I have to wonder if everyone who has been complaining about mass transit in NJ really takes much of it. Granted, right now I live in Newark and am in a decent spot for this kind of stuff... but in the past, I've lived in Rutherford and New Brunswick, and a less central part of Newark. Yes, sometimes you have to wait 10-15 mins between buses. I personally use the time to read or do something else that I could not do while driving (stop for breakfast, whatever). There have only been a handful of times that I can think of where it was extremely inconvenient for me to get someplace on mass transit.
I pretty often travel from my apartment to my office in Piscataway, or to my office in Somerset. If it's raining and I take the subway, it is a 3 seat ride (subway, train, then bus). I suppose the initial transfer is what I make it, since the subway runs very often (and so do my feet), but sometimes at the other end it can be a little while. It takes maybe an hour and 15 mins whereas driving might take 50 mins. Yeah, it's longer. I suppose if I did it every day, that might be a problem, but it it was, I'd move. I suppose it depends what you value. A commute on mass transit is often relatively stress free. It is also cheaper. Frankly, I think doing anything else should cost 3 times as much with the money given back to mass transit. I wonder how many 20 minute connections we'd have if that were the case.
Incidentally, it is pretty screwed up that the timing on the weekend trains at Secaucus are generally better than on the weekdays. I guess that's what happens on those lines though when you try to run trains more often than hourly.
To bring this back to the PVL (I really didn't even realize the title of the thread until I was finished writing -- how did it get to this point?), I rode it a weekend or so ago. It was difficult to tell which train was the PVL and which one was the BCL because the ridership looked roughly the same. It seemed to me the train I got on was ultimately more crowded than many on the Bergen Line. Seemed like 3 relatively full cars. The connection from Newark was a little tight though. Trains coming up the corridor on weekends are always late, and this is a problem in Secaucus for intra-state travel.