For the first time in history, riders on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL) can enjoy a one-seat ride between their home stations and Penn Station, New York. The new service started on Monday, March 3, but RVL trains are extended to New York only during mid-day hours on weekdays. NJT rail planner Thomas W. Morgan told the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) that the experiment would be “an open-ended pilot” and did not mention any plans for extending the one-seat ride service to other times. Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chair Peter S. Palmer called for expansion of the one-seat-ride service to weekday evenings, after peak-commuting hours are over, with later expansion to weekends and then peak-commuting hours.
The RVRC was founded in 1998 to advocate specifically for a one-seat rideto New York for RVL riders. Most RVL trains will still terminate at Newark Penn Station, where riders must transfer for New York trains, most having to endure a difficult and time-consuming platform change every morning. The Lackawanna Coalition is aware of the improvements to our own service that came with Midtown Direct one-seat ride service to New York from the Morris & Essex (M&E) Line in 1996, and we support the initiative to provide similar service for RVL riders.