PORT AUTHORITY UNVEILS DESIGN FOR NEW PATH CARS<
New Cars are Part of $3.1 Billion Investment to Create a “New” PATH System
The Port Authority today unveiled the design for the new fleet of PATH rail cars that will replace the system’s aging 340-car fleet beginning in 2008. The new cars are part of $3.1 billion in investments in PATH either completed or planned since 9/11.
Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. is designing the cars under a $499 million contract to build a new fleet. The new cars will have three-door sets on each side to allow for faster loading and unloading; on-board video; closed-circuit television recording capability; improved lighting, air conditioning and heating; prerecorded station announcements; better signs; and the capability for passengers to communicate with the crew.
The new cars are part of an $809 million PATH modernization program that also includes car maintenance equipment, renovations to PATH’s Harrison Car Maintenance Facility and preliminary work on a new signal system. It is the largest single investment in the rapid-transit system since the Port Authority acquired the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad in 1962.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The 9/11 attacks made it abundantly clear that PATH plays a critical role in the region’s transportation network. These new cars, along with the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, will provide a more comfortable and convenient commute for more than 200,000 daily riders who use the rapid-transit system today and for those travelers who will use it in the future.”
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “New Jersey commuters have relied on PATH for more than 40 years to provide them with a safe, convenient way to and from their jobs, schools, cultural activities and recreation events. These new cars will feature amenities – including additional doors to help people get on and off the trains more quickly and prerecorded station announcements – which will encourage even more people to use the system.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “There is no question that the PATH system will become a more critical lifeline in the near future for the hundreds of thousands of daily commuters who travel between New Jersey and New York. That’s why we are continuing to advance the goals we set in our 10-year strategic plan through more than $3 billion in investments in our PATH system. In addition to the new cars, the Port Authority has formed a high-level task force with NJ Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to improve coordination and communication in case of emergency among our transit partners. These initiatives will ensure that PATH is ready to tackle future demands for mass transit, with annual PATH ridership expected to rise to nearly 85 million passengers in 2016.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Our investments in PATH are part of a broad vision to enhance Lower Manhattan’s transportation network and to encourage more travelers to use public transit. In addition to the new PATH cars and new PATH terminal on the World Trade Center site, we are working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to upgrade the Fulton Street subway station and continue to develop plans for a one-seat ride between the downtown area and John F. Kennedy International Airport.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “The new PATH cars are part of our ambitious multibillion-dollar capital plan, which we have developed to address the current and future needs of our airports, bridges, tunnels and seaport. In addition to the more than $3 billion planned for PATH, we also will make multimillion-dollar investments to build a new Goethals Bridge and a new air passenger terminal at JFK, and to deepen the port’s channels to handle larger ships calling at our marine terminals.”
The Port Authority expects to have the first of the new PATH cars in service in 2008. The entire fleet will be replaced by 2011.
Other components of the $3.1 billion dollar capital improvement program include:
Construction of a $2.21 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which will include a permanent PATH Terminal and underground pedestrian connections to New York City subway lines and private ferries. The facility is scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2009.
A $67.9 million project to install new fare collection turnstiles at PATH’s 13 stations in New York and New Jersey. The turnstile installation, completed in late September, will allow PATH customers to pay fares with either a PATH QuickCard or a New York City Transit MetroCard.
Introduction of the new SmartLink card to the PATH system in early 2006. SmartLink is a contactless smart card – the size of a credit card and embedded with a microchip – that is part of the Port Authority’s 10-year strategic plan to provide commuters with a convenient, seamless way to transfer between various mass transit systems. Testing of the SmartLink card will begin by the end of this year. The Port Authority also is working closely with NJ Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to install technology that will allow those systems to also accept the SmartLink.
The addition of 22 Customer Service agents this fall at PATH stations throughout the system.
A $12 million program to test and evaluate new signal system technology to possibly replace PATH’s existing system. The demonstration projects began in September and will continue until the end of 2006.
A $30 million program to upgrade PATH’s closed-circuit television system and other security components that provide customers a high level of customer safety and security.