A year after PATH service was restored to the World Trade Center site, nearly 39,000 travelers are now using the service each weekday, far exceeding initial projections.
When the Port Authority reopened the temporary station on November 23, 2003, the bistate agency projected that October 2004’s average daily ridership would be 26,100 passengers. That level was surpassed weeks after the station reopened; October’s actual daily ridership averaged 38,965. Before September 11, 2001, the station handled approximately 67,000 daily riders.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “The World Trade Center PATH Station is truly a success story for Lower Manhattan. Now that this critical transportation link has been restored, we are beginning to rise above the tragedy of September 11 and are witnessing a rebirth in the downtown area. World Trade Center 7 and the Freedom Tower are rising from the ashes of 9/11, and we continue to prepare for construction of a spectacular memorial and a permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub at the site.”
Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “The economic strength of our state and our region are built on the ability of people to get to and from their jobs in a quick, more convenient way. This station has united us as a region and provided tens of thousands of New Jerseyans with convenient public transportation to jobs in the region’s financial hub each day.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “While we are pleased with the soaring ridership at the World Trade Center Station, this is only the beginning. 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 have shown us that our money has been well spent.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “These numbers are the best indicator to date that the vitality and the economic activity in Lower Manhattan are rebounding. We pledge to further improve the transportation system that serves the downtown area, which in turn will result in greater job creation and a better quality of life for those who live and work in the area.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler said, “There is no doubt that restoration of the PATH service to Lower Manhattan has provided a major benefit for the city and the region. Our goal now is to rebuild the site even bigger and better than it was before, including a soaring memorial to those who were lost on September 11, a transportation hub that will rival Grand Central Terminal and world-class office and retail space.”
The Port Authority plans to replace the temporary World Trade Center PATH Station with a permanent World Trade Center Transportation Hub, expected to open in phases between late 2006 and 2009. It will include underground pedestrian connections to New York City subways and ferries. An environmental review for the project is under way, and groundbreaking is scheduled for summer 2005.
The temporary World Trade Center PATH Station was the first station on the PATH system to accept the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s pay-per-ride MetroCards. Today, all PATH stations in Manhattan accept MetroCards and the entire system will accept them by the end of April 2005. The PATH system also will accept smart cards by June 1, 2005.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.