PATH Service & Conditions Can Be Better:
Over the last decade, ridership levels on PATH have soared and fares have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, fare hikes have not lead to better service. Today, passengers are plagued with long wait times, weekend station closures, delays and overcrowding. To improve these conditions the State of New Jersey must begin funding common sense infrastructure plans while increasing peak weekday, night and weekend service. New Jersey commuters deserve better.
The PATH service area in Hudson and Essex Counties is experiencing an unprecedented building boom. Year after year, ridership on PATH hits a record high. Earlier this year, PATH transported nearly 6.5 million passengers in January, a new record for that month. And in 2018, PATH accommodated 81.73 million passengers, the second-highest annual ridership on record. Despite its vital role in the transportation ecosystem, the State of New Jersey neglects to adequately fund PATH infrastructure, especially along its most highly trafficked corridors.
With funding levels at or near the bare minimum, PATH is falling behind with New Jersey commuters shouldering the impacts. In recent years, passengers have faced countless delays, cancellations, weekend station closures and chronic overcrowding, which at times expose riders to dangerous conditions. Despite this, the State raised fares and failed to fund common sense infrastructure projects like improved station access or on-time performance.
Instead of focusing on fare hikes, the State of New Jersey should focus its attention on funding better station access, increased service and system expansion. Government officials should advance plans to run more trains on nights and weekends as well as during peak commuting hours. With ridership at a record and with no end in sight to this growth, government officials need to ease the burden real New Jerseyans face every day.