THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


BACK ON TOP: WORLD TRADE CENTER PATH STATION RECLAIMS SPOT AS RAIL SYSTEM’S BUSIEST ON WEEKDAYS

Date: Feb 12, 2004
Press Release Number: 13-2004

Station Averages More Than 30,000 Weekday Commuters
Since January 15, Significantly Exceeding Expectations


Two months after opening, the Port Authority’s World Trade Center PATH Station is setting ridership records far faster than expected.

In the clearest sign yet of Lower Manhattan’s continuing recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the temporary World Trade Center Station already has achieved an important milestone, reclaiming its position as the busiest station in the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) system on weekdays – two years ahead of the Port Authority’s original projection.

The World Trade Center Station also has averaged more than 30,000 weekday PATH riders since January 15 – and topped 30,000 riders seven times between January 20 and 30. The busiest day occurred on January 29, when more than 36,000 riders boarded PATH at the World Trade Center Station.

Before the Port Authority restored PATH service to the World Trade Center site on November 23, 2003, the bistate agency expected the temporary station to initially average 18,000 weekday riders; to range between 20,000 and 30,000 weekday riders within the first year; and to average 24,000 weekday commuters after a year of service. The Port Authority also expected the World Trade Center Station to become the PATH system’s busiest weekday station by 2006. The station already has exceeded each goal.

Ridership highlights include:

The Port Authority released PATH ridership information through January 31.

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, “If you want to understand the importance of PATH service to the World Trade Center Station, all you need to do is look at the smiles on the faces of the tens of thousands of daily commuters from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan – who are getting to their jobs faster, cheaper and more conveniently. Direct rail service between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan is a vital cog in the engine that drives our regional economy.”

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The rapid return of PATH riders to the World Trade Center Station clearly shows that Lower Manhattan is recovering from the devastation of the September 11 terrorist attacks even faster than we had hoped. This is a tribute to the determination of the people of New York City, New York State and the region. We will build on this success in the coming months, as we work together to lay the foundation for the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, to create the World Trade Center Memorial and to construct a world-class Transportation Hub at the site.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Once again, the Port Authority has shown that it can meet any challenge on behalf of the people of this region. Just as 40 years ago, when the Governors of New York and New Jersey recognized that the integration of mass transit would be crucial to the success of the first World Trade Center, these initial numbers indicate that enhanced regional mobility again will play a significant role in the future of the site.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The return of the PATH interstate rail system is essential for the economic strength of Lower Manhattan. One-third of all the people who work in Lower Manhattan commute from New Jersey. The PATH system conveniently carries tens of thousands of workers to their jobs each day, and provides a compelling incentive to create even more jobs in the nation’s third-largest business district.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “As use of the temporary World Trade Center PATH Station continues to grow, the Port Authority and world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava are already hard at work on the creation of a permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which will include a Permanent PATH Terminal, pedestrian connections to subway and ferry service across Lower Manhattan, and a spectacular grand pavilion that already is being praised around the globe. This world-class Transportation Hub will rival Grand Central Terminal as an architectural landmark, and will comfortably and conveniently meet the needs of Lower Manhattan residents, commuters and visitors to a fitting World Trade Center Memorial that will forever honor the heroes of September 11.”

The $2 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub will feature a Permanent PATH Terminal that eventually will serve more than 80,000 daily PATH riders, and seamless pedestrian connections to the World Financial Center and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposed Fulton Street Transit Center. Lower Manhattan residents, commuters and visitors will enjoy far faster access to ferry service along the Hudson River, and to 14 Lower Manhattan subway lines – the 1/9, 2/3, 4/5, N/R, A/C/E and J/M/Z. By 2020, these connections are expected to accommodate 250,000 daily commuters and visitors.

The Transportation Hub also is being designed to accommodate potential future rail service to John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Long Island destinations.

The Permanent PATH Terminal is expected to begin serving passengers by the end of 2006. All elements of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub are scheduled for completion by 2009.

The temporary station – the final piece of the Port Authority’s $566 million program to restore PATH service as quickly as possible from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan – is the first public space to open within the World Trade Center site since the terrorist attacks.

The temporary station provides a basic level of passenger service. It does not include many of the customer amenities that existed in the World Trade Center PATH Station prior to September 11, 2001, such as heating, air conditioning and rest rooms. Those customer amenities will be restored in the permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

The Port Authority is providing a heightened level of security at the temporary station. The station also complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and with life-safety provisions established by the National Fire Protection Association, which is the standard for transit facilities across the nation.

On a typical workday, 280 PATH trains travel into the temporary station. New Jersey commuters to Lower Manhattan have seen their travel times cut by approximately 10 to 15 minutes in each direction.

The temporary World Trade Center Station is the first in the PATH system to accept pay-per-ride MetroCards sold by the MTA. In the latter part of this year, the Port Authority plans to begin phasing in pay-per-ride MetroCard capability at other PATH stations.

The PATH restoration was funded by Federal Emergency Management Agency money, Port Authority funds and insurance proceeds.

The Port Authority began service in 1962 on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson system, more commonly known as PATH, after taking over the system from the bankrupt Hudson and Manhattan Railroad. The system was originally built in 1908, and the tunnels linking New York and New Jersey were the first passenger rail connections between the two states.

Before September 11, 2001, the PATH system of 13 stations carried approximately 260,000 daily passengers between New York and New Jersey. Today, PATH carries approximately 180,000 daily passengers. Prior to September 11, 2001, approximately 67,000 daily passengers b