It has been over a week since the Governors of New York and New Jersey vetoed a widely supported bill to reform the Port Authority in favor of their own plan—part of which calls for an elimination of overnight PATH service between NY & NJ from the hours of 1:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. (from p. 82):
“Eliminating overnight service during weekends (i.e., eliminating service on Friday night/early Saturday and Saturday night/early Sunday) would produce operational and capital expense savings.
Operational savings would include savings on energy, labor, and station operations; and capital savings would result from allowing capital improvements to be conducted without train interruption… PATH could achieve operational and capital savings estimated to be at least $10 million per year from stopping service altogether between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on weeknights.”
As of press time, we’ve yet to hear from ANYONE who thinks that’s a good idea…
That said, in addition to the extensive list of people who had voiced their fervent opposition last week—to include Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, and New Jersey State Senator Brian Stack—more and more individuals and organizations are jumping on the political pig pile and slamming the idea.
-“Slashing the services would be detrimental to people who are trying to make ends meet,” says Ray Greaves, chairman of the New Jersey Amalgamated Transit Union State Council. “For workers who are working minimum wage jobs, this is their most affordable means of transportation. To take that away is like a tax increase on the middle class and working class.”
-PolitickerNJ’s editorial, titled “Port Authority Follies,” highlights the short-sighted nature of the move, stating, “All-day, all-night PATH service is critical to both [Hoboken and Jersey City]. And yet Chris Christie seems willing to scuttle the service, claiming that it costs too much (about $10 million a year, for an agency with an annual operating budget of more than $2.5 billion).”
–The Record‘s Alfred P. Doblin echoes that sentiment, saying, “the economies of Hoboken and Jersey City are directly affected by 24/7 PATH service. The development occurring in Harrison would be impossible without PATH and a new PATH station.”
–The Jersey Journal‘s Kathryn Brenzel compiled interviews with the much-maligned “Late-Night Drinkers”—a vital economic engine in “a City that never sleeps.” Scoff all you want, but common sense supports maintaining an existing service for those who think taking a train back from Manhattan after a late night out is probably a better idea than driving.
Then there are the people who actually use the PATH to earn a living…
-This man-on-the-street video from The Star-Ledger‘s Brian Donohue really drives home the opposition to the Port Authority’s plan—particularly the one commenter who says, “F*** them.”
We’ll bring you more on this story as it progresses—F’Bombs and all…