New York's Penn Station woes were a 'PATH' to record ridership for smaller transit agency

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — While reconstruction work in New York Penn Station gave Amtrak and NJ Transit operations staff shivers, the Port Authority Trans Hudson received a hot, record-breaking blast of ridership.

Since its founding in 1962, the 80-million passenger threshold has been reached for the first time. Last year, the small commuter agency saw 82.4 million riders, more than 5 percent more than the 78.5 million riders in 2016, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced recently. Coupled with the increase in passengers was an on-time operation of almost 98 percent. With almost 14 route miles, 13 stations, and more than 350 51-foot long Kawasaki PA-5 subway style cars, this 24-hour rail passenger carrier worked harder than ever last year.

In 2017, 900,000 passengers were diverted to Hoboken, N.J., from New York’s Penn Station for Amtrak's’ infrastructure renewal, economic growth in the New York City-area increased and new housing was built near PATH stations; these factors gave the bi-state carrier a passenger volume rivaling that of METRA last year.

“We continue to strive to effectively meet and manage the challenges of providing the highest level of service to our growing passenger population,” said PATH Director/General Manager Michael Marino. “Our performance in 2017 is a tribute to our customers and our employees, and to the agency’s enduring commitment to a safe, efficient and timely ride each day for our passengers.”

PATH is also on target for the mandatory PTC installation by the end of 2018. Additionally, a new station in Harrison, N.Y., is being built, and the platforms at Grove Street Jersey City are being lengthened to accommodate 10-car trains, up from the current eight. With 50 new PA5s on order, this may not be a banner year for passenger records, but it will be a better year for PATH passengers.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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