This report is a collaborative effort with Transportation Radio (link) and Bernie Wagenblast.
The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) held an Open House and Information Session at the Cranford Community Center Monday night. On of the main goals of the coalition has been the creation and expansion of One Seat Ride service on New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line to New York City.
NJ TRANSIT began the One-Seat Ride in March of this year, announcing that expansion of the service would begin in November of this year. In Early October, NJ TRANSIT announced that target date would not be met due to budget constraints of about $600,000.
At Monday night’s meeting RVRC Chair Peter Palmer gave the news that NJ TRANSIT has stated that evening service, four trains in the evening, will start in January of 2015. Providing more detail, Mr. Palmer stated, “If we get federal money, we’ll do it. If we don’t get the federal money, DOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chairman Jamie Fox has said that he’ll find the money somewhere but we’ll have the evening service starting in January.
Former Westfield Mayor and RVRC Vice Chairman Tom Jardim discussed the next steps needed to push for progress on the One Seat Ride. He said, “We need to motivate and rally every single rider on the Raritan Valley Line and beyond the riders because it affects all of us in our communities along the line.”
In discussing how to motivate commuters and towns like Roselle Park that are along the RVL to push legislators and NJ TRANSIT, Mr. Jardim remarked, “We’re going to start taking it to the riders, the commuters, being down at the train station during peak periods, being at the train station at night when they get off the train, making sure that we have a social media presence and written material that we can give out to everybody so that they communicate their desires to the people who make decisions.”
He added that RVRC meets with officials and attends NJ TRANSIT Board meeting throughout the year to continue to lobby for the expansion of One Seat Ride.
“At this time, we are applying for federal grant funding that would allow us to add off-peak, evening service in January consisting of four (4) round-trips,” stated NJ TRANSIT spokesman William Smith, “If the federal funds are not immediately available we will make necessary budget modifications to provide the service.”
Mr. Smith commented that specifics of the service will be announced at a later date.
A full audio report from Transportation Radio can be heard here (link).