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One-Seat Ride Service to Manhattan Will Begin in 2014

NJ Transit will offer limited direct service into Manhattan beginning in March.

Raritan Valley Line Map. Credit: Raritan Valley Rail Coalition
Raritan Valley Line Map. Credit: Raritan Valley Rail Coalition

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition announced on Monday that NJ Transit would offer off-peak service into Manhattan beginning on March 2, 2014.

One-Seat rides along the Raritan Valley Line will arrive in Penn Station between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. The towns impacted include: Bound Brook, Branchburg, Bridgewater, Clinton, Cranford, Dunellen, Fanwood, Garwood, High Bridge, Hillsborough, Lebanon, Mountainside, Netherwood, Piscataway, Plainfield, Raritan, Readington, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Somerville, Union and Westfield.

Somerset County Freeholder and Rail Coalition Chairman, Peter S. Palmer, said the off-peak service is a step in the right direction.

“Town after town has major development near their train stations,” Palmer said. “The weekday off-peak service is an important first step.”

He also credited the mayor’s coalition for their efforts to make a one-seat ride possible. Palmer said that the coalition headed by Fanwood mayor, Colleen Mahr is “vital to the long-standing effort of the Rail Coalition to bring the one-seat ride to fruition.”

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, joined by 30 mayors along the line, has been petitioning for a one-seat ride into Manhattan since NJ Transit purchased dual-mode locomotives. The new locomotives will now operate as diesel through Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties and then switch over to electronic in order to make it through the tunnel.

NJ Transit will meet quarterly with the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition to evaluate how the one-seat ride service is working and discuss extending the service. The next step would be to offer one-seat ride service into Manhattan in the evening hours after 8 p.m., according to the coalition.

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