Date: Oct 31, 2011
Press Release Number: 132-2011
PATH’s final new seven-car train entered passenger service today, completing a three-year transformation of the Port Authority line’s entire 340-car rail fleet from one of the nation’s oldest systems to one of its most modern.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey put the new train into service following a ceremony with agency officials and guests this morning at the Hoboken PATH station, marking the completion of the $744 million project to replace old cars dating back to the 1980s, 1970s and even the 1960s.
“The Port Authority has kept a major promise to the 74 million riders who use PATH annually as they travel this vital transportation link between New Jersey and New York,’’ said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “The new trains highlight the Port Authority’s commitment to PATH, and this milestone – delivered under budget- is just one component of a multi-billion investment in the system.”
“Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Port Authority’s ownership and operation of the PATH rail line,’’ said Bill Baroni, the agency’s deputy executive director. “We look forward to continuing the PATH modernization to the benefit of commuters heading to work in both New York and New Jersey. The installation of a computerized signal system and critical station improvements will begin our next 50 years of stewardship of this mass-transit system.”
Gleaming new stainless steel cars, featuring the PATH blue color with logos in white, have been coming into service on PATH’s 43 miles of tracks since the first half of 2009, following the designing and manufacturing of the trains by Kawasaki Rail Car Corp. Following delivery from Kawasaki’s Yonkers facility, each of the 340 new cars went through an extensive testing process before they were ready for passenger service.
Production of the rail cars meant approximately 500 jobs for Kawasaki, with approximately 200 local firms – including higher-than-contractually required use of minority- and women-owned businesses – working on the project.
The new PATH cars offer an array of improved features for the roughly 250,000 commuter trips made by riders each weekday. These include:
The Port Authority’s investment in PATH also consists of station improvements that include upgrades of the public address speaker systems, lighting, seating and directional signage. PATHVision monitors, featuring news and information, are now at all 13 stations.
Installation of a new, roughly $400 million computerized signal system to replace antiquated mechanized signals is the next major improvement planned for the 104-year-old mass-transit line. New signals will help trains travel more efficiently, allowing speedier service that will provide critically needed capacity on the line.
Modernization of stations is also planned, including a complete renovation of the outmoded Harrison Station; land acquisition necessary for this project already is underway. Additionally, the platforms eventually will be extended at stations along the World Trade Center-Newark line to accommodate 10-car trains, which also will help increase passenger capacity.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey,
Ron Marsico, 212-435-7777
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is self-sufficient and does not receive tax dollars from either state, 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 Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey 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.