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In Elberon Park, NJ

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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Elberon Park, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Elberon Park, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Elberon Park, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Elberon Park, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Elberon Park, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Elberon Park, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Elberon Park, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Elberon Park, NJ

Beach project spares some jetties

@APPCarolLONG BRANCH – Fishermen still don't like it, saying that it will limit beach access, but the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to notch three jetties instead of the planned six along the northern Monmouth County coast.Notching is the removal of the jetty rocks closest to the sand so water can pass through. Fishermen and others say that when jetties are notched, they cannot access them for fishing, and have been fighting the Army Corps of Engineers over the plan for years."(We) do not b...

@APPCarol

LONG BRANCH – Fishermen still don't like it, saying that it will limit beach access, but the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to notch three jetties instead of the planned six along the northern Monmouth County coast.

Notching is the removal of the jetty rocks closest to the sand so water can pass through. Fishermen and others say that when jetties are notched, they cannot access them for fishing, and have been fighting the Army Corps of Engineers over the plan for years.

"(We) do not believe jetty notching is good," said Greg J. Hueth, president of the Shark River Surf Anglers, based in Belmar. "It is a huge issue for us. We need relief. All the towns that are notching are the ones having the most problems."

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., hosted a meeting in his office to find a compromise between the Army Corps, representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection and anglers, surfers and others who use the beach for recreation.

As a result of the meeting, the corps will not notch the groins at the end of Whitehall and Roseld avenues, both in Deal, and Cedar Avenue in Allenhurst, it was announced at this week's meeting.

Three other groins in Deal, including those at Phillips Avenue, at the Deal Casino and south of Deal Esplanade near Marine Place, will be notched, they said. However, officials will consider constructing more shallow notches to provide for access to the jetties during low tide, Pallone said.

That would be good news if the anglers who participated in the discussions did not consider the notching of any groins unnecessary and counter-productive.

"Why is it OK for them to bury reefs here but if it happened in Florida, everybody would be up in arms," Hueth said. "Is it because our fish are not as colorful? This is total insanity."

According to the corps, the notching is necessary as part of the 3.5-mile Elberon to Loch Arbour beach replenishment project, which will dump some 4.5 million cubic yards of sand over the groins and rock piles that constitute a unique marine environment and some of the best fishing in New Jersey. The proposal also would create a 100-foot-wide beach berm 12 feet above mean low water.

The initial cost for beach replenishment for this section is $139,409,000 but it would have to be refreshed every six years or so, at additional costs, according to a February 2014 report by the state DEP and the Army Corps.

"I agree with the concerns that many have voiced with respect to notching the groins in this area and the impacts that it may have on recreational fishing," Pallone said in a release and repeated later in an interview. "This new plan is a compromise with the Army Corps."

The notches prevent access to the groins during high tides and can create rip tides, causing hazardous swimming conditions, said Joseph E. Pallotto, president of the Asbury Park Fishing Club who for 30 years was supervisor of beaches for Asbury Park.

"They are wrecking jetty country" Pallotto said of the 15 or so jetties, also known as groins that exist between the Elberon to Loch Arbour reach of the Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet beach erosion control project. "There is nothing positive" to the original plan or its refinements, he said. "They are not protecting anything. They have their minds made up and that is it."

But Chris Gardner, a public affairs specialist at the Army Corps New York district. said the federal agency and state DEP are listening to local concerns. "We've engineered refinements to the project, including to the groin notching" discussed at the meeting. "The refined project plan calls for notching fewer groins than originally planned while still ensuring this coastal storm risk management project performs successfully once it is implemented."

Gardner said notching the jetties will help the corp maintain a uniform shoreline width, which is required for uniform risk management as it allows for sediment transport throughout the entire beach replenishment project area (including Loch Arbour to Elberon, but also the larger project area extending from Sea Bright to Manasquan).

Pallotto does not think local residents are getting a fair hearing regarding the long-term effects of the project.

"Who are they not to listen to us?" he asked. "We would meet with the pope if we could because once they do it, it is done forever."

John Weber of the Surfrider Foundation was confounded by the so-called "compromise" because the Army Corps has always insisted the plan called for notching six groins and could not be changed.

