SOMERSET, NJ – The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) One-Seat Ride initiative received an Excellence in Planning Award from the Somerset County Planning Board on Jan. 19, at the planning board's 2016 reorganization meeting.

Bernard V. Navatto, Jr, chair of the planning board, gave a brief synopsis of the history of RVRC, citing use of its website, video and social media to further the cause as the reason for the planning award. RVRC Chairman Peter Palmer was on hand to accept the award and thanked RVRC Secretary Ken Wedeen and Mindy Scarlett for their communications outreach.

RVRC was established over 18 years ago for the purpose of establishing a one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line. While track connectivity existed into New York, Raritan Valley riders always had to get off in Newark and switch trains because their diesel engines were not allowed into the tunnels. 

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This changed in 2014 when NJ Transit began using dual mode locomotives that could switch from diesel to electric, making it possible to have a direct ride into NYC from the Raritan Valley Line.

The first midday, weekday one-seat ride train went into NYC on March 3, 2014, and in January 2015 evening after 8 p.m. direct service was implemented.

“We are continuing our crusade to get complete one-seat ride access in all time slots,” said Palmer. “Getting this will mean a major economic boost for all towns along the line.”