Exceeding early expectations, the World Trade Center PATH train station is now the busiest in the system, averaging more than 30,000 weekday riders since last month.
Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the system, said they did not initially expect the Lower Manhattan station to reclaim its position as the busiest in the system until two years after it reopened. But ridership has surged since the station opened on Nov. 23.
The first major construction project to be completed at the Trade Center site since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the station is serving as a temporary, bare-bones prelude to the $2 billion permanent transportation hub expected to be completed by 2009.
Though the platforms and tracks now in use will not be moved, significant additions will be made to the station and connections to New York City subways will be improved. When it is complete, the permanent Trade Center station is expected to serve more than 80,000 riders a day.
When average ridership passed 30,000 in the middle of January, the Trade Center station surpassed the 33rd Street station, which averages about 29,500 on weekdays.
"Direct rail service between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan is a vital cog in the engine that drives our regional economy," said Gov. James E. McGreevey.