November 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM
UNION COUNTY/SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) launched a new website on Monday at www.raritanvalleyrail.com
RVRC was created 15 years ago to advocate for the Raritan Valley Rail Line in general and for the "one-seat ride" in particular. Currently, Raritan Valley commuters must go to Newark and then change trains, often having to run to another platform to catch a train into New York City.
However, the need to advocate for the one-seat ride is not just a convenience for commuters. “The reality is that it would foster great economic growth along the whole corridor,” said Peter Palmer, Somerset County Freeholder and RVRC Chairman. “When the Morris and Essex line got the one-seat ride there was a 30 percent rise in property values all along the line.
“These are fateful decisions for the Raritan Valley. We need the groundswell of support from the people living along the Raritan Valley Line – in fact, we need a crusade,” Palmer said.
The launch of the website is the latest effort in that crusade to coordinate efforts to encourage NJTransit to listen to the needs of this line and allocate the new dual-powered locomotives to the Raritan Valley Line. Prior to the use of these new locomotives, it was impossible for Raritan Valley Line trains to get to Manhattan because diesel engines were not allowed in the Hudson Tunnel.
“I encourage all Raritan Valley line commuters, municipal officials, interested persons and organizations to visit the web site and to take all of the ACTIONS located under the action button to encourage NJTransit to operate one seat ride service during the a.m. and p.m. weekday peak periods and on weekends,” said Ken Wedeen, Somerset Principal Planner who provides support and coordination to the RVRC.