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New Jersey Transit’s #1 bus links New Jersey’s two most populous cities, Newark and Jersey City. Connecting cities known for their salt-of-the-earth character, the #1 bus weaves through some of their most industrial, working-class areas. The riders of the #1 bus are by and large not a privileged group. Many are on their way to or from warehouses that line Routes 1&9; others are workers and visitors to Hudson County Correctional Facility, a medium security County Jail that lies roughly mid-way on the #1’s fifteen-mile route. Many riders are immigrants whose native language is other than English; a Babel of languages may be heard.

The People of the #1 Bus will be a non-fiction film that explores the lives of #1 bus riders. An interwoven series of portraits about the lives, pursuits, trials, and dreams of the riders, we will follow them through their homes, workplaces, and day-to-day lives. The conjoining factor bringing their stories together is their shared wait for the bus, an informal fraternity of patience and forbearance. In visual analogue of waiting for the bus, many the riders’ lives are in states of transition or waiting for change. The Godot-like quality of their wait seems like a version of public transportation purgatory in which the arrival of the bus only brings them to other waiting stations in their lives.




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email: jkatz@igc.org

content copyright © 2005—2011

The People of the #1 Bus   

currently in production; in collaboration with Delmira Valladares


“The #1 bus is a pretty tough bus. It’s not a ‘hey, how are you doing?’ kinda bus. It’s more of a ‘yo, you in my seat!’ kinda bus. You gotta show a little attitude on the #1 bus.”

                                     -Carlos Aguiar, #1 bus rider