News

Regional Plan Association to present Gateway Tunnel Report to Union County Freeholder Board, May 23rd 7pm – Raritan Valley Rail Coalition co-sponsors presentation, open to the public at County Freeholder Chambers in Elizabeth

The Regional Plan Association, a non-profit public policy agency that examines various issues, will present its report: “A Preventable Crisis, The Economic and Human Costs of a Hudson River Rail Tunnel Shutdown,” on Thursday, May 23rd at 7 p.m. to the Freeholder Board prior to its public meeting.

All residents are invited to the free presentation, which will be held on the 6th floor in the Freeholder chambers at the Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth.  Residents are also allowed the opportunity to comment on the plan during the general comments portion of the regular meeting that night. Parking is available nearby at the J. Christian Bollwage parking deck.

“Union County is a rail hub, and the stakes of not investing in train service improvements are high: if the tunnels fail, Union County could suffer as much as a $1.8 billion revenue loss,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski, citing the Regional Plan Association’s report. “As elected officials, it is urgent that we make our voices heard for supporting the Gateway Tunnels Project and continue to work with organizations such as the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and the Regional Plan Association toward that end.”

The Regional Plan Association’s report details the devastating impact that any extended closures of the rapidly, deteriorating 108-year-old Hudson River train tunnels would have on the regional economy, including Union County.

From reduced home values to gridlocked roads,  the report  portrays a grim picture of what New Jersey and the region could look like if the proposed Gateway Hudson River rail-tunnel project remains unfunded.

Bruce Bergen, the Chair of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, will also be on hand to introduce the Regional Plan Association.

“The Gateway Tunnels project is a regional emergency that demands the immediate attention of the White House, and the proper funding to move forward,” said Bergen, a former Union County Freeholder. “We are thankful to partner with an agency such as the Regional Plan Association that is able to present such a concise picture of the  project and the impact of the failure to act.”

As part of her initiatives entitled “Empowering Union County” on behalf of the Freeholder Board for 2019, Chair Kowalski announced the County would take the lead on the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, a group of concerned citizens which represents 1.7 million residents along the Raritan Valley Rail line in four counties— Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon Counties.

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition was created more than two decades ago to campaign for a one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley Rail line. It also strongly lobbies for the creation of the Gateway Tunnels Project, a $13 billion proposal that would rebuild the Hudson Tunnels, the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River, and add other significant improvements along the rails leading into New York.

For more information on the Regional Plan Association, please go to: http://www.rpa.org/

For more information on the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, please go to www.raritanvalleyrail.com

Or Social media— Facebook: www.facebook.com/raritanvalleyrail/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/rvrailcoalition

 

Letter from NJ Transit’s Executive Director to Freeholder and Chairman of the NJTPA Angel Estrada

 

Getting up off the mat
A conversation with New Jersey Transit executive director Kevin Corbett
By: David Hutter of NJBIZ
April 22, 2019 6:00 am

New Jersey Transit’s problems are well-known. It is one of the nation’s busiest public transportation systems, yet is chronically underfunded and understaffed. Commuters deal with the results of those shortfalls everyday. And special events can sometimes highlight the problems for the wider public, as happened recently when thousands of wrestling fans waited hours in the rain for trains to take them home from the WrestleMania event at MetLife Stadium.

Gov. Phil Murphy has vowed that he will fix NJ Transit “if it kills me.” The man charged with preventing Murphy’s untimely demise by getting the trains and buses to run more reliably is NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett. He recently sat down with NJBIZ reporter David Hutter and talked about what the agency is doing to improve service after years of decline.

NJBIZ: WrestleMania took place at MetLife Stadium on April 6, attracting more than 82,000 people. The event ran late. A lot of people are saying New Jersey Transit was not able to provide enough trains and buses to the crowd. What precautions did you have in place before the event?

Kevin Corbett: We have a very good working relationship with our friends at MetLife. We handle all the football games and they go smoothly. We consider what are expectations and what changes to scheduling are necessary. We have buses there, but to move three thousand people per hour by bus is not optimal for a number of reasons.

We have [Federal Railroad Administration] regulations that train crews can only go 12 hours. In 99 percent of cases we coordinate with MetLife and that 12-hour window is adequate and that is why you never hear of problems. They also let the fans generally know that if you go to a game, the train takes you to Secaucus. And then you take a train to Port Jervis, Princeton, or the city. But you know where your connecting train is. Even if the game is going to end at midnight, but you know 12:20 is the last train to Port Jervis, “I will leave the game early because I do not want to miss the connecting train.”

