TRENTON, NJ – A bill that would require NJ Transit to conduct a feasibility study on restoring the one-seat ride to Manhattan on the Raritan Valley line passed the state Assembly by a unanimous vote of 76-0 Monday. Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, a longtime advocate for direct service into New York City along NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line, praised the move at the Fanwood Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.
The bill is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman, (D-Somerset, Mercer, Hunterdon, Middlesex, a resident of Hillsborough, along with Assemblywoman Linda Carter, D-Somerset, Middlesex, Union and Assemblyman James Kennedy, D-Somerset, Middlesex, Union. (Carter and Kennedy represent Fanwood in the NJ General Assembly.)
Raritan Valley Line’s single ride off-peak service into Manhattan was suspended in 2018 to free up engineers to install Positive Train Control on NJ Transit trains statewide; the off-peak service was restored in November 2019. The Raritan Valley line comprises about 10 percent of NJ Transit’s daily ridership and is the only line that does not have one-seat service into Manhattan any day of the week during peak service hours.
The train line extends into Hunterdon County, and includes stops in Raritan, Bridgewater, Somerville and Bound Brook in Somerset County.
The sponsors issued the following joint statement:
“For residents who work in the city and live close to the Raritan Valley Line, the ability to jump on a train that goes directly into Manhattan is convenient and time-saving for many. There should be a more direct route for riders. We’re simply asking New Jersey Transit to look into how to restore the direct rail one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line during peak times and the cost of this service for NJT to implement and to the commuter. If it’s feasible, after reading their report, then we should get this done for New Jersey commuters.”
Under the bill, NJ Transit would be required to prepare and submit a report detailing the findings of the study within six months of enactment.
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