The PATH Train has cut its service during peak rush hours by 14% on the Hoboken to 33rd Street line—from 19 trains to 16 trains between 7:30am and 9:30am, and from 24 trains to 21 trains between 4:30pm to 6:45pm. Meanwhile late evening service from 9pm to midnight has been reduced from 11 trains to 9 trains.
This comes less than five months after an all-out chorus of opposition to similar proposed cuts to overnight service. The arbitrary move seems counter-intuitive to the prevailing consensus on mass transit—particularly in the face of an 11%-increase in ridership on Port Authority Trans-Hudson Trains.
“We should be talking about adding more capacity, yet the Port Authority cut rush hour service by 14 percent overnight with no public input. It defies all logic,” says Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
“I would invite any of these decision makers to come along for a ride on the PATH during the morning commute from Hoboken and provide their honest assessment as to whether or not the system needs more or fewer trains,” said Hoboken Council President Ravinder Bhalla. “I fail to comprehend how an increase in ridership leads to a decrease in services. I find it unacceptable that while the Port Authority spends billions on other projects, they are penny-pinching in Hoboken, punishing their most loyal customers.”
The Port Authority of New York has had plenty of public relations issues in recent months, with an executive admitting that lanes on the George Washington Bridge were in fact closed down in an act of political retribution. Meanwhile, there is certainly no love lost between Hoboken and the Christie administration, in the wake of Mayor Zimmer’s public allegations against Lt. Governor Guadagno of threatening to withhold funds for Sandy relief unless favors were granted to the administration’s supporters.
“In Hoboken, we have created a walk-friendly, transit-friendly, mixed-use community, but our residents and our economy are completely undermined by this action,” says Zimmer. Enough with the service cuts, enough with the short-sightedness. Let’s invest in a 21st century transportation system that will truly support our growing region.”