In light of 99-page special panel report by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that explored introducing many cost-saving options such as eliminating overnight PATH service, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer are blasting the concept.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a Facebook post, Fulop said the fact that the report was released during the holiday season was a calculated move, also noting that eliminating nightly PATH service would impact upwards of 100,000 annual commuters.
While Fulop could not immediately be reached by Hudson County View on Sunday, he elaborated on the subject with NJ Advance Media, calling components of the Port Authority report “a mere power grab.”
Port Authority Chairman John Degnan responded that he was surprised Fulop, who was instrumental in having Jersey City file a $400 million lawsuit against the bi-state agency in May (h/t The Jersey Journal), made public comment on the report without asking for further clarity on the situation.
Zimmer, in a statement sent to Hudson County View this afternoon, stated that even considering eliminating overnight PATH service – which connects New York City to Jersey City, Newark, Harrison and Hoboken – is a “irresponsible proposal.”
“I will vigorously oppose any efforts to cut PATH service,” Zimmer said. “This irresponsible proposal is a classic example of being penny wise and dollar foolish.”
“Shutting down overnight PATH service will cost the State of New Jersey many times the supposed savings in lost economic activity, sales tax and business tax revenues. Cities like Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark are growing because residents and businesses want good access to transportation options like the PATH.”
The Hoboken mayor also called it “incomprehensible” that any state official would even consider such a concept, also noting that investments should be made “to expand, not limit, our regional transit system.”
The report points out that the PATH is one of just four 24-hour mass transit systems in the country, claiming that commuters could “slightly alter their travel plans” based on when the PATH starts up and shuts down for the day.
Furthermore, the panel calls for pursuing “the possibility of partnering with a third party operator, public or private, that manages urban transit or commuter rail service in order to improve the PATH’s operational effectiveness and financial efficiency.”
The report was released almost simultaneously with Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo vetoing Port Authority reforms approved by NJ and NY legislators, which many elected officials, such as Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-33), have spoken out against.
A representative from the Port Authority could not immediately be reached by Hudson County View, but this story will be updated in the event further comment is given.