The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will take the first step tomorrow in a planned major expansion of PATH service along the Newark-World Trade Center line. On Thursday, March 23, PATH will operate 9-car trains on the NWK-WTC line for the first time in its 100-year history.
Gradually over the next 12 months, PATH will place increasing numbers of 9-car trains in service and, by the beginning of 2024, nearly all trains on the NWK-WTC line at peak times will be 9-car trains. The addition of a ninth rail car to trains during peak hours is part of an ambitious program to increase capacity and provide a safer, more convenient commuting experience for customers.
The increasing number of 9-car trains along the NWK-WTC line beginning later this year will utilize the start of delivery of 72 new rail cars later this year to augment PATH’s current operating fleet of 350 cars. The new cars will be added to service over the course of this year and 2024. The 9-car train is an essential element of PATH’s plan to increase capacity on the NWK-WTC line by 40 percent.
The plan was cited by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in its selection of PATH for the 2022 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement award for North American railroads with more than 20 million riders annually.
“The unveiling of 9-car PATH service builds upon my administration’s significant progress toward the modernization of one of the most important transportation networks in the world,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “By increasing capacity and enhancing efficiency on the Newark-World Trade Center line, we will better connect local communities to good-paying jobs, economic opportunity, and each other. Just as importantly, expanding PATH service will help deliver the comfortable, safe traveling experience New Jersey residents and visitors deserve.”
“Today marks a crucial milestone in the continuing journey to create a state-of-the-art rail experience for our customers,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We remain committed to making PATH the industry standard in providing comfort, convenience, safety and system reliability for passengers.”
“By rolling out 9-car service on the Newark-World Trade Center line during peak operating hours, we are working to ensure that PATH continues to meet the needs of our region’s residents who depend on it every day,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We owe PATH customers an improved experience, and this service enhancement provides substantial and measurable increases in capacity on PATH’s most heavily traveled line.”
“We are fully committed to increasing capacity and modernizing our assets and facilities to provide a safer, more efficient and convenient travel experience,” said PATH Director Clarelle DeGraffe. “Expanding to 9-car service during the busiest commuting hours of the day on our busiest line helps us meet that obligation to our riders.”
Today’s announcement follows the completion of platform and infrastructure expansion projects along the Newark-WTC line to accommodate longer trains. The project has undergone rigorous independent inspection and testing as part of the preparation for Thursday’s initial introduction of the 9-car service.
Comprising 13 stations in New York City and New Jersey, PATH handled nearly 82 million commuter trips in 2019, a record number of passengers in one year, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that significantly lowered ridership. PATH is rebuilding its ridership steadily and expects to achieve at least 60 percent of its overall average daily ridership by the end of 2023.
The first delivery of new rail cars to help support the 9-car program took place at Port Newark in September.
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