WASHINGTON - New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7th) spoke on the House Floor Wednesday to highlight the lack of one-seat ride access on the Raritan Valley Line into New York City.

Here are his remarks:

“Madam Speaker, today I rise to highlight the struggle that rail commuters in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District face each day.

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Public transportation is vital to my state, where twice as many of us depend on it than the national average.

Right now, the 23,000 people who rely on the main rail line that cuts through the heart of my district – the Raritan Valley Line – are the only rail commuters in northern New Jersey without one-seat ride access into Manhattan during peak hours.

To get to New York, they must transfer at Newark, adding at least 25 minutes to their commutes.

Now, you may ask, why am I bringing this local issue to the House; why can’t New Jersey solve it by itself?

I’ll tell you why.  It’s because every rail passenger trying to get to work along this economic corridor that is vital not just to my state, but to the economy of the United States, must squeeze through a crumbling, 110 year old bottleneck of a tunnel under the Hudson River that is owned and operated by the federal government.  And the federal government won’t fix it.

The Raritan Valley Line Mayor’s Alliance, representing over 30 Mayors, has been working to get one-seat ride.

We need to do our part by passing an infrastructure bill this year, that will fund the Gateway Tunnel.

Thank you and I yield back the remainder of my time.”