|NEW YORK - The Port Authority Board of Commissioners last week announced the selection of Kawasaki Rail Car to design and build a new fleet of 340 PATH cars for $499 million. The award is part of an $809 million upgrade program for the PATH rapid-transit system, whose X-shaped network links Newark and Hoboken, N.J., with midtown Manhattan and lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority Board, acting as the PATH Board of Directors, authorized the award to design and build new cars that will begin to replace the system
ĺs current fleet, which averages 33 years of age and is said to be the oldest in the nation. The cars will be assembled at Kawasakiĺs Yonkers, N.Y. plant. Other parts of the upgrading program include car maintenance equipment, renovations to PATH's Harrison Consolidated 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.
The new PATH cars will have improved lighting, air conditioning and heating; cantilevered seats with room underneath for passengers to store items; prerecorded station announcements; better signs; and three door sets on each side to allow for faster loading and unloading.
The Port Authority expects to have the first of the new cars in service in late 2008. The entire fleet will be replaced by 2011.