We had a similar issue with the Jay-Z-Beyoncé concert. When they go unanticipatedly long at WrestleMania, we could have handled that load but we would have needed another hour. Which means we should have started the trains an hour later. If we had done that, there would have been no issue. We started with buses and then switched to rail. …

Six years ago MetLife hosted WrestleMania and the last train out carried 38 people at 12:20 at night. What we did not know is that WrestleMania has set up its own television network like the Yankees did with YES Network and they were broadcasting internationally.

They wanted it to run longer, which we would be delighted to support. It was not as though we were angry. We did not know that condition may give them an incentive to run longer. If we had known that, we would have said “Wait a minute. If there’s a chance you are going to run longer, we will build in an extra hour cushion.” It ran beyond our extra one-hour cushion.

NJBIZ: You ride New Jersey Transit on the Morris and Essex train line. What do you observe of your fellow Transit employees?

Corbett: I talk with conductors, engineers, and bus drivers. As they get to know me, they will talk to me off the record. You pick up Intel you would not get sitting in the corner office.

NJBIZ: You want to know what is actually happening so you can take action to fix problems.

Corbett: We need people to be advocating for NJ Transit. I ride on the system every day. I see the flaws and I see the good things. When I go to the “we are listening” forums, I hear people saying something and I respond “that’s not accurate” and I try to be as polite as I can. I have a pretty good sense of what is happening in their service.

A New Jersey Transit train rolls into Trenton Transit Center.
NJBIZ: What are you observing of your New Jersey Transit employees, especially when they do not know you are the executive director? Are they meeting your expectations in terms of being courteous, professional and communicative?

Corbett: A great majority of them are professional, courteous and like their jobs. Like anywhere with 11,000-plus employees [including] 10,000-plus unionized employees, you have some who really should not be in the customer service business. It’s one thing if you’re an engineer, as long as you are a good engineer and you do not interact much with the customer. We are looking to build training on the rail and bus side. But a great majority are good employees and those who are not, we need to call out on the carpet. And that means more supervision.

NJBIZ:  Gov. Phil Murphy ordered an independent audit of New Jersey Transit. After getting the results of the audit in October 2018, Gov. Murphy vowed to improve the reliability of New Jersey Transit’s train and bus schedules. What progress have you made to date?

Corbett: I stress that we are going to live or die by our operations. That means we need bus operators and engineers. Unfortunately, on the rail side, engineers take 20 months of training. We started six classes that are currently in session for locomotive engineer training. We have one class of conductors that we can do in 12 months. By the end of this year, we will be in good shape on the engineers. On the bus drivers side, where you need a commercial driver license, we get them in our own training. That is a shorter time frame. We are approaching 500 new bus drivers. They are out on the road now. For our rail riders, it is going to be tough through this fall.

In the previous administration of [Gov. Chris Christie], they stopped training.

There is a myth that all our engineers are leaving for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. They pay 25 percent more than we do. But in fact we pay comparable salaries or in the ballpark of Conrail and [Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.] …

This summer should not be as bad as the past two summers. We are adding a dozen engineers next month. We are watching the [Family Medical Leave Act.] A great majority of engineers are not trying to game the system but there are a few bad apples who want to play games and use FMLA and other kinds of unexcused absences.

NJBIZ: For what purpose?

Corbett: To take off work.

NJBIZ: Is that not fraud?

Corbett: Certainly in my book it is not honest but to the degree that it is fraudulent, they have to document it. And I think the grievance process takes months. But I think this year we’ve really tightened up in identifying all the metrics, who is using all their vacation time, who is using every possible thing in the system to make sure there are no abuses. We will be much better prepared than last summer to make sure that people who are working are not working somewhere else, moonlighting somewhere else, and collecting sick days here. We are watching out for that. We are better prepared on where we can use yard foremen.

NJBIZ: What are some other important aspects of your job that are not discussed during board meetings?

Corbett: We are the nation’s third largest transit system and we are in the nation’s [11th] largest state. I appreciate everything Gov. Murphy has been doing advocating for Transit but within the state budget, in a state that has a billion-plus dollar deficit, it is tough to give us the resources we need as the third largest transit agency.

