One of the Garden State’s most traveled transit options that provides a critical connection to New York City will be implementing a variety of improvements in the coming years as millions of dollars have been allocated for the PATH.
The Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey voted 12-0 during their meeting last month to approve a $230 million, multi-year upgrade program for the PATH system. The biggest chunk of that funding, $168 million, will go towards track rehabilitation mostly between the Journal Square and Exchange Place stations in Jersey City.
The Port Authority intends to hit the ground running, as track work is slated to begin next year and is projected for completion by the fourth quarter of 2028. Some service interruptions will be required during the work, which follows years of work along the Newark Penn Station line to better protect the trackage from flooding from nearby waterways.
Another $62 million of the approved funding will be used to rebuild wheelsets on 135 of the PATH’s cars. The fleet that will be rehabilitated are the 350 PA-5 railcars built by Kawasaki between 2009 and 2011, which was the initial set of modern cars that were rolled out about a decade ago.
The new funding comes after three years of upgrades were installed along the system including real-time train arrival screens and cell phone service in stations.
The Port Authority also increased rush-hour capacity by 40% on the Newark-World Trade Center line and by 20% on the system’s three other lines by installing a new signal system and extending platforms in stations at Grove Street and Exchange Place to accommodate longer, nine-car trains.
The PATH has also begun to roll out a pilot of TAPP, or Total Access PATH Payment. The new contactless fare payment system allows riders to use contactless credit/debit card or smart device, which have gone online at select turnstiles in Journal Square and at the 30th Street entrance of 33 Street Station.
The Port Authority has another major project underway in Jersey City related to the PATH system that involves decommissioning a substation behind the Hudson & Manhattan Powerhouse and building a new modern facility across the street. The plan will eventually turn over the hulking industrial structure to Jersey City, who hope to redevelop the property.