"None of this has anything to do with science or engineering," said Weber who did not attend this week's meeting but attended an earlier one. "It is about politics and that is the way it works."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also agreed to more protection for the Deal Lake flume. The Army Corps agreed to install an electronic gate to allow outfall to be cleared efficiently if it were to become blocked by all the sand being pumped on nearby beaches. The corps will avoid placing too much sand near the flume, Pallone said.

Pallone said the Army Corps "will insist" towns maintain existing beach access points and parking areas and will explore the possibility of new access points from Lake Takanassee to Deal Lake, a federal promise neither Weber or Pallotto viewed as credible.

Pallotto, who has been fishing this shoreline for 50 years, said Deal and Elberon, a section of Long Branch, are particularly aggressive in issuing parking tickets while at the same time providing very few parking spaces for anglers, surfers, bird watchers and others.

"I don't think leaving it up to the towns is a recipe for increased access," Weber said. "It is a recipe for the status quo."

Carol Gorga Williams: 732-643-4212; CGorgaWilliams@app.com.

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Kushner Approved To Build 299 Apartments In Long Branch

LONG BRANCH, NJ — On Wednesday night, the Long Branch City Council passed a resolution that allows Kushner Companies to develop several long-vacant properties on Lower Broadway.The city approved Kushner to build mixed-use retail/residential there, said Long Branch Mayor John Pallone. The city of Long Branch approved a much smaller project than what Kushner originally wanted."The redevelopment agreement provides for significantly less density than Kushner Companies' previous proposal for the site," said Pallone i...

LONG BRANCH, NJ — On Wednesday night, the Long Branch City Council passed a resolution that allows Kushner Companies to develop several long-vacant properties on Lower Broadway.

The city approved Kushner to build mixed-use retail/residential there, said Long Branch Mayor John Pallone. The city of Long Branch approved a much smaller project than what Kushner originally wanted.

"The redevelopment agreement provides for significantly less density than Kushner Companies' previous proposal for the site," said Pallone in a statement Thursday. "Only 299 residential units are allowed, making this project about half the size of the previous 599 units. Thirty of the units would have to be affordable housing. Kushner Companies are required to have a minimum of 22,000 square feet of retail, which they anticipate will include a food market and cafe."

Kushner was not given a tax abatement for this project.

“There are also strict deadlines Kushner Companies would have to meet, including an agreement to begin construction within six months of their approvals by the city," Mayor Pallone continued.

Kushner also agreed to pay a $100,000 redevelopers' fee to the city.

The Kushners are the developers of Pier Village in Long Branch. Kushner Cos. was started by Charles Kushner, the father of former President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Charles Kushner and his wife still live in Long Branch to this day, and they are also the owners of Monmouth Mall, a big chunk of which is about to be turned into apartment housing. J.C. Penney at the mall is closing in October at the latest, and will be torn down.

Last week, Sept. 7, Kushner Companies officially acquired the Lower Broadway property from Long Branch Partners, ending several years of litigation over the property sale and the termination of Long Branch Partners redevelopers' designation.

Long Branch City Council vice president Dr. Mary Jane Celli hailed this as a win for the Lower Broadway area.

"We are happy to be moving in the right direction in getting Lower Broadway developed," she said. "Our administration has been adamant about no tax abatement for this property. We are also pleased to be gaining another 30 affordable housing units in the city."

Related: First Look At Kushner's Plan For 1,000 Apts. At Monmouth Mall (Aug. 23)

Paul McCartney in NJ; Beatle ate dinner at Jimmy's in Asbury Park

He liked it, yeah, yeah, yeah.Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell had dinner Sunday at the landmark Jimmy’s Italian Restaurant in Asbury Park.“He said tell the chef that everything was excellent,” said waitress Bernadette Kozlowski.He ate a vegetarian meal at Jimmy’s.McCartney and Shevell were part of a party of six that included members of Shevell’s family. Shevell is a graduate of J.P. Stevens High School in Edison.MORE: ...

He liked it, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paul McCartney and wife Nancy Shevell had dinner Sunday at the landmark Jimmy’s Italian Restaurant in Asbury Park.

