Wednesday, January 14, 2015
By Kate Hinds
Friday, April 25, 2014
By Kate Hinds
To stem the train's huge deficit, it should also raise fares and be funded in part through tax subsidies, say new recommendations issued by a watchdog group.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
By Kate Hinds
The Journal Square and World Trade Center PATH stations will be closed for most weekends in 2014 so the Port Authority can conduct Sandy work and upgrades to the rail line. But starting this weekend, there will be another option across the Hudson...at least for the next six weeks.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
By Kate Hinds
The Port Authority has opened a new platform at its World Trade Center station, giving commuters a glimpse of a transportation hub that's been in the works for years.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Everyone has their Sandy photos. As I was biking (or taking the "bus bridge") from well-lit Brooklyn to dark Manhattan and back covering the storm and its aftermath, I snapped photos on my phone. Here are a few.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Sandy caused $300 million in damage to the PATH system, snarling the commutes of tens of thousands of riders. A year later, the Port Authority says PATH is prepared. But is it?
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
By Kate Hinds
In an attempt to ward off flood damage for the upcoming hurricane season, the Port Authority is installing stackable metal flood barriers at PATH stations, stockpiling spare parts, pre-positioning pumps and generators, and getting thousands of sandbags in place.
Monday, April 29, 2013
By Kate Hinds
The 106-year-old historically significant terminal is a Beaux-Arts beauty that boasts Tiffany glass. But immediately following Sandy, it played host to five feet of Hudson River water. Today, it's being rehabilitated.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
By Kate Hinds
For the first time since Sandy struck the Northeast 13 weeks ago, PATH trains will roll once again between Hoboken and the World Trade Center.
Governors Christie and Cuomo announced service between the two hubs will be restored in time for the Wednesday morning commute.
This marks the first time PATH service will return to its normal weekday schedule since Sandy. The PATH system suffered $700 million worth of damage during the storm (PDF), and the Hoboken station was particularly hard hit. It took seven weeks just to open the station, and partial overnight service was restored on January 9th. Meanwhile, NJ Transit just reopened the Hoboken Terminal waiting room Monday.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Two more links in the New Jersey commuter rail network will return to pre-Sandy levels today.
Hoboken terminal station will reopen and PATH service will run on pre-Sandy overnight levels with the restoration of Newark-World Trade Center service. The dual announcements from Northern New Jersey's two commuter rail agencies come after criticism of the slow pace of service restoration and just days before the three month anniversary of Sandy, which poured 10 million gallons of water into PATH train tunnels, and washed out dozens of miles of NJ Transit track among other damage.
NJ Transit trains have been running from Hoboken, but the station building has been closed, leaving passengers to wait in the cold without access to bathrooms. NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein is marking the occasion by greeting passengers at the Historic Hoboken Terminal, pictured here before and after the storm. "The waiting room, which is opening a day earlier than expected, will provide a heated shelter and temporary seating for customers as the agency continues with remediation work to address storm-related flood damage," an official statement says.
The Hoboken Terminal had reopened in mid-November only to be shuttered less than a month later when mold was discovered. State Senator Paul Sarlo had been threatening to hold hearings on the delay last week.
Hoboken is served by both NJ Transit commuter rail and PATH. PATH tunnels under the Hudson to lower Manhattan were particularly hard hit. It took seven weeks to restore PATH service to Hoboken at all, and one line from the city is still out. Round the clock service has been offered since earlier in the month on some lines while repairs on others continued.
Starting tonight, the agency announced, the route connecting Newark and World Trade Center will run 24-hours.
The statement reads:
"Service on the Newark-WTC line had only been running weekdays between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. since service resumed on the line after the storm. Return of the Newark-WTC PATH line overnight on weekdays, in addition to the ongoing overnight service from Journal Square to 33rd Street via Hoboken, means PATH’s overnight schedule during the week has returned to pre-Sandy status.
"Exchange Place and World Trade Center Stations remain closed weekends from 10 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays during the month of February to allow crews uninterrupted time to complete necessary repairs.
