The PATH rapid transit system will replace or rehabilitate its entire rail car fleet – the biggest investment in PATH’s 41-year history – following today’s action by the Port Authority Board.
The Board approved an $809 million program to buy 246 new rail cars. An additional 94 cars will be either rehabilitated or replaced depending on the most cost-effective alternative. Renovations also will be made to PATH’s Harrison Car Maintenance Facility. The first new PATH cars will be in service by the end of 2006.
The program also includes preliminary engineering, design, testing and demonstration activities for a new signal system for PATH, which serves approximately 160,000 passenger trips each weekday. The signal system – which controls the movement of trains on the railroad – is approximately 34 years old, with some components up to 90 years old. The $809 million program cost represents the biggest single investment made in the rapid-transit system since the Port Authority acquired it from the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad in 1962.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, "This historic investment in PATH will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. It will provide convenient, comfortable mass transit for people traveling to jobs or recreation in Lower Manhattan and other parts of the city."
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, "The PATH system is a critical lifeline for tens of thousands of New Jersey residents who travel to New York each day for work or pleasure. These new PATH cars clearly show our unwavering commitment to public transit in New Jersey, which has been one of the key issues of my administration."
Port Authority Chairman Anthony Coscia said, "Providing new PATH cars will greatly improve the commute for tens of thousands of people who live and work in this region. It is a critical component of our $8.7 billion Capital Plan that will allow the Port Authority to fulfill its regional mandate to strengthen the transportation system in New York and New Jersey. It also continues our ambitious efforts to enhance key elements of our transportation infrastructure, including the reopening of the Exchange Place PATH Station and the provision of a world-class transportation hub at the World Trade Center site."
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, "As we move forward with the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, this investment in PATH will help support the future transportation and economic requirements of Lower Manhattan."
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, "Despite the tough economic climate, this project shows the Port Authority’s commitment to our aggressive Capital Plan, which includes construction of the AirTrain JFK project, rehabilitation of the Goethals Bridge, and new ship-to-rail facilities at our ports."
In October, the Port Authority will begin to receive proposals for the design of the new PATH cars. Proposals for the preliminary signal system work will be sought in the second quarter of 2004, with completion of the preliminary work scheduled for the second quarter of 2006.
The PATH cars and signal system work are the most recent Port Authority investments in the rapid transit system. A $566 million program to restore PATH service to the Exchange Place and World Trade Center stations is nearly complete.
The Exchange Place Station reopened in June 2003 and the temporary World Trade Center Station is scheduled to reopen in November 2003. The Exchange Place Station currently handles approximately 5,600 passengers a day, while the World Trade Center Station is projected to handle approximately 50,000 passengers a day.