When A Bus to the City Ran on Bogert Road
A Journey into River Edge
There is a telephone pole on the east side of Bogert Road between Madison and Jefferson that upon a cursory glance appears no different than any other telephone pole. But on the south side of the pole is a faded reminder of a bit of River Edge from some 70 years ago.
Barely discernible is that a portion of the pole was painted in a different shade - a faded what was many years ago white.
The pole (see image below) was once a bus stop sign for a regular commuter run that ran on Bogert Road.
Then, as now, buses ran on Kinderkamack Road - Public Service's 165 to midtown and the Red and Tan Lines 11 to upper Manhattan (168th Street at the Intersection of Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue before that bus terminal moved to the GW Bridge Bus Station in 1962.
On Bogert Road ran the "Blue Coach Line" (Westwood Transportation Lines) route from New York to Westwood, via Ridgefield Park, Teaneck, and Hackensack. The bus line ran on Bogert Road until a traffic light at the intersection with Route 4 was removed and replaced by a divider barrier (Today there is a pedestrian bridge across the road). The bus route became known as the # 55 and continued until the late 1970's-early 1980's when it was merged into NJ Transit. Today it runs roughly along the same route as the old 55 but is designated as the 168 with terminus in Paramus.
A picture of a bus top sign of that era may be found below:
Posters to that site from around the state can also recall those signs on the telephone poles. One from South Jersey relates, “I remember along the main highways in Cherry Hill and Evesham they just painted Bus Stop in a white band on utility poles. I guess since Public Service owned the poles they could do this”.
Another can recall several in their hometown. “These signs stayed up until they just rotted away”.
Rotting or fading, they could have been easily referring to our hidden bus stop sign on Bogert Road.
It should be noted that this particular sign was for a non-Public Service stop. So, conceivably, there probably was not the famous Public Service triangle on the sign as would have been found a block to the east along Kinderkamack.
A casual look at the remnants of the sign does not shed any light.
In its time the Blue Coach was one of many private bus lines in the area. Today only a couple still exist - DeCamp in Essex County is one; Academy in Central Jersey is another. Long gone are the likes of Red & Tan, Inter City Lines, Range & Black, Warwick, Manhattan Lines, Lincoln Lines, New York-Asbury Park and, of course, the Westwood Lines.
Westwood Lines had the reputation of a small but quality line - known for being reliably on-time, clean and with cordial drivers. When they left the scene, they were missed. Today they are missed by those few who still remember them. Even fewer miss (or even recall) the old bus stop sign on that Bogert Road telephone pole - a faint and faded reminder of a time long from another era.