Success of SmartLink and use of pay-per-use MetroCards prompts phase-out of PATH QuickCards
The Port Authority soon will make plastic SmartLink Cards the preferred method of travel on PATH rail lines, while continuing the option of allowing MetroCard holders individual rides on a pay-per-use basis.
Soaring use of SmartLink since its 2007 implementation will mean a phase-out of paper QuickCards, which have expiration dates and require manual insertion into a turnstile and retrieval.
Advantages of SmartLink include the best discounts per trip and the convenience of replenishing the number of rides via a credit card. Additionally, trip balances may be protected from loss by registering the card. Riders can obtain more information about the SmartLink cards at www.pathsmartlinkcard.com
Use of the SmartLink program has increased significantly since the reusable cards were introduced last year, with a total of 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.
Riders who still wish to buy single-ride tickets for PATH will retain that option at all of the system's vending machines. Cash or credit cards may be used. Single- or round-trip rides also may be purchased on MetroCards.
Phase-out of the QuickCard is part of the agency's extensive initiative to modernize PATH operations, the most complete overhaul since the Port Authority took control of the rail line in 1962. Those improvements include deployment of new train cars, upgraded signaling equipment and station renovations.
Vending machines at NJ Transit stations will no longer sell QuickCards after Nov. 30. QuickCards will remain available at machines at PATH's Newark Penn, Hoboken Terminal, Pavonia-Newport, Exchange Place and the World Trade Center stations until Dec. 31. QuickCard sales at PATH's other stations in New Jersey and Manhattan already have been discontinued.
Looking toward the future, the Port Authority has partnered with NJ Transit on a pilot program set to begin next year that would let riders use contact-less bank cards, key rings, cell phones and other electronic devices to pay for transit fares. MasterCard Worldwide is developing and testing the "tap" payment system.
Ultimately, the pilot project's goal is to determine whether such a contact-less system is viable for riders using all of the region's transit systems, including New York City's subways and buses.
To obtain further details about PATH ticketing options, please call 1-800-234-PATH (7284) or visit the pathrail.com
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Ron Marsico, 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; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.