I think one of the things I really look for is where is the advocacy and the dedicated funding? Our funding has been very unsustainable, ad hoc sort of band aid funding over the last decade; slashed capital funds between $5 billion and $6 billion were raided to go to our operations. That meant we were eating our seed corn. Not only were we not making the capital investments we needed, that ate up our operating expenses. We were in a bad cycle and we needed to break that.

My real concern longer term is we are putting together a five-year capital plan. We are in the process of accessing our facilities so that by this time next year we will have a detailed capital plan and know what our needs are as a first-class transit agency.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Legislation would require NJ Transit study on restoring Raritan Valley/NYC rail service

By: David Hutter NJ BIZ
March 12, 2019 6:30 am

Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-22nd District, is proposing legislation that would require New Jersey Transit to conduct a feasibility study on restoring the one-seat ride from the Raritan Valley Line to New York City.

The legislation, if passed, would require New Jersey Transit to issue a report to the Legislature detailing findings of the study.

“The loss of the one-seat ride to Manhattan has been felt throughout my district and surrounding counties,” Scutari, who represents Middlesex, Somerset and Union, said in a statement. “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,” he added.

The Regional Plan Association conducted a study on the impact of the one-seat ride service into Manhattan in relation to the effect 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, Scutari said. Salaries for jobs in Manhattan are 60 percent higher than the same jobs in New Jersey, he said.

This consumer spending correlates to strong local economies with healthy business districts, and attract new

 

Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Tom Malinowski announced millions of dollars to keep the Gateway Tunnel project on track is included in the new Federal spending bill. #gateway

 

Want One-Seat Rides Back in Westfield? Your Chance to Voice Concerns

“We certainly advise residents to make their voice heard at this meeting,” said Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman and former Union County Freeholder Bruce H. Bergen. “The restoration of the limited one-seat ride is only the first step toward our goal of having permanent, full-time one-seat service. We have received only vague answers and must continue to keep the pressure on.”

 

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman Bruce Bergen was interviewed this evening on FOX 5 / Fox5NY.com calling on NJ TRANSIT to restore the one-seat ride.

A few days after the Senate committee passed a similar measure, an Assembly Committee approved an agency that will supply funding–issue bonds and accept grants—for the construction of the Gateway tunnel. Thanks @SpeakerCoughlin and Assemblyman Benson.
https://t.co/hwIB7ZRMAG

Governor Murphy today announced upgrades at NYC Penn Station designed to reduce overcrowding, and expand amenities for passengers…

RVRC Unveils New Video on One Seat Ride

Article in TAPinto.net on new Gateway Development Corporation

https://www.tapinto.net/towns/scotch-plains-slash-fanwood/articles/fanwood-mayor-raritan-valley-rail-coalition-appl

Archive

NJ.com article on Video Nov. 2 2015

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/11/rvrc_october_2015_meeting.html#incart_river_home

 

Article in TAPinto.net, October 2015 Launch of Video

https://www.tapinto.net/articles/fanwood-mayor-collen-mahr-union-co-officials-at-1

 

Letter to the Editor

https://www.tapinto.net/articles/status-of-one-seat-ride-and-other-service-improve

 

Politicians Seek Answers to Commuter Woes

https://www.tapinto.net/articles/politicians-in-scotch-plains-fanwood-seek-answers

 

Investors Bank Donates to RVRC

https://www.tapinto.net/articles/investors-foundation-assists-the-raritan-valley-r

 

RVRC Meeting in Westfield will Address Ailing Transportation Trust Fund

http://tapinto.net/towns/westfield/articles/rvrc-meeting-in-westfield-will-address-ailing-tra

 

NJ.com – Jan 13, 2014 – Raritan Valley Line passengers, local officials celebrate first ‘one-seat’ evening ride

NJ.com’s Katie Lannon joined the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition for the first after 8 pm ‘one seat’ ride into NYC.

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2015/01/one-seat_evening_ride_nj_transit_raritan_valley_li.html

 

One Seat Ride Update – NJ Municipalities

One Seat Ride Update

 

Keeping the Train on Track

November 2014 One Seat Ride Spread

 

Direct Evening Rail Service Begins Jan 12, 2015

http://patch.com/new-jersey/watchung-greenbrook/direct-evening-rail-service-begins-jan-12?utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=around%20town&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_content=article-mostrecent

 

12/18/2014 – TAPinto Westfield- Evening One-Seat Rides on Raritan Valley Line to Start Jan. 12

12/19/2014 TAPinto Evening One Seat Rides to Begin Jan. 12

 http://tapinto.net/towns/scotch-plains-slash-fanwood/articles/evening-one-seat-rides-on-raritan-valley-line-to-1

 

12/19/2014 Star Ledger – Raritan Valley Line to offer direct night trips

http://tablet.olivesoftware.com/Olive/Tablet/StarLedger/SharedArticle.aspx?href=StL%2F2014%2F12%2F19&id=Ar00805

 

New Jersey Groups Call for Permanent Fix to State Transportation Problems

The Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee will hold its fourth and final special hearing regarding the state’s Transportation Trust Fund on Thursday morning as part of the 99th Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference, now underway in Atlantic City.

