Date: Jun 09, 2009
Press Release Number: 69-2009
Half of PATH Riders Now Use Reusable Card as Preferred Fare Payment Method
Half of the 240,000 weekday PATH riders now use PATH’s reusable SmartLink card, making it the preferred method of fare payment on the interstate rapid-transit system.
The SmartLink cards - introduced in 2007 - have become more popular than the MetroCard, used by 38 percent of PATH customers, and the QuickCard, used by nine percent of the riders. Three percent of riders buy PATH’s single-ride ticket.
One of the most attractive features of the SmartLink card is that unlike other fare-payment options, it allows customers to replenish their cards online with a credit card or to have the cards replenished automatically.
The popularity of the SmartLink cards will allow the Port Authority to phase out the use of QuickCards by the end of this year. The Port Authority’s Marketing Department recently won several national awards for its promotion of the SmartLink card.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The success of SmartLink shows how we're using new technology to help make PATH more convenient and cost-effective. It’s part of the Port Authority’s multibillion-dollar investment that will make PATH best in class among the nation’s rapid-transit systems.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “This state-of-the-art card makes it easier and more convenient for people to use public transit. Our goal is to get more people out of their cars and onto trains and buses, and SmartLink will help us make this happen.”
Use of the SmartLink program has increased significantly since the reusable cards were introduced two years ago, with approximately 120,000 riders now holding them. The cards have proven popular because they do not require a swipe through the turnstiles since they have embedded chips and do not expire.
Phaseout of the QuickCard is part of the agency’s program to upgrade the PATH system, the most complete overhaul since the Port Authority took control of the rail line in 1962. The improvements include new rail cars, a new signals system and station upgrades.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams or Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.