This morning, I joined Governor Phil Murphy at the Westfield Train Station to announce the restoration of our off-peak, one-seat ride to New York Penn Station on the Raritan Valley Line.

As a former commuter for 10 years, I know first-hand the pains of not having a one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley rail line. More time commuting means less time with your family, and so I will always fight to improve my neighbors' quality of life. That is why I am proud to announce the return of the off-peak, one-seat ride to New York Penn Station on the Raritan Valley Line. While I will continue to fight for direct peak service, I believe this is a step in the right direction.

In 2012, I became a member of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC), a non-profit, bipartisan group representing 1.7 million residents and 23,500 passengers daily, whose primary mission is to achieve a one-seat ride from the Raritan Valley Line into New York Penn Station. Through my advocacy, Westfield residents proudly took the first direct Train to NYC on Raritan Valley Line on March 3, 2014.

Unfortunately, direct service was suspended in 2018 as a result of positive train control issues, with the promise to be restored earlier this year. From the moment our service was suspended, I have been proactive in advocating for its return with the addition of peak service, lobbying state legislators, collecting more than one thousand petition signatures, and meeting with local organizations to educate them on the importance of direct service. I also worked with Joe Colangelo, owner of Boxcar, to bring the luxury bus service to Westfield as an alternative commuting option in light of the continued issues with NJ Transit.

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MORE: Raritan Valley Line: Off-Peak ‘One Seat Ride’ Service to NYC Returns November

I am humbled by the comments of fellow Westfield resident, commuter and friend, Mark Ciasco: "Mark LoGrippo has been a staunch advocate for one-seat ride for many years, working tirelessly on behalf of Westfield residents to ensure our voices are heard. He has experienced first-hand the daily frustration we all face running from track to track in Newark Penn Station, hoping to make the connection we need to get to work on time or home to our families. There is no one more dedicated to advocating for his neighbors."

Residents of Westfield can always count on me to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to deliver for our community!

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