NJ TRANSIT Delays Expansion of One-Seat Ride on Raritan Valley Line

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Commuters in Westfield and other Raritan Valley Line towns had hoped for one-seat rides during evenings beginning in November. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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REGION, NJ — Raritan Valley train line commuters will have to keep waiting for evening direct service to and from New York City, according to NJ TRANSIT, which first announced the news Wednesday morning on Twitter. A tweet reads, “At this time we will not be able to expand the #RVL direct service to NY during weekday evenings due to budgetary constraints.”

The next tweet reads, “However we are looking into potential alternate funding sources in the future to expand the #RVL direct service to NY.”

Evening off-peak weekday service for “one-seat rides” on the Raritan Valley line had originally been scheduled to begin with the November 2014 fall rail schedule change.

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The tweets were posted live from an NJ TRANSIT board meeting this morning.

According to NJ TRANSIT, at that meeting, Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim said, “On the topic of rail, Mr. Chairman, I stated in April that we anticipated, most likely in November, an expansion of Raritan Valley Line one-seat service to New York to include off-peak weekday evenings—or service to New York after 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.”

“As we begin to plan our fiscal year 2016 budget, we found that the nearly $600,000 in additional annual cost to operate this service presents a real monetary challenge, given the current very tight fiscal constraints facing NJ TRANSIT and the state, and the need to budget responsibly,” Hakim told the board. “We are looking to pursue potential alternate funding sources, much as we did successfully to bring on the Summer Shore service earlier this year. We hope to have a better sense of whether this can be accomplished in the near future, so stay tuned.”

Direct service during daytime off-peak hours began in March.

Follow NJ TRANSIT on Twitter @NJTRANSIT.

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