By Anastasia Millicker
As temperatures rise and the start of the season arrives with the Memorial Day Weekend, the Jersey Shore is gearing up for visitors.
NJ Transit is helping bring people to the shore with discounted deals and travel packages. Discounts are now available for those traveling by train, car or bus and heading to the beach, Monmouth Park or Six
Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor.
A new service is being offered to rail passengers heading to Monmouth Park racetrack. They can receive grandstand admission and a track program for $1 plus round-trip train fare when purchasing their tickets, according to Nancy Snyder, a NJ Transit spokeswoman. Those tickets will be available on NJ Transit’s rail system.
This summer, NJ Transit will continue to offer beachgoers taking trains and buses to the shore a discounted beach admission package with the purchase of a round-trip train fare, Snyder said.
Passengers riding NJ Transit can save up to $6.50 on admission to one of five beaches – Long Branch, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach and Belmar – by purchasing round-trip train fare and a beach pass for one price at NJ Transit ticket vending machines. The package can be purchased for $31.50 from New York Penn Station or any station on the Northeast Corridor, Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines and for $23.50 from Hoboken Terminal or Newark Penn Station.
NJ Transit will also be offering discounts for families riding the trains on weekends.
“Children 11 years and younger can ride the train for free,” Synder said. “The discount allows for two children accompanied by a fare-paying adult to ride the train for free.”
A newer program available to shore shoppers and beachgoers is the Shore EZride Jitney, Synder said. The jitney will take its first passengers at 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 25, from the boardwalk at Pier Village to the train station in Long Branch. The Shore EZride Jitney also will help beachgoers get to and from the beaches and shopping in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach this summer.
Thrill-rides seekers can save up to $51 by purchasing round-trip bus transportation and park admission together to Six Flags Great Adventure or Hurricane Harbor. Tickets can be purchased anywhere in the NJ Transit bus system, Synder said.
Towns along the shore also will be hosting new and familiar events including Skimbash 2012 in Sea Bright, and the 2012 Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival in Middletown, Long Branch and Point Pleasant.
In Belmar, the borough is renovating its marina and adding a new mini-golf course as well as adding new ramps for beach accessibility, said Kelsey Windas, a Belmar spokesperson.
Looking to promote local parking and increase local business, Asbury Park will offer free parking every Wednesday and mark the opening of the beach season Sunday, May 27, with fireworks.
While many towns are keeping beach badges and admissions rates the same as last season, Sandy Hook beachgoers will have to pay more to park their cars. This year the parking fee is increasing $5; daily parking will cost beachgoers $15 and a season pass will cost $75 per car.