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.
The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, joined by a coalition of 30 mayors of towns along the line, seek to ultimately achieve a full one-seat ride Manhattan service on the Raritan Valley Line, which currently terminates in Newark.
“Town after town has major development near their train stations,” said Somerset County Freeholder and Rail Coalition Chairman Peter S. Palmer. “The weekday off-peak service is an important first step.”
He credited the mayors’ coalition, headed by Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, with being “vital to the long-standing effort of the Rail Coalition to bring the one-seat ride to fruition.”
NJ Transit, which has championed Transit-Oriented Development, has agreed to meet quarterly with the One-Seat Ride Coalition to evaluate the results of the new service and discuss further expansion. The next step would be to offer evening one-seat ride service during off-peak hours after 8 p.m.