POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Thanks to a push by Point Beach officials, New Jersey Transit [NJT] is seeking proposals to bring coffee and bagels back to the Point Pleasant Beach train station.
According to Mayor Paul Kanitra, the small 60-square-foot concession space at the train station hasn’t been in operation for decades.
“I remember being a kid and there always being somebody in the train station selling hard rolls with butter, bagels, newspapers and coffee in the morning,” said the mayor. “It was a very nice thing to have.”
Since then, he said, the space has been forgotten about and underutilized.
“We’ve reached out and had a bunch of talks about this, and pitched them the idea,” said Mr. Kanitra.
Many local boroughs have worked with NJT to bring interesting amenities to customers at their train stations, so the borough sought to do the same.
“It just kind of fits with the whole angle we’re going for post-COVID, where people are not going to have a ton of money to start big businesses …,” said the mayor, “but maybe that teeny-tiny little space gives somebody the opportunity to make a couple of bucks in the morning.”
NJT sent out a request for proposal [RFP] for the operation of the space, which currently offers a water supply, drain and security gate.
Mr. Kanitra said he could see two options likely coming to the space: an existing business opening a post at the station or a new small business adding to the borough’s amenities. The mayor expects rent would be relatively low in the station, taking its small size into consideration.
According to the RFP, only about 225 passengers use the station per weekday, with traffic exponentially increasing during the summer.
“There’s definitely limits to the space and the station, but people are creative, especially around Point Pleasant Beach, and I’m interested to see what kind of proposals they get back,” said the mayor. “Obviously, we want something that’s going to complement the town and help our business community.”
Point Beach and NJT have been working through multiple ideas set around the station. “We are in the process of hopefully approving no-pay parking in the NJT main lot outside the summer season, so that we can continue to push parking there for downtown,” said Mr. Kanitra.
The borough is also working with NJT to possibly alter the current bus route to free up some parking spots in the west lot, as well as pushing for needed repairs in general.
Proposals should be submitted to NJT officials via email to email@example.com no later than March 31. More information regarding the submission of expressions of interest can be found on the borough’s website at pointpleasantbeach.org.
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