Raritan Valley Line Mayors' Alliance
The Raritan Valley Line Mayors' Alliance (RVL Mayors) is a bi-partisan group of 32 Mayors from Union, Somerset, Hunterdon and Middlesex Counties advocating for fair and equitable service for more than 23,000 users of the RVL. The Mayors, organized in 2018, are working with State Legislators to gain support for midtown direct service/one-seat ride during weekday peak hours and weekends and currently, for restoration of the off-peak one-seat rides. Despite ridership equal to or greater than some other lines with peak hour midtown direct trains, RVL has none. RVL commuters are forced to switch trains and platforms in Newark adding a minimum of an additional 25 minutes to their commute.
Why One-Seat Ride?
Peak one-seat rides would allow Raritan Valley Line towns to compete equally for residential and commercial investment, enhance current economic redevelopment efforts in progress along the entire corridor, enable employers to compete for younger, skilled talent from Manhattan, and ultimately increase property values in all Raritan Valley Line municipalities. The time for progress on this front is long overdue, and further setbacks stemming from additional service disruptions are simply unacceptable for the following reasons:
RVL ridership continues to increase and now has more than 23,000 daily commuters — comparable to or even exceeding other NJ Transit (NJT) lines serviced by multiple direct trains into NY Penn Station.
RVL riders must transfer platforms in Newark, adding an additional 35 minutes on average to their commute and often missing a connecting train.
The NJT 2017 Quarterly Report states that 10 of RVL’s 18 stations rank in the top half of all NJT stations in terms of average weekday passenger boarding.
The majority of RVL towns have embraced Smart Growth and Transit-Oriented initiatives with investments that will likely add additional commuters.
Despite these factors, the Raritan Valley Line has received no peak hour direct train service after 20 years of working and negotiating to provide RVL riders equitable service. Unless the commuter experience improves for RVL, our communities may see a decline in economic revitalization in both the residential and commercial sectors.