Crews continue to work around-the-clock to return weekday Hoboken to World Trade Center service and weekend service between Newark and the World Trade Center. Those are the final segments of service yet to be restored."
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
By Kate Hinds
For the first time in the 70-plus days since Hurricane Sandy, some PATH lines are resuming partial around-the-clock operations.
Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo say starting Wednesday, trains will run 24-7, from Newark to 33rd Street, via Hoboken.
PATH has operated on a 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. schedule – with the exception of New Year’s Eve – since the storm. The system suffered catastrophic damage from an estimated 10 million gallons of water that flooded the tunnels.
PATH trains will still run from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week on the Hoboken to 33rd Street, Journal Square to 33rd Street and Newark to World Trade Center lines.
Port Authority officials say it could be late February before they receive a shipment of replacement parts necessary to restoring service on the line between Hoboken and the World Trade Center, which is still not operational.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
By Kate Hinds
Hoboken residents -- who endured seven-plus weeks of no PATH train service, post-Sandy -- are getting a month's worth of free rides.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Wednesday it will provide 30 free days of PATH service to Hoboken residents who have registered 30-day SmartLink cards.
In a press release, the Port Authority said the free service was a way to show appreciation for the hardship that Hoboken residents experienced.
"We truly understand the extreme difficulties that closure of the Hoboken station put on our loyal resident riders,’’ said Stephen Kingsberry, PATH’s acting director and general manager. “We hope these residents understand the extraordinary efforts PATH workers and contractors made to reopen the station and will accept this free month as a sign of our appreciation for your patience.”
The PATH system was hobbled by Hurricane Sandy, and the Hoboken station experienced some of the area's worst flooding. The station was closed from October 29 until December 19, when service to 33rd Street resumed.
While the entire Northeast experienced massive transit disruption during Sandy, the PATH outage has been especially trying for Hoboken: it has one of the highest percentages of transit ridership in the nation. Bus service between Manhattan and Hoboken has been overcrowded and strained since Sandy, and ferry service -- which costs $9 one way -- is four times as costly as the PATH.
There is still no PATH service between Hoboken and the World Trade Center.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
UPDATED* (Brigid Bergin, New York -- WNYC) Hoboken, NJ commuters are finally getting some relief Wednesday as PATH train service resumed on a limited schedule seven weeks after Sandy flooded the transit system. Though the new direct service into Manhattan was greeted like an early Christmas present to residents, larger management and transparency issues are surfacing about the agency that runs the bi-state rail system.
In the first weeks after the storm, when all trains into New York were interrupted, Irene Smith faced a commuting nightmare. She lives at the end of the NJ Transit Port Jervis line and commutes into Manhattan. It took her eight hours a day, she said, and involved a train, a ferry, and a bus to get to and from work. When NJ Transit service from Secaucus improved, her commute shortened to three hours. The last leg to return was the PATH train.
“Well it changed the last part of my trip from about half an hour, to an hour,” said Smith. “And I have a two hour trip before I get to Hoboken, so it was really rough.”
The PATH still isn't fully operational. There's no overnight service, though the agency hopes to restore it by New Year’s Eve.
Port Authority officials say the PATH system suffered catastrophic damage from the 10 million gallons of water they estimate flooded the tunnels. By Port Authority estimates that caused $300 million worth of damage -- just on the PATH system.
Just shy of a month after Sandy, acting PATH director Stephen Kingsberry took reporters into the damaged Hoboken station and PATH tunnel to show the media the extent of the storm damage.
Kingsberry pointed to photographs of flooding at the PATH stations. The images were released by the Port Authority after the storm and picked up by many local media outlets, including TN. For the tour, the photos were pasted to poster boards sitting on an easel behind him.
One picture shows water breaching an elevator shaft at the Hoboken station. There's also a shot of one of those pressurized floodgates. Those floodgates were purchased after the last time the system flooded during a powerful Nor'easter in December of 1992. That storm knocked out PATH service for 10 days.
