Legislation sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari, which would require NJ Transit to conduct a feasibility study on restoring the one-seat ride from the Raritan Valley Line to New York City, was introduced to the Senate.
“The loss of the one-seat ride to Manhattan has been felt throughout my district and surrounding counties,” said Senator Scutari (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “The Raritan Valley Line is a large rail operation with strong ridership numbers and it is perplexing to me, and to those in the area, why NJ Transit would view this passage to New York City as expendable. Our businesses, our residents and our economy are feeling the effects of this loss every day. The continued temporary loss of revenue, the loss of time and the loss of tax dollars cannot continue to persist without incurring permanent losses.
“I echo the strong advocacy displayed by the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition in calling for NJ Transit to re-commission the one-seat railcar. Alleviating the monetary strain on businesses and local economies throughout the region and ending the inconvenience of ballooned travel times that riders are experiencing is paramount.
“Conducting a feasibility study would provide valuable analysis and projections of costs to restore service, as well as provide NJ Transit with the steps they can take to see this come to fruition. Our region needs this,” Scutari said.
“Commuters along the Raritan Valley Rail line have been forgotten, and it is well past time for the restoration of the part-time one-seat ride, and the Gateway project improvements that will ensure the long-term viability of rail transportation to New York City,” said Bruce Bergen Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. “We thank the Senator for his efforts in supporting the one-seat ride.”
The Regional Plan Association conducted a study on the impact the one-seat ride service into Manhattan has on the towns surrounding the rail line. The study revealed that towns are more desirable and see increases in their residential property values. These towns greatly benefit from workers traveling through as well. Salaries for jobs in Manhattan are 60% higher than the same jobs in New Jersey. This consumer spending correlates to strong local economies with healthy business districts, and attract new businesses to these towns.
Within six-months of enactment, NJ Transit would be required to issue a report to the legislature detailing findings of the study.
For more information about the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition visit online at raritanvalleyrail.com.