Assembly Speaker Prieto, Senate Pres. Sweeney say PATH cuts off the table

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After northern New Jersey elected officials have blasted the Port Authority’s proposal to cut overnight PATH service for weeks, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) have announced that the plan is off the table.

Prieto-Sweeney

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

At a January 5 press conference where dozens of Hudson and Essex County pols took a united stance against the potential PATH cuts, Prieto revealed he would be meeting with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan about the situation.

“Port Authority reform was never supposed to be about cutting vital rail services for hard-working residents,” said Prieto in a statement. “This was a bad idea from the start and I’m glad to see it set aside. I thank Chairman Degnan for his cooperation and look forward to focusing on actual reform efforts.”

Sweeney, who also attended the meeting, echoed Prieto’s sentiment on the matter.

“Solving problems requires leadership, negotiation and open communication, and we would like to thank Chairman Degnan for his willingness to work with us to resolve this important issue by working together,” Sweeney said in a prepared statement.

“This is a victory for the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who ride on the PATH system, especially the low-wage workers and young people who rely on the line as their principal mode of transportation.”

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer initially blasted the notion of reducing PATH service, with Zimmer telling Hudson County View through an email that she was very happy this saga has come to a conclusion.

“I thank Chairman Degnan for listening to our voices and for taking the idea of PATH overnight service cuts off the table,” Zimmer wrote.

“With 56% of Hoboken residents using public transportation to commute each day – the highest rate not just in the state, but in the nation – the success of our community and region is intrinsically linked to a robust mass transit system. Going forward, we should be focused on ideas to expand, not cut public transportation options within our region.”

The possibility of cutting 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight PATH service was introduced in a 99-page special panel report by the Port Authority released on December 27.

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