Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-22nd District, is proposing legislation that would require New Jersey Transit to conduct a feasibility study on restoring the one-seat ride from the Raritan Valley Line to New York City.
The legislation, if passed, would require New Jersey Transit to issue a report to the Legislature detailing findings of the study.
“The loss of the one-seat ride to Manhattan has been felt throughout my district and surrounding counties,” Scutari, who represents Middlesex, Somerset and Union, said in a statement. “The Raritan Valley Line is a large rail operation with strong ridership numbers and it is perplexing to me, and to those in the area, why NJ Transit would view this passage to New York City as expendable.”
“Our businesses, our residents and our economy are feeling the effects of this loss every day. The continued temporary loss of revenue, the loss of time and the loss of tax dollars cannot continue to persist without incurring permanent losses,” he added.
The Regional Plan Association conducted a study on the impact of the one-seat ride service into Manhattan in relation to the effect on the towns surrounding the rail line. The study revealed that towns are more desirable and see increases in their residential property values.
These towns greatly benefit from workers traveling through as well, Scutari said. Salaries for jobs in Manhattan are 60 percent higher than the same jobs in New Jersey, he said.
This consumer spending correlates to strong local economies with healthy business districts, and attract new businesses to these towns.