 

Raritan Valley rail group may be widening its horizons

PLAINFIELD – After a year of major accomplishments, the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition may be turning some of its attention and energies to wider issues affecting New Jersey rail commuters to New York.

 

Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr to Recap One-Seat Ride Status at Nov. 17 RV Rail Coalition Meeting

PLAINFIELD, NJ — Elected officials, transportation professionals and the public are invited to the final 2014 meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) on Monday, Nov. 17, to discuss the current status of direct train service into Manhattan. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Room 119 at the Union County Community College Plainfield Campus, located 232 E. Second St.

 

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition to Hold Special Meeting Oct. 27 to Discuss Future of Direct Train Service into NYC

CRANFORD, NJ — The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) will host a special public meeting on October 27 from 6-8 p.m. at the Cranford Community Center at 220 Walnut Ave. in Cranford (one block from the train station) to discuss the next steps involved in advocacy for expanded direct train service into Manhattan.

 

One Seat Service in Jeopardy – RVRC to Hold Special Meeting Oct. 27

Representatives of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) gathered Wednesday afternoon for their quarterly meeting with NJ TRANSIT officials to discuss details of Phase Two of the One-Seat Ride initiative, only to learn that NJ TRANSIT officials decided a few hours earlier that the off-peak evening service would not start in November.

 

10/8/2014-Plans to Expand Direct Trains in November Come to a Screeching Halt

Riders along the Raritan Valley line have been able to enjoy one-seat (non-transfer) train rides into New York’s Penn Station since March and had expected an expansion of that service into evenings to be announced in November.

 

9/21/2014-Signs of life stir for rail tunnel under Hudson

When Governor Christie, citing potential cost overruns, canceled a project to build new tunnels under the Hudson River, many thought the effort to build rail connections between New Jersey and New York was dead, possibly forever.

 

7/1/2014-Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Reports on Meeting with NJ TRANSIT at Quarterly Meeting

WESTFIELD, NJ – The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) held its quarterly meeting in the Westfield council chamber on Monday morning to share with the public the outcome of their recent meeting with NJ Transit executives and to hear about the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) taking place in Cranford, a stop along the Union County portion of the Raritan Valley Line.

6/24/2014-My Central New Jersey: One-seat tickets hike Raritan Valley Line ridership

SOMERVILLE – The implementation of one-seat rides on the Raritan Valley Line to New York City during off-peak hours on weekdays has resulted in an overall 2 percent increase in ridership. That was part of an update on the one-seat ride program that NJ Transit officials delivered to members of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition this month.

 

5/5/2014-NJ.com: Amtrak chief gives aging Hudson rail tunnels 20 years to live, tops

Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Joe Boardman said the two existing rail tunnels that now carry 160,000 commuters a day under the Hudson River will have to be shut within 20 years, according to a published report.

 

4/30/2014-NJ.com: Evening One-Seat Ride service to Manhattan to start in fall on Raritan Valley Line

Members of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) are pleased with the announcement from NJ Transit that one-seat ride service to New York’s Penn Station will be expanded to evenings after 8 p.m., starting this fall.

 

4/29/2014-My Central Jersey: NJ Transit to expand Raritan Valley line’s one-seat rail service

TRENTON — NJ Transit will expand the one-seat ride service on the Raritan Valley line into New York City to evenings in the fall. NJ Transit Executive Director Veronique Hakim made the announcement in response to a question by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-20th District) during a legislative budget hearing on Monday.

 

4/29/2014-The Alternative Press: Local Officials Hail the Expansion of NJ Transit One-Seat Service

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ— NJ Transit executive director Ronnie Hakim revealed in response to questions by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-20th District) during a budget hearing in Trenton yesterday that the railroad plans to expand the one-seat ride service toto New York City via the Raritan Valley line evenings after 8 p.m., starting in fall 2014.

