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 WTC station ridership exceeds projections

Tuesday, November 23, 2004 By Michaelangelo Conte Journal staff writer
On the anniversary of the reopening of the World Trade Center PATH station, ridership has exceeded projections and Port Authority officials predict it will eventually exceed pre-Sept. 11, 2001 levels.

"Ridership was anticipated to be about 25,000 each day by the first anniversary of reopening, but it is closer to 40,000 today," said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman Anthony Coscia. "As the region recovers and the downtown area is rebuilt, I do think we will recover our ridership and go beyond."

When the Port Authority reopened the temporary station a year ago today, the agency projected that October's average daily ridership would be 26,100 passengers, officials said. That level was surpassed weeks later and October's ridership actually averaged 38,965 per day, officials said. Before Sept. 11, 2001, the station averaged 67,000 riders daily, officials said.

"While we are pleased with the soaring ridership at the World Trade Center station, this is only the beginning," Coscia said. "We are moving forward with plans for an even grander transportation vision for the site, including a world-class transportation hub that for the first time will provide commuters with convenient transfers to subways and trans-Hudson ferries. These ridership numbers show that our money has been well spent."

Coscia said the $560 million project to restore PATH service to the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks took just 26 weeks when a project of its scale normally takes years.

The Port Authority plans to replace the temporary station with the more permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which will open in phases between late 2006 and 2009, officials said. The hub will include underground pedestrian connections to New York City subways and ferries.

Groundbreaking for the permanent station is scheduled for this summer and Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringlier said it will be "a transportation hub that will rival Grand Central Terminal and world-class office and retail space."

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