“He said tell the chef that everything was excellent,” said waitress Bernadette Kozlowski.

He ate a vegetarian meal at Jimmy’s.

McCartney and Shevell were part of a party of six that included members of Shevell’s family. Shevell is a graduate of J.P. Stevens High School in Edison.

MORE: Paul McCartney: Greetings from Asbury Park

“Everybody was fine, nobody was running up to him,” said Maureen Beaver, manager of Jimmy’s. “A few tables saw him and recognized and went over and said hello. The cutest thing was when he was leaving, a couple at the bar, they went ‘Ohh ohh ohh!’ and Paul McCartney went, ‘Ohh ohh ohh!’ He was very down to earth. A very nice person.”

The Shevells have Asbury Park roots: the former Harry and Mina Walters of Asbury Park are Nancy Shevell’s grandparents, and are broadcaster Barbara Walters’ aunt and uncle. Harry Walters, a native of England, started a dry goods store on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, which grew into the Walters Department Store. He also owned stores in Long Branch and Freehold. A daughter, Arlene Walters, married Myron "Mike" Shevell, formerly of Edison. Nancy Shevell is their daughter.

Nancy Shevell’s family operates the Elizabeth-based New England Motor Freight company, whose trucks one often sees on Jersey highways, and she was a board member of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

MORE: Meet the man who plays bass for Paul McCartney

Jimmy’s is the place where the stars dine in Asbury Park. Joe Pesci, Vincent Pastore, Ray Liotta, Danny DeVito and Bruce Springsteen have all been to Jimmy’s.

The McCartney appearance is a special one, Beaver said. Yet, the former Beatle was given his space.

“We don’t have young kids in here – it’s not like Justin Bieber and they all go crazy,” Beaver said. “It’s older people, and they’re not going do that to him.”

MORE: Listen to the best new Paul McCartney songs

McCartney’s One on One Tour comes to the area starting with Sept. 11 and 12 shows at the Prudential Center in Newark.

“I said it’s an honor to meet you,” Kozlowski said. “He said, ‘It’s an honor to meet you.’"

Chris Jordan: cjordan@app.com

New NJ Transit fares: How much will your commute cost?

@byMikeDavisCommuters, open your wallets.NJ Transit's new train fare schedules go into effect on Thursday, resulting in an average 9 percent increase across all of the agency's stations and rail lines.For customers on the North Jersey Coast Line, the only line that serves Monmouth and Ocean counties, an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station is increasing between $35 and $40."It takes a big chunk out of your pocket, out of your savings. For someone who's raising a family and trying to ...

@byMikeDavis

Commuters, open your wallets.

NJ Transit's new train fare schedules go into effect on Thursday, resulting in an average 9 percent increase across all of the agency's stations and rail lines.

For customers on the North Jersey Coast Line, the only line that serves Monmouth and Ocean counties, an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station is increasing between $35 and $40.

"It takes a big chunk out of your pocket, out of your savings. For someone who's raising a family and trying to live in Monmouth County, it's tough," Marlboro resident Mizi Mehaj said in July, minutes before her daily commute from Matawan to New York. "But there's actually no other way. You could drive yourself, which I wouldn't do because of traffic."

See how NJ Transit slammed by cash woes

The fare increase was approved as part of NJ Transit's $2.1 billion budget, unanimously passed in July. It's the agency's fifth fare hike since 2000, the first since a 22 percent increase in 2010.

As of Thursday, a New York-bound commuter from the Aberdeen-Matawan station will be paying exactly $100 more for a monthly pass than they were five years ago.

New Jersey commuters pay the highest fares in the nation, which outpace inflation by 25 percent, said Janna Chernetz, a senior New Jersey policy analyst with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

"The transportation funding structure in New Jersey is broken," Chernetz said. "We're nearly halfway to the unveiling of our next state budget and we're not any closer to solving our transportation crisis so riders aren't facing a worse crunch next year."

For many commuters, the fare hike adds insult to injury: With the Hudson River rail tunnels between New Jersey and New York falling apart, trains are regularly delayed for repairs.

