By Jay CookLINCROFT – For Brookdale Community College students utilizing public transportation, kiss goodbye the days of painfully long bus trips and struggling to be punctual for that 8 a.m. English 121 class.On Aug. 16, the college’s Board of Trustees, in conjunction with representatives from NJ Transit, the Monmouth County Planning Board and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, rolled out plans for improved bus services to and from the college’s main campus in Lincroft, set to launch on Sept. 3, the first day of the Fall 2016 semester.“This happened because of the commitment of Brookdale people, Brookdale employees, Brookdale faculty, committed to look beyond the classroom,” said Oly Malpica Proctor, an associate math professor at Brookdale since 2003.Presented by NJ Transit representative Beth Waltrip was the creation of the 838 line, a combination of two existing routes; the 833 and 835.The 833 line currently connects the Freehold Raceway Mall to Red Bank, and the 835 line services Red Bank to Sea Bright. Now, the 838 will provide increased service from Freehold Raceway Mall to Sea Bright, running hourly from 7 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. on weekdays. Riders from eastern Monmouth County will no longer have to change buses in Red Bank.A Saturday service of the 838 line also will be implemented, servicing Sea Bright to the Lincroft campus at 85-minute intervals. Additionally, NJ Transit will add Brookdale as a stop to its current 832 route, which will run hourly on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.For students who either work during the day, or simply prefer taking night classes, the 832 line, servicing Asbury Park to Red Bank “will be extended from Red Bank Rail station to Brookdale on weekdays,” Waltrip said. “It’s basically going to run hourly from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., so this is going to be your evening service to Brookdale on weekdays.”Additional improvements to bus services for Brookdale students will also cover the Northern Monmouth Higher Education Center, located in Hazlet. This has been a topic of much concern in the Brookdale community, according to Malpica Proctor, who has been the chair of the College Life governance committee on campus since 2012.On August 16, Freeholder John P. Curley speaks to the Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees and the public about the value of public transportation.She noted that students taking the 817 line to the Hazlet campus had to walk nearly a mile and a half without sidewalks to reach classes from the bus station. With the new 817 line, students will be dropped off on campus at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., with the line servicing Perth Amboy, South Amboy, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg and Middletown.Also, three other NJ Transit lines will see service improvements in certain areas: the 831 line (Red Bank and Long Branch), 834 line (Red Bank and Campbell’s Junction in Middletown) and 837 line (Long Branch and Asbury Park).Each of these NJ Transit bus service improvements were all done without asking for new money from residents.“What we managed to do, without any cost to any taxpayers, we’ll be able to revamp our services in Monmouth County, and not only benefit Brookdale, but benefit most of Monmouth County with some of the changes that we made,” Waltrip said.While common transportation complaints at the main campus stem from the parking allotted for students, Malpica Proctor had a different vision when bringing light to the struggles for stu- dents without their own cars.“It’s (for) the students; just the fact that you hear, that you know that they’re having problems,” she said.Along with Anita Voogt, the Dean of University Partnerships and Higher Education Centers, the two women chaired a voluntary Transportation Committee in 2015, aimed at solving transportation woes for students who cannot reach campus on their own.“Tonight is really a victory for our Governance system,” Voogt said.Also in attendance at the meeting was Freeholder John P. Curley, along with Joe Burris, Steven DeCosta and James Bonanno of the Monmouth County Planning Board, who all aided the Transportation Committee in working to perfect the new services.After the presentation, Malpica Proctor read the improved transit services resolution to the crowd, alongside those involved with the project.“This has been a labor of love for so many, and Professor Malpica Proctor probably has labored more than anybody in the college to make this happen,” said Brookdale President Maureen Murphy.Photos courtesy Brookdale Community College
Ellla Matteucci has put Fruitvale on the NCAA women’s hockey map. The former Kootenay Wildcat rearguard helped Clarkson end Minnesota’s two-year run as NCAA women’s hockey champions as the Golden Knights posted the 5-4 upset in the final of the Frozen Four Sunday in Connecticut.Shannon MacAulay, from Mount Herbert, P.E.I., scored on a breakaway with 4:16 left in the third to help give Clarkson a surprise win.Clarkson (31-5-5) earned its first national title in any sport and became the first non-Western Collegiate Hockey Association team to win a women’s hockey national championship. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota Duluth combined to win the first 13 national titles.Minnesota (38-2-1) fell behind 3-1, rallied to tie the game at 3-3, but again fell behind by two goals at 5-3 late in the third period before narrowing the gap to one.The Golden Knights defeated Mercyhurst 5-1 in Friday’s semifinal game.Matteucci, the daughter of Melissa and Paul Matteucci of Fruitvale, completed her junior year with the Golden Knights working on a history degree.The 5’7″ rearguard is a versatile skater who has played forward and defence for the Golden Knights and has four assists in three seasons with Clarkson. Before landing a scholarship with Clarkson Matteucci, an outstanding baseball player, played for Notre Dame Hounds.