Riders react to promises of PATH Train improvements

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 22:42:30-04

Call it the PATH promise.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the 13-station system that connects New York City and New Jersey, has announced a plan to add capacity, reduce delays and enhance the customer experience.

It provides service increases beginning in September and continuing through 2022.

A delay reduction initiative will be implemented over the next 30-months addressing six key causes of delay: track conditions, switch failures, car equipment failures, signal equipment issues, sick passengers, and unattended bags.

"PATH is committed to increasing capacity and meeting the needs of our growing ridership,” said Director of PATH Clarelle DeGraffe. “This plan addresses some of our PATH riders’ biggest concerns, especially with the attention to platform safety, better communication, and a user-friendly fare payment system, while ensuring that we intensify the repair and maintenance of our existing system.”

DeGraffe says more than 300,000 riders, a record number, used the system on one day this week.

PATH has already started work to add two more rush hour train sets on the NWK-WTC and Journal Square-33rd St lines during the busiest times of the day.

By 2022, PATH anticipates an additional 20 percent increase in capacity on the Journal Square-33rd St, Hoboken-WTC, and Hoboken-WTC lines and a 40 percent increase in NWK-WTC capacity thanks to an innovative plan to accommodate 9-cars on all NWK-WTC line trains and a new signal system which will enable trains to run more frequently.

In 2017, PATH invested $215.7 million in 72 new train cars to add to the existing fleet of 350 cars; the first of the new cars will be put in service beginning in 2021. To accommodate longer trains, PATH plans improvements at the Grove Street Station, with an investment of $80 million to tear down existing walls and extend the existing platform. Station modifications are also set for Exchange Place Station to add emergency exits.

PATH SmartLink, the first tap-and-go system from 2007, will be phased out and a new one will be introduced by 2022. The agency is negotiating to be a part of the new MTA system called "OMNY."

PATH promises to improve in-station, on-train and online alerts and announcements and to provide more information quickly.