Hartmann Urges Dime Round Trip to Phila. on Span Line


Camden Courier-Post – February 5, 1938

Commissioner Favors Modern Bus Terminal Along With Cut In Fare

A 10 cent round trip high-speed line fare between Camden and Eighth and Market streets, Philadelphia, and the establishment of a modern bus terminal in Roosevelt Plaza is favored by Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann.

Hartmann said the low fare terminal would produce these results:

The reduced train fare would increase high-speed line riding and save thousands of regular Camden and suburban riders between $20 and $30 yearly in transportation costs.

Receipts from operation of the high-speed line would be increased and losses reduced.

Bus operating companies using the proposed terminal would save additional thousands of dollars now paid in high bridge tolls and profits would be increased.

Camden merchants would enjoy more prosperity through increased sales and greater numbers of buyers.

Commissioner Hartmann made his statement to a committee representing the Broadway Businessmen’s Association at a conference in his office when the proposed bus terminal was discussed.

The committee, headed by James V. Moran, vice president of the Hurley Stores, conferred with Hartmann to get his views on a proposed bus terminal. A movement to arouse interest in the terminal was recently inaugurated by businessmen.

“I do not propose to be a part of any plan that will make the city of Camden a financial Santa Claus to resuscitate a $10,000,000 half-dead goldfish called the high-speed line,” Hartmann told the committee.

“While I favor erection of a bus terminal, if one is to be built in Roosevelt Plaza then I will insist that it be a structure comparable to the architecture of the $10,000,000 noble experiment we call the new City Hall.

“Neither will I approve a terminal with pup tent shelters, hot dog stands and waiting sheds that will make the present beautiful plaza look like a shacktown neighborhood.”

Hartmann said a modern terminal would cost at least $400,000. He pointed out that the present new bridge loll booths at the bridge entrance were built at a cost of about $90,000.

“If a modern bus terminal is decided upon,” Hartmann continued, “then Public Service, the Bridge Commission and all other bus operating companies should pay the costs of building the terminal and the city should receive some revenue for the land acquired for a terminal.

“The fare, from Camden to Eighth and Market streets should be five cents in each direction instead of the present 10 cent fare with free transfers. With such a fare rate regular riders will save from $20 to $30 annually.

”If P.R.T. and the Bridge Commissioners want to save the high-speed line they should agree to reduce the fare and, encourage more riding. A reduced fare and a modern bus terminal would cause people to flock into the terminal and the high-speed line service would be increased instead of curtailed.

The commissioner said a passenger survey of the high-speed line will show that the majority of Camden and suburban riders travel as far as the Eighth street station in Philadelphia and usually walk the rest of the distance.

Previous efforts to settle the question of establishing a bus terminal proved futile. Last May the Broadway Businessmen’s Association went on record as favoring a terminal in the plaza at the City Hall.

The question as to whether bus companies operating through Camden could be compelled to use the terminal in interstate operation has never been decided.

At yesterday’s conference Charles H. Heritage, president of the association, asked Hartmann if the city legal department had ever given an opinion. Hartmann said he will ask for an opinion from City Solicitor Firmin Michel.

Others who attended the conference as members of the association’s committee were Morris Futernick, Samuel Auerbach, Irving Levinsky and Simon Abramson.


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