CentralValleyRail wrote:I can raise it with the town of Wayne and see if they can go to NJT with the idea.. Wayne politics had a big part in the transit center. And I know of many people who have to ride the bus that would take the train in a heartbeat if it was direct and faster... Usually with things like this that are right in front of your face politicians and locals don't explore into the options. If presented with a viable option I think it would be worth a shot. And I know there will be a lot of backlash at me for the idea but I didn't make 6 figures on my own 7 figure startup by sitting and laughing at the idea...More power to you if you are willing to bring it up to elected officials for consideration! If I lived in Wayne or further along the line I would have done so myself, but I do not and I am very reluctant to try to deal with elected officials who know that I cannot vote for them -- most politicians tend to be very dismissive of ideas that come from people who cannot vote for them even if such ideas are to the benefit of their own voting constituents. I can provide some advice and insight into the process to you or anyone else willing to push for extension of 1-2 morning and 1-2 evening Midtown Direct trains into the diesel territory of the Boonton Line.
The pattern to be followed is roughly the same as the one that established weekend service to Bay Street in Montclair. There it was basically a single person who first got the Mayor and elected officials in Montclair onboard, then their state senator/representative in Trenton and other officials from Bloomfield and Glen Ridge. At the point when the extension of the Hoboken-Newark Broad shuttles to Montclair was brought to NJT the political support was there and the crucial argument was that no additional equipment or crews were needed -- those shuttles were idling at Broad Street anyway. The extra revenue of the extension about covered the extra electricity/fuel costs, so the extension was revenue neutral to NJT and that is why it happened. The reason why it has not been possible to make that weekend service to Bay Street more frequent than once every 2 hours or get it up to MSU is that neither of these would be revenue neutral -- more trainsets and crews would be required.
The situation with extending 1-2 trains in the morning and in the evening beyond MSU is very similar, but of course not exactly the same. First, NJT is really capital starved, so any extension should not require even $1 in capital dollars. Second, the extra operating costs must be minimal in order to be sufficiently close to being covered by the extra revenue that about 200 new passengers would bring (200 is just my reasonable guess, your estimate might be different). Also it cannot afford to lose any of the existing passengers and their revenue, so like it or not any extended train stays local in Montclair. Starting from an existing yard is clearly a must as establishing a new crew base is expensive, so Dover or Port Morris it is (as explained earlier trying to do it from MSU yard is operationally cumbersome and is a no go). On the political front, one of the cards to play is: if the Coast and Raritan lines got ALP45s for a few direct trains from diesel territory into NYP, why can't we have 1-2 direct trains too? We do not need new slots into NYP and the extensions even come with some extra revenue to cover the extra fuel costs (and maybe extra crew time). Speaking of crews, from crew perspective the best place to start is Dover because the crew needs to end up where it began its day. Returning the crew back to Dover at the end of their shift (which will be before the extended evening run beyond MSU) is easier to accomplish than returning the crew to Port Morris. This is because the crew can return to Dover from NYP via an M&E run. Anyway, if you or anyone else has serious interest in pushing and trying to make this happen we can discuss further including in private and in person ...