Pascack Valley Line Riders Rejoice!

New Jersey Transit has finally done something that was long overdue! They have added more service to the Pascack Valley line. According to an article in yesterday’s Bergen Record, New Jersey Transit plans on adding bi-directional off peak and weekend service starting this Sunday.

The Pascack Valley line which is 18 stops long averages a little over 4,000 riders a day. The line stretches out 31 miles while serving riders in Bergen & Rockland counties. At the current time, the line offers service into New York in the mornings & out of New York in the evenings. The line offers no weekend service.

The change in service is the direct result of four passing siding tracks being installed. The installation of the 4 passing siding tracks enables New Jersey Transit to offer service in both directions all day long. The service changes include 15 new trains scheduled for weekday service. Weekend service will consist of 23 trains. The breakdown for the 15 weekday trains consist of 8 trains inbound Secaucus Junction & Hoboken with the remaining 7 going outbound. The breakdown for the 23 weekend trains consist of 11 inbound to Hoboken & 12 outbound.

New Jersey Transit has been planning these changes for sometime now. The agency’s board of directors approved the installation of the passing siding tracks in December 2004. Construction began on the project in 2005 & totaled $19 million when all was said & done. The 4 passing siding tracks were installed in East Rutherford, Hasbrouck Heights, Hackensack, & Nanuet.

Many people had comments about the changes made. Here are some of the comments:

New Jersey Transit Board of Directors Member Susan Hayes – “For the first time, we can get to where we want to go to and not have to fight with the traffic.”

New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri – “These passing sidings have enabled us to address the limitations that have long been posed by the Pascack Valley Line’s single track configuration. Bringing more rail service into Bergen County will encourage more people to leave their cars behind.”

River Edge Mayor Margaret Watkins – “We fully understand how important public transportation is to our lives and how it helps keep us connected to the people and the places we care about.”

Maywood resident Ed Kaminski – “It’s leisurely, I’ve always had to drive to sporting events. Now I can take the train to Devils games.”

To celebrate the long overdue changes, New Jersey Transit is offering a special promotion titled “Bring Friends & Family”. The promotional period will take place during the first two weeks of December. During the promotional period monthly pass holders can bring a friend for free and single ticket purchasers will get a second ticket free.

I used to live in Rockland County for 4 years back in the mid to late 90’s. Friends of mine would always ask why I always used the Red & Tan instead of train when going to the city as a teen. I gave them two reasons for my choice. The first reason is because the bus stop was literally down the block from my house going to NYC while I could get dropped off in front of my house coming back. However the biggest reason is because I never would see any trains at the station in Spring Valley.

Actually I will take that back, I think I saw a train once or twice in my 4 years of living there. I figure why bother hitching a ride to the train station when the bus was close by. If the train offered better service, I would have taken it at some point. I will say that even if it did, it would be hard to pass up the Red & Tan. The price to get to NYC was so low & the service quality was pretty good!

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