CRANFORD, NJ -- The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) will host a special public meeting on October 27 from 6-8 p.m. at the Cranford Community Center at 220 Walnut Ave. in Cranford (one block from the train station) to discuss the next steps involved in advocacy for expanded direct train service into Manhattan.
Raritan Valley Rail Coalition members and a representative from NJ TRANSIT will be present to update the public regarding the future of service along the line and respond to questions from commuters. On Wednesday, Oct. 8, NJ TRANSIT announced via a tweet that it would delay the start of weekday evening off-peak "one-seat" (non-transfer) rides into Penn Station New York.
Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer and RVRC trustee expressed profound disappointment about the abrupt delay in implementing one-seat rides during evening hours, which had been expected to begin in November.
“We have been meeting with NJ TRANSIT officials for a long time to phase in direct train service, and we have proven that Raritan Valley Line riders deserve direct service into New York,” said Palmer. "In addition to growing ridership, towns on the Raritan Valley Line have embraced transit-oriented development more than any other train line in the state."
NJ TRANSIT's change in plans appears to have been caused by budgetary constraints, although the total impact of evening, off-peak service ($600,000) is negligible in relation to the organization's more than $1 billion annual budget.
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr said: “We have been supportive of and cooperative with NJ TRANSIT. However, our responsibility is first to the residents of every town on the RVL and making sure they are treated fairly in the transit system.”
For further information about the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, visit www.raritanvalleyrail.com.