The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the PATH Rail Transit System (PATH) entered a new phase of its $1 billion PATH Improvement Plan (PIP) with the delivery to Port Newark of two new rail cars, representing an important step in the scheduled addition of 72 new cars by the end of 2023 to increase capacity, reduce delays and enhance the overall customer experience.
The two cars, built by Kawasaki and off-loaded Sunday morning after a trip originating in Japan, are the first installment in PATH’s commitment to expand its fleet in order to increase its capacity in the years ahead. Currently, PATH has about 350 cars in service, with the new cars set to increase the railroad’s rolling stock by more than 20 percent.
“This initial batch of cars represents yet another step in the Port Authority’s $1 billion investment in PATH to improve the comfort, convenience and reliability of the system for passengers,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “These improvements help ensure that PATH continues to meet the needs of our region’s residents who depend on it every day.”
Expanding capacity is one of three components of the PIP, in addition to reducing delays and enhancing customer experience through new technology and additional personnel. In the plan, which was introduced in 2019, capacity is increased through the acquisition of additional rail cars, expansion of station platforms to accommodate nine-car trains on the Newark-World Trade Center line versus today’s eight-car trains, and utilization of a new signal system to run trains more frequently, particularly during morning and evening rush hours.
“The PATH Improvement Plan is a critical initiative in the modernization of our system and in providing enhanced service to the riding public,” said Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The arrival of the first new rail cars, combined with the soon-to-be-completed expansion of PATH stations and platforms to enable 9-car trains on the Newark to World Train Center line, sends a clear message that we are making good on our promise to our customers.”
The beginning of the new delivery coincides with PATH’s ongoing expansion of five stations to accommodate nine-car trains on the Newark-WTC line. This construction will complete by the end of 2022. The stations have been operating with a maximum of eight cars.
“We are fully committed to increasing capacity and modernizing our assets and facilities to meet the daily needs of our ridership, for a safer, more efficient travel experience. That’s job one,” said PATH Director Clarelle DeGraffe. “The start of delivery of these new cars is a key milestone in our strategy to achieve these objectives.”
After delivery Sunday, the rail cars were transported to a Kawasaki facility in Yonkers, N.Y., where they will be fitted out and tested before being put into service in the PATH system. Additional rail car deliveries will continue over the next 18 months.