Letters to the Editor

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Hopes “One Seat” Ride will be Expanded

Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and RVRC Vice Chairman Tom Jardim boarding the first "One Seat" ride train on NJ Trainsit's Raritan Valley Line.

Dear Editor:

The “One Seat Ride” sub-committee of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) recently met to discuss strategy on how to expand the limited “one seat” ride access to New York that was granted in March by NJ Transit.

NJ Transit’s new dual powered locomotives have made it possible for the first time for trains on the Raritan line to go all the way into Manhattan, giving commuters the possibility of a “one seat” ride.  However, during peak hours, commuters on the line still must exit their train at Newark and change platforms, a move that usually involves a mad dash up and down stairs and confusion over which platform has the next train into Manhattan.

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For 15 years, the RVRC has been planning, lobbying and distributing information about the concept of a “one seat” ride into New York City, eliminating the need to change trains in Newark.  We have achieved the first step of getting off-peak midday access to a one seat ride.  The second step will be to get weekday after 8 pm access, the third step getting weekend access, and the fourth and final step being getting the real prize of peak hour access.

NJ Transit released ridership numbers last week for the final quarter of 2013 which shows that the Raritan Valley Line total daily ridership has drawn almost even with the total ridership numbers of the North Jersey Coastline.  The service on this line beginning at Long Branch currently has four trains going into New York City in the peak hour between 7:35 and 8:35.

We are very grateful to NJ Transit for launching the pilot program and we are in current discussions with them to continue to expand this service.  Commuters are encouraged to go to http://www.raritanvalleyrail.com and go to the Action page to find out how to support this effort. 

Peter Palmer

Chairman, The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition


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