4/29/2014-The Alternative Press: Direct Evening Trains from RoselleRP, Westfield, Fanwood, Plainfield to NYC Coming this Fall, Report Says

UPDATE: In regard to “one-seat ride” evening service coming to the Raritan Valley Line this fall, William J. Smith, a spokesman for NJ Transit, told The Alternative Press Tuesday, “At this point we are finalizing some logistical issues, so we are not prepared to let the public know how many trains will be utilized and what that schedule may be.”

 

4/29/2014-Roselle Park News: Evening One-Seat Ride Planned To Start In The Fall

NJ Transit’s One-Seat Ride on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL), which started during off-peak weekday hours in March of this year, is looking to expand its service to the evening hours starting in November, according to testimony provided by NJ Transit Executive Director Veronique ‘Ronnie’ Hakim.

 

3/28/2014-NJ.gov: Christie Administration announces Plainfield as 28th State Transit Village

TRENTON — The Christie Administration today announced that the City of Plainfield has been accepted for inclusion in the state’s Transit Village program, which partners the city with several state agencies to help implement mixed-use development and Complete Streets accommodations near transit facilities.

 

3/4/2014-My Central Jersey: NJ Transit begins direct Manhattan service on Raritan Valley Line

RARITAN BOROUGH — It’s old Chinese proverb that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

 

3/3/2014-NJ.com: Historic first ‘one-seat ride’ on Raritan Valley Line arrives in NYC

NEW YORK — It arrived 15 years late, but just in time for train passengers in Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties. The historic first “one-seat ride” to New York, a dream of Raritan Valley Line passengers since at least 1999, left Raritan Station at 8:43 a.m. today. It was the first direct ride to the city without requiring the usual transfer at Newark Penn Station for Raritan Valley Line riders.

 

3/3/2014-CO.Somerset.NJ: One-Seat Ride Debuts on the Raritan Valley Line

RARITAN – Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, who also chairs the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, was among those boarding the first one-seat ride train leaving the Raritan Borough station for New York on March 3. The train departed from the Raritan station at 8:43 a.m. and arrived at New York’s Penn Station at 10:09 a.m.

 

3/3/2014-UCNJ.org: The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and the One-Seat Ride Coalition have announced that NJ Transit will roll out a morning off-peak, one-seat ride to New York’s Penn Station

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and the One-Seat Ride Coalition have announced that NJ Transit will roll out a morning off-peak, one-seat ride to New York’s Penn Station starting March 2, 2014. The trains will arrive in New York between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. NJ Transit has purchased dual-mode locomotives that will operate as diesels through Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties and as electronic locomotives through the tunnel to Manhattan, making the one-seat ride possible.

 

3/3/2014-Bridgewater Patch: Weekday Off-Peak Direct Service to NYC Debuts

RARITAN – Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, who also chairs the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, was among those boarding the first one-seat ride train leaving the Raritan Borough station for New York on March 3. The train departed from the Raritan station at 8:43 a.m. and arrived at New York’s Penn Station at 10:09 a.m.

 

3/3/2014-Cranford Patch: One-Seat Rail Service Comes to Union County

Union County Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak (C) and Freeholders Bette Jane Kowalski and Bruce Bergen were at the Cranford Station when the first NJ TRANSIT train offering “one-seat” direct rail service to Penn Station in New York City arrived Monday morning. The service on the Raritan Valley Line includes stops in the Union County municipalities of Plainfield, Fanwood, Westfield, Garwood, Cranford, Roselle Park and Union.

 

3/3/2014-Scotch Plains Patch: Fanwood Mayor Takes the ‘One Seat’ Ride Train To NYC

Mayor Colleen Mahr boarded the first of the “one seat ride” trains at Fanwood station Monday morning, March 3rd, for a ride all the way to New York without having to change trains in Newark. The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition has worked for many years to lobby NJ Transit to establish direct service to New York from the Raritan Valley line, which accounts for about 10% of the total NJ Transit rail ridership.

 

3/3/2014-The Alternative Press: Westfield Residents Take First Direct Train to NYC on Raritan Valley Line

WESTFIELD, NJ — The town’s first direct train to New York City arrived in Westfield on time Monday morning, at about 9:16 a.m., where residents waited to take their “one-seat” ride on the Raritan Valley Line. Mayor Andy Skibitsky called it “an historic day.” “It’s not everything we want yet, but it’s a start,” said Skibitsky shortly before he boarded the train with Westfield Town Council members Mark LoGrippo and Frank Arena and Town Administrator Jim Gildea. “I’m optimistic that eventually we’ll get all one-seat rides.”

