Rail Coalition Meeting to offer updates on 1-seat ride, Trans-Hudson Tunnel, Hunter Flyover, Roselle Park and Cranford Station Construction.
The next Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) meeting will be on Monday and is open to the public.
The featured speaker will be Westfield Realtor Mary Ellen O’Boyle, who will discuss the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) trend and its economic andother impacts on Main Street and downtowns with rail stations on the Raritan Valley Line.
RVRC Chairman Peter Palmer will present highlights from the September 2017 quarterly one-seat ride meeting with NJ Transit. He also will update the membership on the progress of the Trans-Hudson Tunnel Project, Gateway Project, Penn Station capacity improvements, the Hunter Flyover, Lehigh Line triple-tracking and construction at the Roselle Park and Cranford train stations.
The Oct. 30 meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Town of Westfield Council Chambers located in the municipal building at 425 E. Broad St. Parking is available behind and on the sides of the municipal building.
For questions, driving directions or more information, contact the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition at 908-541-5773, by fax at 908-707-1749 or by e-mail at [email protected]
Dear Raritan Valley Rail Line commuters:
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition would like you to know about the upcoming NJ Department of Transportation (DOT) listening tour stop at the Westfield Train station this Wednesday, March 6th beginning at 5 p.m.
Representatives from NJ Transit, NJ DOT—including DOT Commissioner Diana Guiterrez-Scaccetti and NJ Transit Executive Director Kevin Corbett—as well as members of the State Assembly, will be on hand to listen to public concerns about the Raritan Valley Rail line service.
If you are available to go, we encourage you to join us there to make your voice heard in calling for train service improvements—including a “One Seat Ride”—on the Raritan Valley Rail line.
Unfortunately, the tour has been scheduled at a time when many commuters cannot make it.
Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski and Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman Bruce Bergen will be on hand with municipal officials to represent you and voice concerns to the state about the restoration of the one-seat ride and implementation of a full-time one-seat ride.
If you have any questions or wish to stay informed on rail issues, the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, which also consists of a Mayors’ Alliance and of county and state officials, can be reached on email at [email protected], is on the web at www.raritanvalleyrail.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/raritanvalleyrail and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rvrailcoalition.
Jerry Zaro, the New Jersey Trustee to the Gateway Development Program, will discuss and update the public about the project. NJ Transit officials invited
CRANFORD, NJ—-The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC), a rail-advocacy group representing 1.7 million residents in four counties along NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Rail line, will sponsor a free presentation on the Gateway Project, beginning at 7:00 p.m, Tuesday, March 26th at the Cranford Community Center.
“It cannot be understated: the Gateway Project, and related work, which has been long postponed, comprise the most significant economic impact project in the nation. It is urgent to New Jersey, the northeast, and in fact the entire country, that Federal funding be secured and the project proceeds expeditiously,” said Bruce Bergen, a former Union County Freeholder who is the Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. “The regional economy would be dealt a catastrophic blow if one of the two existing tunnels, which have seriously deteriorated, fails or is forced to close for a substantial period of time for repairs.”
All are welcome to attend the free event. The Cranford Community Center is located at 220 Walnut Avenue in Cranford, with onsite parking.
Jerry Zaro, an attorney with Sills, Cummis and Gross P.C. in Newark, serves as Chairman of the Gateway Development Corporation (GDC) and will be the featured speaker. The GDC oversees the Gateway Project, the multibillion-dollar infrastructure initiative to build new rail tunnels under the Hudson River, rehabilitate the already-existing 108-year-old tunnels (which were badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy), build a new Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River, expand New York’s Penn Station, and related projects. It would be the largest current infrastructure project in the United States.
Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp noted: “Reliable train service, including a one-seat ride to New York, is key to the continued revitalization of New Jersey’s urban centers, and the economic well-being of our residents and businesses. Funding must be secured to complete these initiatives, rebuild our roads and bridges and keep our cities moving forward.” Plainfield has two train stations on the Raritan Valley Rail line.
