Coalition-building Theme at New Jersey Rail Meeting
At the latest meeting of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) held in Somerville, NJ, the message was loud and clear: more than ever, now is the time to build partnerships and gain allies in advocating for better transportation services and more sustainable transit options.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition – dedicated to facilitating improvements for New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley rail line – has been holding regular meetings over the past six months as a means of reporting the findings from the I-78 Corridor Transit Study. Thus far, the study has focused on possible transportation alternatives for the busy I-78 corridor, but not much has been reported in terms of rail expansion options. Nonetheless, support was strong for coalition-building around the rail initiative.
As many of you already know, RenewLV supports the study of regional rail for the Lehigh Valley, particularly focusing on the possible extension of the Raritan Valley line from High Bridge to Phillipsburg, N.J., and the impact of such a project for this region. Since a regional rail service in the Valley will presumably involve partnerships with adjacent states – namely, New Jersey, and even New York – identifying allies across state boundaries is incredibly important for the regional rail effort.
Today’s meeting was proof of a thriving sentiment for multi-organizational, multi-state collaboration. HART Commuter Information Services, a transportation management association that promotes ridesharing, and the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility were just some of the organizations that called for a need to work together on determining better transportation solutions for the NY-NJ-PA region. Moreover, representatives from Somerset and Hunterdon Counties within New Jersey specifically mentioned the Lehigh Valley as a region that must be included in the discussions for rail expansion. Reaching out to such allies will be an important step in advancing a coordinated rail plan in the Valley.
Visit our “Join Us” page and provide your name and e-mail, along with clicking the box next to “Transportation,” in order to stay informed and updated on any new developments related to the Lehigh Valley regional rail initiative. Additionally, I encourage you to e-mail us your thoughts and ideas related to smart growth and regional collaboration at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input helps ensure a thriving Valley.