Wednesday, January 14, 2015
By Kate Hinds
Monday, December 29, 2014
By Joseph Capriglione : WNYC/NJPR
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, 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, February 11, 2014
By Kate Hinds
Falling ice from the World Trade Center caused big problems for PATH riders for the second time in five days.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) New York area transit has received a double setback, both having to do with Storm Sandy and what's needed to recover from it: money.
Thanks to the sequester, the U.S. Department of Transportation will be disbursing five percent less in Sandy disaster relief to transit systems damaged by the storm. That means 545 million fewer dollars for the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority; the PATH Train, which connects northern New Jersey to Lower Manhattan; and transit agencies in six northeastern states battered by the storm.
The NY MTA officially learned of the funding reduction in a letter sent Tuesday from the president of the Federal Transit Administration to the authority's acting executive director, Tom Prendergast.
"Dear Tom," the letter began. "I have regrettable news..."
The letter went on to say that "due to inaction by Congress" -- meaning the failed federal budget talks -- there would be less money to recover from Sandy, "the single greatest transit disaster in the history of our nation."
Millions Less For Mitigation
The cut won't be felt right away because the first $2 billion in aid, out of nearly $10.4 billion, is in the pipeline. The NY MTA's first grant was $200 million "for repair and restoration of the East River tunnels; the South Ferry/Whitehall station; the Rockaway line; rail yards, maintenance shops, and other facilities; and heavy rail cars."
The PATH Train, which is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, received $142 million "to set up alternative commuter service; repair electric substations and signal infrastructure; replace and repair rolling stock; and repair maintenance facilities."
Future grants were supposed to be used, in part, to protect transportation assets and systems from future disasters. But the letter goes on to say that the cut will curtail those efforts: "FTA will now be required to reduce these investments by the full $545 million mandated by the sequester."
The feds say that the reduced pile of Sandy recovery money means priority will given to reimbursing transit agencies for "activities like the dewatering of tunnels [see photo above], the re-establishment of rail service ... and the replacement of destroyed buses."
Also Affected: A Troubled Megaproject
A spokesman for the NY MTA said the reduction in funds won't affect progress on mega-projects like the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, which will bring the Long Island Rail Road into Grand Central Terminal.
"East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway will keep rolling along," the spokesperson said.
But at what cost? In the case of East Side Access, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gave a detailed answer on Wednesday, which constitutes transit setback number two. He said in a report that the cost of the project had nearly doubled from an original estimate of $4.3 billion to the current price tag of $8.25 billion. The completion date has also been pushed back ten years to 2019.
These semi-appalling facts are generally known. Less well known is the report's conclusion that the NY MTA's current estimates for the East Side Access timetable and final price tag "do not take into account the impact of Superstorm Sandy."
The storm did little to no damage to the project's eight miles of tunnels. But DiNapoli said it diverted NY MTA resources, which resulted in a construction delay at a key railyard in Queens, costing $20 million. The comptroller added, "Within the next three months, the MTA expects to determine whether the delay will have an impact on the overall project schedule."
In other words, there's a chance that East Side Access could be more than ten years late. A spokesman for the NY MTA declined to comment.
Friday, November 30, 2012
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) Tolls on Port Authority bridges and tunnels are going up this weekend. Starting 3 am on Sunday, cash tolls will rise by a dollar to $13 at the George Washington Bridge, Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the three bridges connecting Staten Island to New Jersey.
Off peak E-ZPass rates for cars will increase 75 cents to $8.25. Peak rates will go from $9.50 to $10.25
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey last raised tolls in September, 2011, and plans to raise them again next December. The authority says it needs the money to rebuild the World Trade Center, increase security at its facilities and make repairs like replacing the cables on the George Washington Bridge.
The Automobile Association of America (AAA), remains devoted to rolling back the hikes through a federal lawsuit that argues too much of the Port Authority's budget goes to projects that don't benefit motorists, like the $11 billion cost of rebuilding the World Trade Center.
AAA further claims everyone gets hurt when a trucker paying cash during rush hour has to fork over $75 to cross the George Washington Bridge, because the cost gets passed on to consumers. The association says drivers shoulder an unfair share of the cost of transportation through tolls, a gas tax and various fees. The lawsuit is ongoing.
In September, the ort Authority raised the PATH train fare by a quarter, to $2.25 per trip. The authority plans three more raises of a quarter between now and 2015. Some riders can't take the PATH train no matter how much they're willing to pay: service to and from Hoboken has been down since Sandy.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
New Jersey Transit is running trains on a damaged rail network,on reduced schedules, through stations with limited or even no electricity.
And ridership is up 15 percent above normal.
NJ Transit spokesperson Nancy Snyder told Transportation Nation her agency carried 150,000 people Monday into New York City during the morning rush. The normal weekday ridership into Manhattan is 136,000.
Riders who normally take PATH trains into Manhattan looked for other options since one of two PATH tunnels remains out of commission. The Holland Tunnel is restricted to buses only, so drivers had fewer options as well. The result was a packed commute from New Jersey into Manhattan, one so crowded it closed some NJ Transit rail stations due to unsafe conditions.
"We closely monitored how our [plan] worked out. There was congestion in certain areas, we realigned our resources. ... This morning it went a lot more smoothly," Snyder said.
"In and around the South Orange, Irvington, Maplewood area ... we are adding more buses to accommodate that increased demand. We are also looking at other key areas," she said.
NJT is running "emergency bus" service from park-and-ride locations like shopping malls shuttle carry passengers to places where they can grab alternative transportation to NYC, either by ferry or bus. Those locations were condensed, and some of the buses deployed to areas that experienced especially bad wait times for buses, like South Orange.
"Today was markedly improved in South Orange, N.J. at the morning commute, but I am still dreading the evening commute," said South Orange resident Ritu Pancholy. She said she would leave work in Manhattan early today to avoid what she feared would be excessive waits at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. She hoped to get home in time to pick up her son at daycare and still making it to her polling location to vote.
On Tuesday night at 6pm, lines at the Port Authority Bus Terminal were lengthy -- and growing. Some passengers on line for the 107 to South Orange said they had been waiting for almost an hour and a half. Still, some said, it was better than Monday's commute.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
(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.
TN Moving Stories: London's Underground Grinds to a Halt, PATH Trains A Bargain Alternative, and The Boss of HopStop
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
By Kate Hinds
The Transport Politic does election analysis, says that "for advocates of alternative transportation, (it was) a difficult election day."
London subway workers go on strike for the third time in as many months. (AP)
New York City's transit court will soon provide translation services via telephone. This is a change from their current policy, in which "people who do not speak English are asked to bring a friend or family member who can translate." (New York Times)
The PATH train, at $1.75 a ride, is a bargain for New Yorkers who use it to avoid the MTA's higher fares. (New York Times)
The Guangzhou subway system is struggling to cope with an explosion in riders, as the system is free in advance of the Asian Games. (Global Times)
The Infrastructurist asks: where should ARC money go? They have a couple of ideas.
Fast Company profiles the Springsteen-loving founder of HopStop.
San Francisco's population of computer workers has boomed in recent years--in part because employers like Google, eBay, Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook provide private shuttle buses to their suburban campuses. "Like Google's buses, the Yahoo buses run on biodiesel, giving environmentally conscious employees another reason to feel good about their commute, besides comfortable seats, the cup holders and the Wi-Fi." (Silicon Valley Mercury-News)