NJ Transit

PATH Ridership on Track To Reach a 2017 Record With On-Time Performance at Nearly 98 Percent

Five years after recovering from Superstorm Sandy-related damage, PATH rail ridership is poised to hit a record 80 million passengers in 2017 while the railroad is running with a nearly 98 percent on-time performance, based on data from the year’s first six months.

PATH ridership numbers for the first half of 2017 were up 3.6 percent over the comparable period of 2016, coming in at slightly more than 40 million for the first six months of the year, with an average weekday total of 277,000 riders through the end of June.

On-time performance during the first six months of 2017 was nearly 98 percent overall, with peak period on-time performance at 96.3 percent.

PATH is responding to Monday’s start of Amtrak’s New York Penn Station infrastructure improvements and service adjustments with a comprehensive plan to increase train frequency between the Hoboken-33rd Street stations during both the morning and evening rush hours, and to cross-honor NJ Transit passengers at three of the busiest PATH stations – Hoboken, 33rd Street and the World Trade Center.

Additionally, PATH remains on track to complete the federally mandated installation of Positive Train Control (PTC) throughout the system, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2018. This safety enhancement will help stop trains by increasing automatic braking to avoid potential incidents.

To date, 65 percent of PATH engineers and conductors already are trained on PTC procedures, while 100 percent of railroad dispatchers and signal staff are trained. More than 90 percent of PATH cars have been equipped with PTC technology, with roughly 60 percent of the system’s signals and circuits upgraded to PTC-ready status.

PATH’s overall program of signalization and safety upgrades, which includes PTC as well as other components such as Automatic Train Control, is currently on schedule for completion by 2021. These improvements will allow trains to safely run more frequently, allowing increases in capacity during peak hours.

“PATH has been an integral part of trans-Hudson commuting options for decades, as further evidenced by the railroad’s record ridership and stellar performance during the first half of 2017,” said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. “The agency is proud to assist thousands of New Jersey commuters whose typical travel patterns will be disrupted by the upcoming Penn Station work the remainder of the summer.”

“The PATH team has done a tremendous job of literally keeping the trains running on time, while prioritizing safety first and maintaining a high level of service to its customers,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “PATH has successfully weathered numerous challenges this year, and we expect that will continue during the summer months as PATH adds service for new customers affected by Amtrak’s work at New York Penn Station.”

PATH General Manager and Director Mike Marino said: “We’ve seen substantial growth in our ridership over the first half of this year, but we’ve continued to make significant progress in ensuring our customers have a safe, convenient and on-time ride, while continuing our maintenance work with minimal inconvenience to passengers.”

Preliminary figures from PATH show that total ridership numbers for June 2017 were about 7.2 million, or 4 percent higher than June 2016. Pending finalization of the data, June would be the busiest month ever for PATH. Average weekday ridership was 288,000, 4 percent higher than June 2016. June ridership on the weekends was also up considerably, 3 percent on Saturdays and 5 percent on Sundays, over the June 2016 numbers.

PATH officials attributed the increasing numbers in part to continued regional economic growth, an improving local employment picture, the fast pace of residential development in New Jersey and New York, strong tourism and changes in commuter behaviors.

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