RARITAN VALLEY, NJ -- Mayors of towns along the Raritan Valley Line (RVL) met to discuss NJ Transit’s response to three issues facing commuters on that line and how best to advocate for their residents. RVL Mayors Alliance is working to get a same platform transfer in Newark, return of the off-peak midtown direct trains and ultimately, direct trains during peak commuter hours and on weekends.
According to Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, who also co-chairs RVL Mayors, the platform transfer in Newark is a significant issue for commuters who must race downstairs then up to another platform hoping to catch a train into NY Penn. “The platforms and stairways are jammed packed and people sometimes miss a connection,” she stated.
The 32 mayors of the RVL are asking NJ Transit to at least improve service for RVL riders by providing a same platform transfer in Newark. “We don’t have a 1-seat ride into NY so having to deal with a platform transfer is adding insult to injury. We’re the forgotten commuters but the Raritan Valley Line Mayors Alliance plans to change that,” added Mayor Mahr.
Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle, also a co-chair of RVL Mayors, described the other pressing issue is the return of the off-peak direct trains that were suspended last fall so NJT could install the Positive Train Control system.
“Three lines were affected and only Raritan Valley hasn’t been restored. RVL Mayors have asked repeatedly, including at the recent NJT Listening Tour in Westfield, and it appears there is no plan to return those trains to service in the near future,” said Mayor Brindle. "This is unacceptable. We represent more than 23,000 commuters and mayors can be a powerful voice for their residents."
RVL Mayors have met with State Senators, members of the Assembly, NJ Transit and plan to be more vocal and visible.
“We’re tired of being the forgotten commuters,” said Mayor Mahr.
RVL Mayors is a bipartisan, independent Alliance of 32 mayors spanning four counties and organized by Mayors Mahr, Brindle and Mayor Bob Fazen of Bound Brook in 2018 to engage and organize the mayors, as well as the public.
More information, visit the Raritan Valley Mayors Alliance website www.rvlmayors.org.