Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives approved funding for the Gateway Tunnel project, with two new tubes under the Hudson River for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains. The Gateway Tunnel is critical for more one-seat rides to and from Westfield and New York during peak hours and weekends. Direct train service on the Raritan Valley Line to and from New York dramatically improves property values and quality of life for Westfield residents. 

During my first campaign for town council, I promised I would strongly advocate for one-seat rides. Four years later, one-seat rides were offered to and from Westfield and NYC during midday off peak hours, with weekday night service offered one year later. Westfield one-seat rides were achieved through the hard work of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, a non-profit, bi-partisan group that has advocated for one-seat rides from the Raritan Valley Line for over 20 years. Much credit also goes to Mayor Skibitsky and our town council, as well as our state representatives Senator Kean, Assemblyman Bramnick and Assemblywoman Muñoz for their relentless lobbying efforts for Westfield.

Our ultimate goal is one-seat rides in all time slots. The Gateway Tunnel project will increase capacity into New York Penn Station and allow commuters to avoid having to switch trains in Newark.

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In my next term, I will continue to lobby NJ Transit for more one-seat rides for Westfield so we don’t have to wait for the Gateway Tunnel for peak service. Please contact me with your thoughts on any issue I can work on at kloughlin@westfieldnj.gov.

Keith Loughlin                                                                                                                                                Westfield Councilman, Fourth Ward