UNION, NJ -- Starting today (Monday, Nov. 4), off-peak (morning and evening) NYC direct trains into Midtown Manhattan has resumed service along NJ Transit's Raritan Valley Line.

Getting these trains back is progress but the fight for better, reliable service continues, according to Raritan Valley Line Mayors' Alliance (RVL Mayors), a bi-partisan group of 32 Mayors from Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Middlesex Counties advocating for fair and equitable service for more than 23,000 users of the train line. The Mayors organized in 2018 and  are working with State Legislators to gain support for direct service/one-seat rides into NYC during weekday peak hours and weekends, along with full restoration of the off-peak one-seat rides.

"We won't stop until RVL riders get the equitable service they deserve," the RVL Mayors Alliance wrote on its Facebook page.

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Earlier this month, Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Tom Malinowski, members of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and the RVL Mayors Alliance, and other officials announced the restoration of seven of the eight off-peak one-seat train rides at a press event in Westfield. 

"While we welcome this news, it is not enough. Commuters deserve better. Members of our Coalition representing four counties and 1.7 million residents were in attendance today, and we will NOT STOP fighting for you until a permanent, peak one-seat ride is in place," according to the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.

Despite ridership equal to or greater than some other lines with peak hour midtown direct trains, the Raritan Valley Line has none. Commuters must switch trains and platforms in Newark adding a minimum of an additional 25 minutes to their commute.