Governor James E. McGreevey rode a PATH train into the Exchange Place PATH Station in Jersey City today to mark the stationís reopening Ė officially restoring a critical transportation link for the region that was severed by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The stationís reopening marks a key milestone in the Port Authorityís aggressive program to restore PATH service to Lower Manhattan. Construction is well under way on the temporary World Trade Center PATH station. That station will reopen in November, a month ahead of schedule.
The reopening of these PATH stations is a key first step in the rebuilding of the regionís transportation system. The Port Authority has identified more than $2 billion in projects in the area of the World Trade Center site to restore and enhance transportation service to and from Lower Manhattan. The projects include construction of a permanent World Trade Center PATH terminal, and east-west and north-south pedestrian connections to link PATH to the subways and ferries.
"None of us will ever forget the events of September 11, 2001, and the impact that tragic day had on the lives of so many of us," Governor McGreevey said. "While that day will never be forgotten, the reopening of this station signifies our commitment to move forward, to rebuild and to restore the quality of life for our citizens."
The Exchange Place Station will be dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Governor McGreevey today unveiled a replica of the plaque that will be displayed in the station.
Governor McGreevey said, "PATH is a vital lifeline for the thousands of New Jersey commuters who work in or travel to Manhattan each day. This station is a major hub for travelers going to and from jobs along Jersey Cityís bustling waterfront and in Lower Manhattan. Todayís reopening of Exchange Place will spark our efforts to create jobs and economic activity in New Jersey and throughout the region."
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, "The PATH system is a critical part of the regionís extensive transportation network, which we are aggressively working to revitalize. The reopening of this station brings us closer to the day when PATH service will be restored to Lower Manhattan, which will help reinvigorate the economy of the downtown area."
U.S. Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey said, "This is an important step forward for New Jersey commuters as we restore part of a vital transportation link for the New Jersey-New York region. But this is also a day marked by sadness. Hard-working men and women passed through Exchange Place on the morning of September 11, 2001, and never returned, victims of despicable terrorists intent on murder and intent on breaking our nationís spirit. We can never forget the innocent lives lost."
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said, "Restoration of this service is both a tribute to the memory of the lives lost on September 11, and an indication of the remarkable dedication of so many who worked to make today happen. We will never forget the tragedy of the loss of innocent lives and the commitment of so many men and women to respect those lives by accelerating this project. The plaque that is dedicated today will ensure that legacy."
Port Authority Board Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "The reopening of this PATH station delivers on a promise the Port Authority made to the region 21 months ago to work quickly and aggressively to restore and strengthen the regionís transportation system. Todayís milestone builds on our commitment to expand travel options for the tens of thousands of people who live and work here."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "The reopening of this station in 21 months is truly an unprecedented effort. Our Port Authority and PATH staff and contractors should be commended for working long, hard hours to bring this station back to life as quickly as possible. They were able to respond to all of the design and construction challenges to get the job done."
To allow PATH passengers to get to and from Lower Manhattan more quickly until the World Trade Center PATH station reopens, ferry service will be increased between Exchange Place and the World Financial Center. Ferries will operate from Exchange Place every six minutes during rush hours. This will allow commuters to save up to 15 minutes by taking PATH to Exchange Place and convenient ferry service to Lower Manhattan compared to other transportation options for making the same trip.
With the reopening of the Exchange Place Station, PATH will restore routes similar to ones operated before September 11, 2001. They are: Newark to Exchange Place; Journal Square to 33rd Street; Hoboken to 33rd Street; and Exchange Place to Hoboken.
The majority of the work under the $160 million Exchange Place restoration project involved the construction of new crossover tunnels, along with new track work, to create a terminal station. When the World Trade Center PATH station was destroyed, there was no operational way to get PATH trains in and out of the Exchange Place station without creating serious disruption to other PATH services. In addition, the stationís platforms were extended to accommodate up to 10-car trains. In the future, this operational flexibility also should help to facilitate PATH service while the permanent World Trade Center PATH terminal is built.
PATH estimates that approximately 8,000 daily passenger trips will be made from the station, including several thousand transferring to and from Lower Manhattan ferry services.