Fallout Continues Over Proposed Cuts to Overnight PATH Train
Following the announcement by the Governors of NY & NJ to sidestep the Port Authority reform supported by both states’ legislatures, in favor of their own brand of bureaucratic realignment, the outcry from public officials and private citizens has been substantial.
The newly proposed plans include a provision which would see cuts to the overnight PATH service between NYC and NJ—making late-night travel between the two tightly connected states significantly more problematic.
Yesterday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken made a statement slamming the idea, stating, “I will vigorously oppose any efforts to cut PATH service. This irresponsible proposal is a classic example of being penny wise and dollar foolish.”
Today, the PATH Riders’ Council, a public outreach initiative established by the PATH Train, echoed the Mayor’s sentiment, stating the following:
The PATH Riders’ Council is strongly opposed to any reduction in PATH service that would adversely impact the communities it serves. We vigorously oppose the suggestion by the special panel convened by Governors Christie and Cuomo to eliminate weekday and weekend overnight service. The proposal itself comes at a time when PATH is experiencing record ridership numbers, when jobs and commuting patterns no longer follow the traditional 9-5pm, and when governments throughout the region and country are investing – not divesting – in transit. The $10M cost reduction – a tiny portion of the Port Authority’s $7.8B budget – would be devastating for communities on both sides of the Hudson, especially for hard-working New Yorkers and New Jerseyans in industries like construction, healthcare, and hospitality who rely on PATH to come home from an overnight job or commute to a job with an early morning start.
It would be devastating to a region that relies on mass transit more than any other in the country. Hoboken, one of the cities served by PATH, has the highest rate of transit ridership in the nation at 56%. Jersey City has the second highest rate of transit usage (45.8%) among cities with 100,000 more residents, second only to New York City’s 55.7%, according to the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey.
PATH is the lifeblood for communities and working families on both sides of the Hudson who rely on the system 24/7 to get to work, to school, to see family and friends. To eliminate overnight service at a time when more and more families rely on this service is simply unconscionable.
Ya-Ting Liu, Chair
Stewart Mader, Vice Chair
PATH Riders’ Council
More than just late-night revelers heading back from a night out in the City, the PATH provides essential service to commuters who work unorthodox hours but have been able to build their lifestyle around the train service upon which they have come to depend. The knock-on economic effect for the region could be extremely detrimental.