 

3/03/2014-Cranford Radio: Direct One-Seat Service to NYC Begins on Raritan Valley Line

It was an historic moment for Cranford and towns all along NJ Transit‘s Raritan Valley Line on Monday as direct on-seat service began to New York City.

 

2/19/2014-NJ.com: Raritan Valley Line riders to get ‘one-seat ride’ to NYC beginning March 3

Raritan Valley Line commuters next month will be able to get a trip into New York without having to transfer to another train in Newark, but for now the “one-seat rides” will only be offered on weekdays during off-peak travel hours, NJ Transit officials said today.

The one-seat rides are scheduled to begin Monday, March 3, when the first of five daily roundtrips into and out of New York Penn Station is offered, beginning with train No. 5126, expected to arrive in New York at 10:09 a.m.

 

2/19/2014-My Central Jersey: One-seat N.Y. rail rides on Raritan Valley Line begin March 3

Westfield, NJ –The long-awaited one-seat ride to New York on the Raritan Valley Line will begin March 3 on a pilot basis. Tom Morgan, senior director of rail service planning for NJ Transit, told the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition on Tuesday morning that 10 trains with one-seat rides will run off-peak weekdays to and from Penn Station in Manhattan.

 

2/19/2014-The Alternative Press: Westfield Town Council Discusses Direct Ride to NYC, Hears Presentations

WESTFIELD, NJ — At the town council meeting Tuesday night, Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan announced that Westfield has been ranked the 30th safest city in America by NeighborhoodScout.

Mayor Andy Skibitsky spoke about the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition’s meeting in Westfield Tuesday morning. Direct service to and from NYC on the Raritan Valley line will begin March 3.

 

2/18/2014-Cranford Radio: One-Seat Ride on Raritan Valley Line Starts March 3

It’s long been a dream for Cranford rail passengers to have a one-seat ride to New York City and that wish becomes reality on Monday, March 3 when NJ Transit begins weekday off-peak direct service on the Raritan Valley Line. Peter Palmer is a Somerset County Freeholder and Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. During a meeting in Westfield Tuesday morning he outlined what will happen and the steps that are hoped to follow.

 

2/18/2013-The Alternative Press: NJ Transit Will Launch ‘One Seat’ Service on Raritan Valley Line Beginning March 3

WESTFIELD, NJ — Beginning on Monday, March 3, NJ Transit will offer “One Seat” rides into New York City on the Raritan Valley Line during weekday off-peak periods. Thanks to new dual-powered locomotives, commuters who take these trains will be able to ride into Manhattan without having to transfer in Newark Penn Station.

NJ Transit is scheduling five “One Seat” trips into and out of New York Penn Station. The first one will depart at 9:16 a.m. and arrive in New York at 10:09 a.m.

 

2/18/2014-The Alternative Press: NJ Transit Will Launch ‘One Seat’ Service on Raritan Valley Line Beginning March 3

WESTFIELD, NJ — Beginning on Monday, March 3, NJ Transit will offer “One Seat” rides into New York City on the Raritan Valley Line during weekday off-peak periods. Thanks to new dual-powered locomotives, commuters who take these trains will be able to ride into Manhattan without having to transfer in Newark Penn Station. NJ Transit is scheduling five “One Seat” trips into and out of New York Penn Station. The first one will depart at 9:16 a.m. and arrive in New York at 10:09 a.m.

 

2/03/2014-My Central Jersey: Apartment boom fueling Somerville’s revival

SOMERVILLE — Not long ago, you could drive on Main Street in the evening and not see anyone. Now, Mayor Brian Gallagher said, in the evenings you see people on the street and you can’t find a parking space.

“That’s the way it should be,” Gallagher said. Somerville is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, buoyed by three construction projects that, when completed, will bring close to 500 apartments within walking distance of the train station on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line.

 

12/16/2013-My Central Jersey: Limited direct service to N.Y. on Raritan Valley Line begins in March

NJ Transit will start offering direct service into New York City on the Raritan Valley Line in a pilot program beginning March 2.

The pilot program will be only for trains arriving at Penn Station New York between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays and leaving the station between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer said at Monday’s meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.

