas.  They become even more relevant when one considers the impact, in the not-too-distant-future, of ride sharing and self-driving cars.

As these technologies become more prevalent, experts predict that they will make many of today’s heavily utilized parking garages obsolete.  Our company, by unlocking excess parking supply on private property, can help towns bridge the gap to a driverless future without building a parking garage that takes up valuable downtown real estate and has the potential to prove unnecessary in the near future.

We do this by working with local businesses, residents, and organizations whose property has excess parking.  We take that excess parking, list it in our database, and compile all that information into an easy-to-use app that allows consumers to book daily parking near town centers.

Our app is available on iPhone or Android.  Any questions?  Please don’t hesitate to send us an email at support@boxcarapp.com or call 908-485-PARK (7275).

Some statistics on Suburban Parking

May 1, 2017

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