Date: Jul 25, 2012
Press Release Number: 106-2012
Ridership growth helped by Port Authority’s more than $1 billion investment in PATH
PATH ridership through the first six months of 2012 is on pace to set a new record for the second consecutive year. During the period January 1 through June 30, 2012, PATH ridership is approximately 4 percent ahead of last year’s record pace.
The 2011 annual record of 76.6 million passenger trips were the most since the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey established PATH in 1962 after taking over the bankrupt Hudson and Manhattan Railroad.
Through June of this year, PATH trips slightly exceeded 39 million, up from 37.6 million through the same period in 2011. That puts PATH ridership on pace to exceed 78 million riders in 2012, which would represent an increase of more than 8 percent since 2009. Of PATH’s 39 million riders during the first six months of 2012, 22 million – or 56 percent – boarded PATH trains at the seven New Jersey stations.
The continued record numbers follow Port Authority investments of more than $1 billion in the PATH system in recent years, including the purchase of 350 new rail cars, significant station modernization programs and plans to computerize the system’s antiquated signals.
“The PATH rail system is a critical component of the Port Authority’s interstate transportation network, and we have invested more than $1 billion to modernize PATH’s stations, trains and signal system to make sure it remains a preferred mode of travel between New Jersey and New York,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “This continued record growth in ridership confirms our investment is working to attract millions of additional riders.”
“The Port Authority is committed to providing our region with high quality mass-transit alternatives,’’ said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “The PATH's record growth in ridership validates that attractive mass-transit options will be embraced by our region’s commuters."
“We are serious about providing those commuting to work, shopping and entertainment an alternative to their vehicles when they need and want to cross the Hudson River,’’ said Pat Foye, the agency’s executive director. “These investments in PATH are making it easier, more convenient and reliable to travel by train between New York and New Jersey.’’
“The Port Authority has kept its promise to the public by committing more than $1 billion to the PATH system’s future,’’ said Bill Baroni, the agency’s deputy executive director. “Better stations, newer trains and modernized stations and signals have driven the huge influx of passengers to PATH in recent years.”
Last year, PATH completed the overhaul of its rail system by replacing its aged fleet of railcars with 340 new trains, and 10 new cars are being added this year to bring the entire fleet to 350 cars. Efforts to replace PATH’s mechanized signals along the system’s 43 miles of track and at the line’s 13 stations also are underway as part of a $400 million overhaul. Station modernization work has begun, with the latest plans for a $256 million replacement of the existing Harrison station announced in April.
Stations showing the largest growth in passengers through the first six months of 2012 include Harrison, with a 10.1 percent increase, and Christopher Street with a 10.7 percent increase. There also were ridership increases of 8.4 percent at 9th Street, 6.5 percent at 23rd Street, 5.7 percent at Grove Street and 5.3 percent at the World Trade Center.
Ridership rose 5 percent at the six stations in New York during the first half of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011, while passenger trips at the seven New Jersey stations climbed more than 3 percent.
Port Authority efforts also are underway to accommodate the expected continued growth in ridership in the coming decades. The new signal system will permit trains to travel closer together, safely allowing more frequent service during peak periods. Platform extensions on the World Trade Center to Newark line will allow all stations to handle 10-car trains, instead of the current maximum of eight cars.
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, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. 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 relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.