New PATH trains will hit the rails in 2008, the Port Authority said yesterday as it announced that it had approved a $499 million contract with Kawasaki for 340 cars.
The cars — which are to be built in Yonkers — will replace the PATH system's fleet, which is now 33 years old.
The new trains will feature air conditioning, room under seats for riders to store bags, prerecorded announcements and a set of three doors on each side, for faster loading and unloading.
The Port Authority said it expects to have the first batch of the new cars in service by late 2008 and the entire fleet replaced by 2011.
PA Vice Chairman Charles Gargano called the upgrades "part of a much broader vision we have to integrate and enhance lower Manhattan's transportation network."
The PATH system, consisting of 13 stations, carries 260,000 riders a day between Hoboken, Jersey City, Harrison and Newark and Manhattan, from Christopher Street in Greenwich Village to Herald Square at West 33rd Street.