THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PATH UPDATES ON POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL (PTC) AND SLEEP APNEA PROGRAMS

Date: Jan 17, 2017
Press Release Number: 10-2017

PATH is continuing to implement a series of critical safety protocols for riders and agency staff in addition to its on-track signal system replacement program, which has PATH on pace to complete installation of Positive Train Control, the federally mandated safety enhancement, by the end of 2018.

PATH is using rigorous industry-leading sleep apnea screening and evaluation programs for train engineers entrusted with customer safety. The Port Authority's Office of Medical Services has been at the forefront in devising evaluation programs and in testing current and prospective employees for sleep disorders that may compromise train safety and affect job performance. There are currently no specific regulations or laws in effect relative to train engineers.

The agency screens all PATH engineers for potential sleep apnea during the pre-employment process, and annually during regular physical exams. Engineers believed to be at risk for sleep apnea are referred for evaluation, and if confirmed are held out of service until cleared by medical professionals following in-depth, overnight sleep analysis. These employees must undergo treatment and are regularly monitored for compliance.

"PATH's number one priority remains the safety of our passengers and employees," said PATH Director/General Manager Michael Marino. "While we perform rigorous safety checkpoints on a regular basis throughout the system, given recent events we're going the extra mile to enhance our safety programs as an added precaution."

PATH has been a leader in the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) and is on target to meet a federal deadline to have PTC in place and operational by the end of 2018. About 91 percent of PATH employees have been trained in PTC. As part of PATH's overall Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) program, CBTC equipment has been installed on 216 of 230 passenger cars through the end of December.

These efforts to mitigate sleep disorders and provide PATH personnel with the latest in safety training are just some of the elements of the agency is applying to ensure rider and employee safety.

PATH also is increasing the number of inspections it conducts under an existing rule that mandates engineers approaching bumping blocks should be traveling 8 miles per hour or less. In 2016, PATH examiners conducted nearly 140 observational tests through the rule, with 100-percent compliance. In 2017, PATH will use data recorded in the cars to gauge compliance with this safety requirement, while relying on additional observational techniques to help measure compliance.

Contact:
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.