Do You Know How The Atlantic City ‘Jitney’ Bus Got Its Name?
The Atlantic City “Jitney” bus has provided convenient and reliable transportation throughout Atlantic City and beyond for more than 100 years.
Do you know how the “Jitney” bus got its name?
It all began in 1915, with the creation of a bus service that cost a nickel to ride. That’s all there is to it. The word “Jitney” is a slang word for 5 cents.
The name “Jitney” has stuck ever since.
Add 107 years of inflation to the equation and you can ride a Jitney in Atlantic City today for $2.25. It’s still a bargain for what you get.
Senior citizens with passes can ride for .75 cents, a great deal.
The Jitney bus also looks a lot different now and it's powered by natural gas vs. regular gasoline.
Here is a look at today’s modern, signature 13 seat “Jitney” bus:
The very first Jitneys were introduced in The World’s Playground on March 15, 1915. They were not a bus in those days, rather a large Ford Model-T touring car.
Everything was manual. The driver used a rope system to open the doors to let passengers on and off from the back of the vehicle.
There have been many different designs and color schemes over the past 107 years.
If you’ve ever been to Washington, D.C. to The Smithsonian Institution, there is a 1963 Atlantic City Jitney bus suspended in the air. We’ve seen it. It’s awesome.
Yes, the Atlantic City Jitney bus is so iconic that it’s earned a place of respect and public honor in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
According to Atlantic City Jitney Association President Manny Mathioudakis, The Atlantic City Jitney Association is “the longest-running unsubsidized transit company in the United States.”
By City Ordinance, Atlantic City limits the number of Jitney franchises to 190.
Each Jitney is individually owned and operated. It has provided a great living for thousands of locals over the years.
It’s also much more than just a Maine Avenue to Jackson Avenue route. It’s been expanded over the years to include the marina district of Atlantic City, along with experimentation of Downbeach service.
Additionally, Jitney franchise owners have shined with private transportation services, parties, designated driver duties, train station, airport runs to Atlantic City, Philadelphia and so much more.
The Atlantic City Jitney Service to the Atlantic City international airport is suspended at this time.
NOTE: Federal regulations still require the wearing of face masks aboard all public transportation in the state of New Jersey. Facemasks are required during transportation on all jitneys and shuttles. The Atlantic City Jitney Association respectfully requests that you observe all safety measures aboard the vehicles.
Happy Birthday to The Atlantic City Jitney - March 15, 1915, to the present
For more Atlantic City Jitney information, visit www.JitneyAC.com
SOURCE: Atlantic City Jitney Association - Manny Mathioudakis, President.
Atlantic City's Firsts Throughout History