But those floodgates are only four feet tall and Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico explained via email, “The entrance flood gates were not designed for the unprecedented storm surge that occurred” during Sandy.
However, those aren’t the only floodgates the Port Authority has been investing in. There are budget lines dating back to 2009 for a “floodgates / flood mitigation” project. Officials confirm the Port Authority has spent $181 million on those projects. But it’s not clear what that money paid for.
The 2012 capital budget explicitly states the Port Authority completed installation of floodgates and interior strengthening in Tunnel F, one of the tunnels out of the World Trade Center site.
A spokesman for the Port Authority says those gates are part of a security project that's not scheduled to be operable until 2014. But that's all they'll say about the project.
The PATH system doesn't have a permanent director, leading to chatter within the transit community about management issues. The acting PATH director is Stephen Kingsberry. His former boss, Michael P. DePallo, left to run the transit system in Los Angeles October 13. . There's also been a lot of movement in the ranks of the Port Authority since the Ward left.
The Port Authority says there's a clear chain of command, but it also keeps a very strict approach to how it shares information.
*The initial version of this story incorrectly made reference to the Port Authority being without a permanent director. That is incorrect. Pat Foye has run the authority for over a year. TN regrets the error
Brigid Bergin is at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @brigidbergin.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
One of the longest running service outages caused by storm Sandy is about to end.
PATH train commuter service is about to resume to Hoboken, NJ, the Port Authority said in a tweet: "PATH's Hoboken-33 service resumes Wednesday 12-19-12 at 5 a.m. and operates every day from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m."
But there will be no direct service from Hoboken to the World Trade Center, and the Port Authority says that remains "several weeks away."
Some 29,000 riders use the Hoboken station every day. They've been without service to Manhattan for almost eight weeks.
PATH tunnels were among the most severely hit during Sandy, with water filling five miles of tubes.
According a Port Authority press release, the "announcement means weekday service between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. will be back at all 13 PATH stations and on three of PATH’s four regular lines: Journal Square to 33rd Street, Hoboken to 33rd Street and Newark to the World Trade Center".
The Port Authority says critical equipment was damaged, but has offered few details on what was damaged, or what was entailed in restoring the service.
PATH says it will restore limited 24 hour service in time for New Year's Eve.
Many commuters take New Jersey Transit trains to Hoboken and transfer to the PATH. NJ Transit is operating curtailed service to Hoboken because of a damaged electrical substation. The agency tells TN that PATH service restoration will not lead to more NJ Transit service to Hoboken.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
By Kate Hinds
We will be tweeting highlights -- so follow along.
Here's who's on tap to testify.
Witness Panel 1
- Honorable Charles Schumer
United States Senator, New York
- Honorable Robert Menendez
United States Senator, New Jersey
- Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator, New York
Witness Panel 2
- Mr. John Porcari
U.S. Department of Transportation
Witness Panel 3
- Mr. Joseph Boardman
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
- Mr. Joseph Lhota
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Mr. Patrick Foye
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Mr. James Weinstein
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
(Brigid Bergin - New York, NY, WNYC) PATH train service in and out of Hoboken, New Jersey, remains suspended leaving commuters with options like pricier ferry trips or longer bus rides to get into Manhattan. Nearly a month after Sandy, Port Authority officials who operate the PATH Train system brought reporters down into a tunnel below Hoboken on Tuesday to see just why the repairs are taking so long.
Officials said the whole PATH train system suffered $300 million dollars worth of damage. They predicted it will be several more weeks before the Hoboken station reopens.
Huge spools of cable were sitting on flatbed cars where the PATH train would normally be. The turnstiles and vending machines were covered in clear, plastic tarps. The Hoboken station is currently an active construction site. So PATH officials began with a safety briefing and distributed hard hats and neon vests.
Before leading reporters nearly a quarter mile into one of the damaged tunnels, Stephen Kingsberry, acting PATH Train System director, pointed to a display of photographs from the storm. One showed water rushing down a set of steps even though a pressurized flood gate appeared to be in place.