On Wednesday morning, trains were delayed more than 30 minutes due to a "smoke condition" in one of the tunnels.

The tunnels will likely need to be closed, one at a time, for repairs within the next 5 to 20 years, Amtrak officials have said. The tunnels' short shelf life have placed a renewed focus on building new rail tunnels, a $20 billion project without a solid funding plan behind it.

Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to fund half the project – which would be overseen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – if the federal government issued a grant for the other half.

Christie, Cuomo want 50/50 tunnel split with feds

NEW NJ TRANSIT FARES

All prices reflect an unlimited monthly pass to New York Penn Station. For station-to-station and one-way fares, visit NJTransit.com.

Mike Davis: 732-643-4223; mdavis@gannettnj.com

Last train from NYC to Jersey Shore cut

@byMikeDavisOvertime sporting event at Madison Square Garden? A headlining band playing late into the night at Irving Plaza?If you live at Shore south of Long Branch, keep an eye on the clock: When it strikes 11:18 p.m., you're stuck.As part of NJ Transit schedule changes last month, the last North Jersey Coast Line train – which leaves at 1 a.m. – no longer stops south of Long Branch. Riders who get off at Elberon, Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Belmar, Spring Lake, Manasquan, Point P...

@byMikeDavis

Overtime sporting event at Madison Square Garden? A headlining band playing late into the night at Irving Plaza?

If you live at Shore south of Long Branch, keep an eye on the clock: When it strikes 11:18 p.m., you're stuck.

As part of NJ Transit schedule changes last month, the last North Jersey Coast Line train – which leaves at 1 a.m. – no longer stops south of Long Branch. Riders who get off at Elberon, Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Belmar, Spring Lake, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach or Bay Head must instead catch the 11:18 p.m. train, more than 90 minutes earlier.

NJ Transit Executive Director Veronique Hakim said the schedule changes were routine, part of a biannual review by the agency.

"Our customers are very familiar with schedules changing and, in this context, we have to be very careful about providing service where there's demand," Hakim said. "Obviously, the schedules for those trains did not have demand for that service."

The agency already cut some lines as part of its 2015-16 budget, which came with an average 9 percent fare hike for trains. But while NJ Transit held multiple hearings on the budget proposals, federal law did not require the agency to notify riders of the most recent changes.

Commuters frustrated by NJ Transit fare hike

According to federal law, a "major service change" – which requires notification and public hearings – only occurs when at least 25 percent of a line's stops are discontinued or if the line is discontinued on specific days.

“The cancellations were done without notice to riders. In more than 30 years of advocating for better transit in New Jersey, I’ve never seen such reckless disregard for the mobility of passengers,” said David Peter Alan, chairman of the Lackawanna Coalition. “It’s been done to us before, but never with the last train on the route.”

The 9:38 p.m. train from New York has also stopped serving stops south of Long Branch. NJ Transit also canceled late night trains on the Morris & Essex Line.

New York-bound riders also have one less option for a late-night trip: The 9:43 p.m. train from Bay Head now begins at Long Branch.

NJ Transit trains could halt without safety deadline extension

In response to the service cuts, state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, is set to introduce a bill requiring NJ Transit to disclose all service changes to the public in advance.

"NJ Transit held nine public hearings on its service elimination plan and, under the cover of night, incorporated additional service cuts that commuters are now forced to deal with without having the opportunity to weigh in on them," Scutari said in a news release. "The way this was carried out, particularly after widespread public opposition to the already proposed cuts and fare increases, just adds insult to injury."

Mike Davis: (732) 643-4223; mdavis@gannettnj.com

Gateway project: NJ Transit takes lead on environmental permits

Last train from New York Penn Station (North Jersey Coast Line)

New York Penn Station (11:18 p.m.)

Elberon (1:07 a.m.)

Allenhurst (1:11 a.m.

Asbury Park (1:15 a.m.)

Bradley Beach (1:17 a.m.)

Belmar (1:21 a.m.)

Spring Lake (1:25 a.m.)

Manasquan (1:28 a.m.)

Point Pleasant Beach (1:34 a.m.)

Bay Head (1:44 a.m.)

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