Who We Are

The Lackawanna Coalition is an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for better service on the Morris & Essex (M&E) and Montclair-Boonton rail lines operated by New Jersey Transit, as well as on connecting transportation.  The Coalition was founded in 1979 by commuters in Millburn who were deeply concerned about the quality of their rail service.  The service has improved since then under the stewardship of New Jersey Transit, although there are always issues that affect our riders and require our attention.  The Lackawanna Coalition is one of the nation’s oldest rail advocacy organizations and has met in Millburn continuously since it was founded over 40 years ago.

Every person involved with the Coalition is a civic-minded volunteer, and none of us receive any compensation for our efforts.  Some of us started as rail fans, and others became interested in our organization through their experience as commuters.  All of us ride on NJT’s rail lines and other transit in the local area, and some of us are familiar with transit in other cities.  We are aware of the “best practices” used by other transit advocates and managers, and we are always prepared to discuss political or technical issues with managers at NJT.  We are proud of the quality of our dialogue with transit managers, and we consider it a model for other transit advocacy organizations.

Our “Community Members” (originally called “principal members”) are the counties and towns along our rail lines, where the riders live. Several municipalities appoint representatives who participate in the Coalition’s activities. Other members are “Individual Members” (originally called “associate members”): people who join the Coalition directly.  Both classes of members participate fully in all of our activities, and you are invited to join the Lackawanna Coalition as an Individual Member. Dues are only $15.00 per year.  “Join Us” and we will give you all the information you need—whether you are a rail expert or have only ridden the rails a few times.

Our members come from many fields, including law, business, and engineering. Some of our members have held political office, and others are retired rail managers. The editor of our newsletter, the Railgram, is a professional journalist.  You don’t need to be a professional to join us, though. All you need is an interest in the quality of our rail service and some time to devote to our cause.  The Lackawanna Coalition has earned the respect of managers at New Jersey Transit and of other rail advocates around the nation.  We have been serving the riders of our rail lines for over four decades, and we wish to continue doing so for many decades to come.  We again invite you to help us continue that tradition.