"Water came down everywhere," explained Kingsberry. "And it was so much water that it flooded the track area which is beneath us."
Eight feet of water destroyed switches, corroded cables, and took about a week just to pump out. Since the city of Hoboken itself flooded, Kingsberry said there was no way to keep the station dry.
"I mean it wouldn't flood if we could move the station above ground and put it somewhere in the sky," Kingsberry said. "But since we need to be underground where the trains are, we're doing what we can do to fortify what we have so the water won't penetrate as much."
Right now crews are working day and night. They're replacing damaged cables, switches and fixing broken equipment. Then the whole system will need to be tested before service is restored.
Monday, November 26, 2012
By Kate Hinds
In the days following Hurricane Sandy, when New York's regional transit systems were either completely shut down or barely limping along, commuters still found a way to work -- by biking more, embracing ferries, temporary "bus bridges" and HOV lanes, even leveraging social media to find rides or temporary office space.
"In many U.S. cities, which are limited to cars, buses or other singular transportation modes," the report states, "the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy would have, at least temporarily, crippled the economy." Not so in New York, where residents "displayed impressive inventiveness to maintain their mobility. Individuals created new routes and combinations of modes to get to work, using a variety of systems."
The report surveyed 315 commuters about modes of transport and commute times. That's a small sample considering the millions of people affected. And asking a commuter to estimate how long they took to get to work can invite exaggeration, the Rudin report is an impressive attempt to quantify the chaos of ad-hoc mobility choices during the storm.
While almost everyone saw their commutes increase, Staten Islanders fared the worst. For residents of that hard-hit borough, commute times in the days following Sandy nearly tripled.
The report also praises New York's MTA for keeping the public updated about service changes, and recommends the agency maintain its adaptable subway map. But other transit providers don't come off as well: "During the Hurricane, the Port Authority [which operates the PATH train system] and NJ Transit provided remarkably limited information throughout and following the storm about their service."
Monday, November 05, 2012
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said it would take seven to 10 days to get the PATH train running again between New Jersey and Manhattan. A bit over a week later, some trains will roll through a tunnel that had been turned into a five-mile interstate canal by Sandy's storm surge.
Starting Tuesday, November 6, limited PATH service will run on the Journal Square - 33rd Street line from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Trains will not stop at Christopher Street or 9th Street stations.
The Exchange Place - World Trade Center line remains out of service as workers continue to repair and replace damaged equipment, "including those for signaling and train control. PATH engineers are repairing or replacing this equipment as quickly as safely possible," the Port Authority writes on its website.
With one route closed, riders should expect significant crowding. That's why the 9th Street and Christopher Street stations will be closed. Structurally sound, the 104-year old stations were not designed to accommodate normal levels of crowding, so with expected overcrowding they become unsafe. Passengers can use the 14th Street station.
Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman says of the Exchange Place - WTC line, "we're still working on dewatering issues." He added "I wouldn't want to project" a timeline for resumption of service for that line.
You can always find the latest transit service updates for every agency (MTA, NJ Transit, PATH and others) in our Transit Tracker.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
By Kate Hinds
The totality of the damage done to New Jersey Transit by Hurricane Sandy can't be fully ascertained at this point, but the list on the agency's website is daunting.
Rail lines have suffered catastrophically: washouts, downed trees, waterlogged equipment, and track damage. The iconic Hoboken Ferry Terminal is flooded. The agency reports that even the Rail Operations Center--"the central nervous system of the railroad"--is engulfed in water. Although most bus service returned Thursday, nine of its bus garages continue to operate on back-up generator power. And in a letter requesting federal aid, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez write: "the only passenger rail tunnel into New York City—which connects thousands of people to the city each day—is shut down."
Earlier this week, Governor Christie said it could take seven to 10 days to resume PATH train service.
There is no timeline for resumption of rail service. The agency says it is continuing to inspect the system and that "the blow delivered by Hurricane Sandy will continue to impact customers for days to come."