 

12/16/2013-The Alternative Press: One-Seat Ride to NYC to Begin in March 2014 on Raritan Valley Line Weekday Off-Peak

SOMERSET, NJ – The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) announced at its quarterly meeting Monday in Somerset that NJ Transit will roll out a morning off-peak, one-seat ride to New York’s Penn Station starting March 2, 2014 using newly purchased dual powered locomotives. The trains will arrive in New York between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

 

11/13/2013-My Central Jersey: New website launched to campaign for Raritan Valley train connection to NYC

Towns along NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line are stepping up their campaign to get quicker train rides into Manhattan.

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition and Mayors One Seat Ride Coalition this week announced the launch of a new website, which allows users to send prewritten letters to state lawmakers and NJ Transit officials.

 

10/22/2013-The Alternative Press: Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Remains ‘Squeaky Wheel’ for One-Seat Ride for Raritan Valley Commuters

WESTFIELD, NJ – Assemblywoman Linda Stender told the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) at its Monday morning meeting in Westfield that the “one-seat” ride was its most important issue and “the squeaky wheel” would be the one to “get the grease”. RVRC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has pushed for 15 years for a direct train into Manhattan for the Raritan Valley line, the only NJTransit rail line with track connectivity that doesn’t have a “one-seat” service into New York. Riders on the line destined for Midtown Manhattan must change trains in Newark.

 

10/22/2013-NJ.com: Raritan Valley Line riders want ‘one seat rides’ to NYC during rush hour and weekends

Commuters on the Raritan Valley Line make up nearly one-tenth of NJ Transit’s ridership, but can’t get a train to New York City without stepping off their train and transferring in Newark. NJ Transit has promised those commuters “one-seat rides” to the city beginning in the spring, but commuters say that is not enough, because they won’t be able to get those trains on weekends or during peak ridership hours.

 

08/12/2013-The Alternative Press: Future of Northeast Corridor Rail Service and One Seat Ride Discussed at RVRC Meeting

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) held their quarterly meeting at the Somerset County Administration Building Monday morning to see a presentation about the future of the rail system in the North East Corridor and to update members on the progress being made on the “one seat” ride concept. Ruby Siegel, the Vice President and Senior Project Manager at US Transportation Planning, presented an overview of the Federal Railroad Administration’s current Project, NEC Future–A Rail Investment Plan for the Northeast Corridor.

 

08/09/2013-The Alternative Press: Raritan Valley Line to Get Limited One-Seat Ride to NYC in Spring 2014

NJ TRANSIT has announced that riders on the Raritan Valley line will get a “one-seat” ride in Spring of 2014, but only during off-peak hours. Currently, Raritan Valley line commuters must exit their diesel-powered train at Newark and change to an electric train operating on the Northeast Corridor, often on a separate platform, to take them into Midtown’s Penn Station New York, as diesel locomotives are not allowed in the tunnel under the Hudson River.

 

06/18/2013-NJ.com: One-seat train rides ‘good idea’ for NJ Transit Raritan Valley Line commuters

The idea of one-seat rides to and from New York City is thrilling commuters, who sense how much shorter commutes and fewer delays would improve their daily lives. With NJ Transit’s recent acquisition of dual-powered locomotives, it would now be possible…

 

06/10/2013-The Alternative Press: RVRC Discusses Importance of One Seat Ride into NYC

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) held a public meeting in Westfield on Monday morning, attended by a record number of people from various government entities, nonprofits, businesses and private citizens. RVRC Chairman and Somerset County Freeholder Peter Palmer emphasized the need to get the word out about the coalition and its mission to get the Raritan Valley train line a “one-seat” ride into New York City. For years the RVRC, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, has pushed for a direct train into Manhattan along the Raritan Valley line that runs through Fanwood.

 

05/26/2013-NJ.com: Raritan Valley Line riders push for ‘one-seat ride’ to NYC

Manhattan-bound commuters on the Raritan Valley Line have to step off their diesel-powered train in Newark and transfer to an electric-powered one, because the diesels don’t operate in the tunnel under the Hudson River.

 

03/07/2013-Lehigh Valley Live: Raritan Valley Rail Coalition pushes NJ Transit to improve serviceRail advocates are putting pressure on NJ Transit officials to bring direct access to New York City from the Raritan Valley Line. But NJ Transit has no timetable for when, or if, service will be extended. Citing myriad reasons — mostly economic — officials with the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition believe that time for one-seat ridership is now, based on a NJ Transit $341.7 million purchase of 35 dual-mode locomotives less than a year ago.