New PATH Trains, New Jobs, Good News for One Town
The announcement came that the plant had received a half-billion dollar contract to build new PATH trains for the Port Authority. Stacey Sager was at the plant, for the celebration. They broke the barrel of sake to symbolize new beginnings here at the Kawasaki plant in Yonkers. But the real smiles today are about jobs.
The company is planning to double its current number of local jobs, because of a new, $500 million Port Authority contract. Kawasaki won the right to replace the aging fleet of PATH trains in New York and New Jersey. The governor today highlighted just how old these trains are.
Governor George Pataki (R), New York: "The PATH cars haven't been replaced in 33 years. They're the oldest cars in the entire stock, and now they will be replaced with brand-new modern cars. It's going to help all of us."
Eventually, the new PATH cars will look more like these, the latest subway cars on the "l" line that were designed by Kawasaki a couple of years ago. The newer train cars will include room under the seats for baggage, automated signs and announcements, and will require far less maintenance. Stephen O'Rourke, Kawasaki worker: "They're one of the highest-quality rail cars. We build them on time, and they can practically run themselves. So, they must be pretty good."
And the news is good for the local economy here in Yonkers, which will benefit greatly from the new jobs. Phil Amicone, Yonkers mayor: "And it is highly skilled labor, so we're talking about real qualified people doing the kind of work that produces the best rail cars in the country." The Port Authority expects to have the new Kawasaki PATH cars in service by 2008; and the entire fleet replaced by 2011.