(New York, NY -- Johanna Mayer, WNYC) The heavy rail transit system connecting New York City with Northern New Jersey is getting more expensive. The price of a ride on the PATH train will rise by quarter, making it the same as the NYC subway with which it connects. Soon though, the PATH system will cost more than it's big brother transit network as the agency that runs it, the Port Authority, seeks to stave off financial troubles brought on, in part, by the cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center.
The second in a series of fare hikes that were passed in 2011 comes into effect Monday morning. Fares will increase every year until 2015, when the price will reach $2.75 per ride.
“Income is already limited, and then they just dip into your pocket a little deeper,” said John Cooper, who is an every-day rider of the PATH.
Kyle Barry, who takes both the PATH and the NYC subway to work, was understanding about the fare hike. “I have no problem with the increase as long as it means, maybe, trains run more often,” he said.
Riders can use the same Metrocard to ride the PATH as the NYC subway. Last year, Port Authority Chairman David Samson justified the hikes by saying they were a result of the economy, rebuilding the World Trade Center, and investing in infrastructure for the future. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a multi-state agency that oversees bridges and tunnels in the NY metropolitan area, as well as sites like the World Trade Center
The Port Authority, facing fiscal troubles, also voted to raise tolls on several bridges and tunnels in 2011. Then, earlier this week, Moody's downgraded the Port Authority's credit rating citing the high cost of World Trade Center rebuilding. That could potentially increase borrowing costs for the agency, and make capital improvements, for properties like the PATH, more expensive.
For the riders who use the PATH to cross theHudson River from New Jersey, even a 50 cent increase still means the service is a steal compared to other alternatives like driving. Nicholas Stango, who rides the PATH every day said “I mean, it’s fine. The PATH, if they need more money and, like, they’re going to use it to make the PATH better, then I’m ok with it.”
For the history of the PATH train and a nice vintage pic, head over to this PA NY/NJ site.