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One-Seat Ride to Manhattan Debuts March 3

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 3. 

The trains will arrive in New York between 10 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.  For departure times from the High Bridge, Raritan and other stations going eastbound, and from Penn Station going westbound, visit http://bit.ly/OneSeatRide 

NJ Transit has purchased dual-mode locomotives that will operate as diesels through Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties and as electric locomotives through the tunnel to Manhattan, making the one-seat ride possible.  Ten trains will be part of the pilot program. 

The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, joined by a coalition of 30 mayors of towns along the line, seeks to ultimately achieve a full one-seat ride Manhattan service on the Raritan Valley Line, which currently terminates in Newark. 

“Step two, which we hope to see in a few months, will be a one-seat ride in the evenings after 8 p.m. going out from Penn Station,” said Somerset County Freeholder Peter S. Palmer, who chairs the rail coalition.  “That way people who go to the theater or whatever don’t have to worry about changing trains on the way home.” 

He said the third step would be weekend service and the ultimate goal is weekday rush-hour service.  “Making that happen is a ways off,” he said, due to track scheduling issues.  “But this is our number-one, long-term objective.  We’ve been working on this for 15 years and now that we have dual locomotives, we’ll continue to push for this.” 

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NewarkDirect February 19, 2014 at 10:06 PM
Cold comfort to the 90 pct of RV ridership that works a regular schedule - will help the matinee crowd but we'll never get real 1 seat service since Big Boy vetoed the ARC project.
Simon Hylson-Smith February 20, 2014 at 07:00 AM
I applaud all the hard work being done on this.... but looking at the schedules, it seems that the new one-seat ride doesn't save any time versus the existing method of changing at Newark and waiting for the second train...that's a little disappointing as time-saving (as well as safety) is a key factor for many commuters. Understandably, this will make much less difference during the off-peak hours for riders in the initial phase but I hope this is addressed when the rush-hour trains are introduced (which is the grand prize, as we all know; the interim steps are merely stages towards this goal and have little merit in themselves aside from this). Perhaps I misread the timetables....
Patty February 20, 2014 at 07:15 AM
Best guess is the train will save 7 minutes each way. The reason you don't see a bigger time saving is that these are not express trains. Hopefully, once the project is fully rolled out they will add peak, express trains which will save significant time. But this is part 1 of a 4 phase roll out. There are no commitments as to timeline for the next phases.
Andrew Crouthamel February 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM
Love the train article. Didn't know they even had that as an option for an engine. Here in PA, SEPTA is just now realizing that they might need double-decker train cars due to passenger load. Mind you, this is right after they just bought 120 single-deck ones for $274 million. Sigh.

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