The River LINE’s half-hourly headways are really good considering it’s basically a commuter rail service. But waiting in Riverside, NJ for half an hour on an early Sunday morning? Lemme tell ya, there’s not a lot to do.
I get the feeling most River LINE reviews will be like this. There’s just not a lot here! The high-level platforms get ramps on both sides, and once you’re up there, you’ve got all your basic amenities: shelter, benches, wastebaskets, ticket machines, and departure screens. For the record, that’s not a bad thing – the platforms are simple but effective. There are even a few little art pieces on the shelter columns, adding a tiny touch of character.
Strangely, when I was here, I completely failed to realize that this station has three parking lots. Actually, wait, there’s so signage anywhere. Never mind, I don’t feel as bad. Heck, for two of them, the lots themselves don’t even get signs! There’s nothing saying “Hey, if you’re a New Jersey Transit commuter, this is where you park.”
“Lot 1”, the one in the middle that’s closest to the station, seems to get the most people. This is the one with actual NJT signs, and it also gets three bike racks. Lot 2, the smallest one, is across Pavilion Ave from the station. Finally, Lot 3, despite being the biggest, is really out of the way! I’m glad the road to it has a sidewalk, but it passes vacant land that was supposed to be occupied by a housing development that seems to have never been built. All together, the station has 315 (!) parking spaces, and they are ALL FREE. Not only that, but as far as I can tell, you can park in them for as long as you want. Man, what a deal!
River LINE Station: Riverside
Ridership: No ridership data, huh? Well, on an early Sunday morning, there were three to four people waiting on each side. Hey, better than nothing!
Pros: The station does a lot with a little. I guess this is probably the case with most River LINE stations, but it has all the amenities you would want from a small-town stop like this. The station is right in the center of Riverside, but it also has more parking than you would ever need (not to mention it’s all free).
Cons: I think lack of signage to the lots is the main thing. I guess the idea is that you’ve already parked your car, so you should know where it is relative to the station, but the fact that there are three different lots makes things more confusing. Proper labelling and signage would help wayfinding here a lot.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There’s a main street. Was there anything to do on a Sunday morning? Uhh…the supermarket was open. Nice.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Riverside is a station I don’t have a lot to say about, but that’s just because it gets the job done. Really, aside from the lack of signage, everything here is pretty good. And even if you can’t get to your car because you can’t find the lot, at least you’ll never get charged because parking is free and unlimited! Yay! Anything to get people to ride this thing, right, NJT?
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