Dear Editor:

Thank you to residents of Fanwood and neighboring towns who attended the NJ Transit public meeting on Wednesday night, as well as those who emailed and called me to discuss service on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL).

The decline of train service impacts RVL commuters especially due to our lack of a one-seat ride in and out of NY Penn Station, adding 35 minutes or more each way on a daily basis.  

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Last year, Mayor Brindle of Westfield, Mayor Fazen of Bound Brook, and myself founded the bipartisan RVL Mayors Alliance to advocate for fair and equitable service. Ridership on RVL has increased, yet we remain “forgotten commuters.”

Other train lines with equal or fewer riders have multiple direct trains and RVL has none. Even the few off-peak direct trains, suspended during PTC installation, have not been returned to service. On Wednesday, we learned it could be years before they are running again.

Good train service is vital to New Jersey towns. Unreliable and cumbersome commutes deter potential home buyers. Furthermore, if one of the 103-year-old tunnels fails, it is a certain statewide catastrophe. This issue should concern everyone, not just commuters.

I am proud to co-chair the RVL Mayors Alliance and continue to advocate with 31 other mayors to eliminate the platform transfer and replace it with direct service. To stay informed, please visit the RVL Mayors Alliance on FacebookTwitter and

Colleen Mahr
Mayor of Fanwood, Co-Chair of the RVL Mayors Alliance