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Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Hopes “One Seat” Ride will be Expanded

Mindy Scarlett

Sunday, April 6, 2014 • 2:11pm

REGION, NJ – The “One Seat Ride” sub-committee of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) met Wednesday to discuss strategy on how to expand the limited “one seat” ride access to New York that was granted in March by NJ Transit.

NJ Transit’s new dual powered locomotives have made it possible for the first time for trains on the Raritan line to go all the way into Manhattan, giving commuters the possibility of a “one seat” ride. 

Currently, all commuters on the line must exit their train at Newark and change platforms, a move that involves a mad dash up and down stairs and confusion over which platform has the next train into Manhattan.

For fifteen years the RVRC has been planning, lobbying and distributing information about the concept of a “one seat” ride into New York City, eliminating the need to change trains in Newark.

While exact figures on new ridership will not be known until next month, even prior to the launch rider numbers had increased significantly, to almost be on par with the Northeast Corridor

“It was wonderful to be able to ride the train all the way into New York City without switching in Newark,” said Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr.  “It felt good to be a part of history.  However, this is only the first step.”

“I think it needs to be a four step process,” said Peter Palmer, Chairman of the RVRC and.  “We have achieved the first step, of getting off-peak midday access to a one seat ride.  The second step will be to get weekday after 8 pm access, the third step getting weekend access and the fourth and final step being getting the real prize of peak hour access,”

“We are very grateful to NJ Transit for launching the pilot program in March and we are in current discussions with them to continue to expand this service,” concluded Palmer.

It is hoped that the NJ Transit Fall Schedule will contain the second step of weekday after 8 pm access to the “one seat” ride into New York City.  Further information can be obtained at http://www.raritanvalleyrail.com/

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