What is the Raritan Valley Mayors Alliance

The Case for the One-Seat Ride

Although the RVL is one of the fastest growing NJ Transit train lines, one-seat ride allocation has not changed to accommodate an increase in ridership. The introduction of dual locomotives, which enable one seat rides, were manufactured in anticipation of the completion of the ARC tunnel. When the ARC project was canceled in 2013, NJ Transit allocated dual locomotives based upon ridership at that time. The end result was enhanced service, including one-seat rides for many lines, except RVL. Since 2013, ridership on the RVL has surpassed the North Jersey Coast Line ridership and continues to grow at a rapid pace. In spite of this, it remains one of only two train rides without peak one-seat ride to New York Penn Station.

Scheduled Commute

Rider takes 6:29pm train from NY Penn Station.

Arrives at 6:47pm at Newark Penn Station

Rider walks to Platform 5

Rider catches 7:00pm train out of Newark and arrives at 7:34pm in Westfield

Total Commute Time

 

55 minutes

 

Minutes

But if there is a delay...

Rider takes 6:29pm train from NY Penn Station.

Arrives at 7:10pm at Newark Penn Station

Rider runs to Platform 5

Rider waits 25 minutes for 7:35pm train and arrives at 7:56pm in Westfield

Total Commute Time

 

87 minutes

 

Minutes

Benefits of One-Seat Ride

One-seat ride does not just affect commuters

Gives RVL towns the ability to compete equally for residential and commercial investment, especially in Opportunity Zones such as Plainfield and Bound Brook

1.

 Supports current economic redevelopment efforts and progress along the RVL corridor in towns such as Union, Garwood, and Somerville

2.

Increases property values in all RVL municipalities, potentially improving resident retention. Midtown Direct Service increased the value of nearby homes by an average of nearly $23,000 per home according to a 2010 ARC report referring to Summit and Montclair

3.

Maximizes Transit-Oriented Development. On the RVL, there are more than 8,000 residential units already built, approved, and/or in the construction phase. 

4.

Enables employers to compete for younger, skilled talent from Manhattan

5.

Our Next Steps

  • Commit to rallying NJ legislators to make peak one-seat ride a priority 

  • Obtain NJ Transit commitment to include peak one-seat ride for the RVL in its 2018-2019 budget

  • Have RVL one-seat ride fully operating by 2020

​Action must be taken now as RVL towns can’t afford to wait for the Gateway Program. The Gateway Program, if funded, will not be able to expand weekday morning or evening peak period service until 2030, at best.

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