Peter Palmer, former Somerset County Freeholder, and current RVRC Trustee said that commuters continue to suffer from delays and cancelations from an over-burdened and antiquated train system in dire need of upgrades. Somerset County has five train stations along the Raritan Valley Rail line.
“Our residents who rely on train service are being pushed to their limits,” said Palmer. “Further delay in making desperately-needed improvements to train service will damage regional economic development. The Rahway Rail Coalition will continue to advocate as strongly as possible on their behalf.
Bette Jane Kowalski, Chair of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and an RVRC Trustee, is promoting Union County’s efforts on the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition this year as part of the Board’s 2019 initiatives. Union County has eight stations on the Raritan Valley line, including one in Cranford, where Freeholder Kowalski resides.
“We have heard from many residents who have been personally impacted by the delays and cancellations,” said Freeholder Kowalski. “We will continue to make our voices heard for the completion of the Gateway Project and the restoration of the one-seat ride for direct service to New York.”
Hunterdon County Freeholder J. Matthew Holt, an RVRC Trustee, stated: “Both the Gateway Project and restoration of the one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley rail are crucial to the economic vitality of our region. Making these improvements would not only make the commute better, but bring economic benefits to the region—including increased home values, and increased commerce.” There are four train stations along the Raritan Valley rail line in Hunterdon County.
George Ververides, Director of County Planning for Middlesex County, and RVRC Trustee said: “Middlesex County strongly supports the completion of the Gateway Project and the restoration of the one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley Rail line. Transit delays are impacting productivity and the economy. It is also a public safety issue and major quality of life issue as well for residents who commute.”
The Gateway Project improvements are in the heart of the Northeast Corridor, the most heavily used passenger train line in the United States, which accounts for 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). It’s estimated that 10 percent of U.S. GDP depends on transit between New York and New Jersey alone.
The Northeast Corridor carries more than 800,000 passengers in 2,000 trains daily across eight states and Washington D.C. A 2016 Amtrak report found that implementation of the full Gateway project could generate $3.87-worth of economic benefits for every $1 spent.
The Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, which represents Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon Counties, was created nearly two decades ago to campaign for a one-seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line, which has 23,500 passengers daily, making it NJ Transit’s third most-used rail line. While track connectivity existed into New York, Raritan Valley riders always had to get off in Newark and switch trains because their diesel engines were not allowed into the tunnels under the Hudson River.
That changed in 2014 when NJ Transit began using dual-mode locomotives that could switch from diesel to electric power, making it possible to have a direct ride into New York City. NJ Transit introduced limited, one-seat ride service during off-peak hours in January 2015, but then suspended it last year.
The Coalition, which also consists of a Mayors’ Alliance and of County and State officials, can be reached on email at [email protected], is on the web at raritanvalleyrail.com/, on Facebook at facebook.com/raritanvalleyrail/, and Twitter at twitter.com/rvrailcoalition.
Monday evening Cranford is playing host to a public presentation by the Regional Plan Association on their report, “A Preventable Crisis, The Economic and Human Costs of a Hudson River Rail Tunnel Shutdown.” It starts at 6:30 and will be held in the Community Center.
Roselle Park – The Borough of Roselle Park and the U.S. Census Bureau will be co-hosting a job fair for residents interested in working for the U.S. Census Bureau in late 2019 and early 2020.
The 2020 Census Job Fair is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at the Casano Community Center (314 Chestnut Street).
At this job fair and information session, people will be able to learn about why the census is important to their community and find out what job opportunities are available to the residents of Roselle Park. Applications can be completed online. Applicants can even use their smartphones to apply. Census staff will be available to help with the application and answer questions.
The U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire 63,000 people in the state of New Jersey for a variety of positions. There are field positions (e.g. enumerators) and office positions (e.g. clerks and IT specialists) available. The hours are flexible. Once hired you give the U.S. Census Bureau your hours of availability each week and you will only be asked to work during those hours. You are paid for training as well.
The goal of the 2020 census is to “count everyone once, only once, and in the right place,” the Census Bureau says. The United States holds a census every 10 years.
Those interested in a 2020 census job can apply online at www.2020census.gov/jobs.