PATH Riders’ Council ‘strongly opposed’ to overnight service cuts

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The PATH Rider’s Council is joining the club of angry commuters who adamantly oppose the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s suggestion to cut overnight PATH service as part of a long-term cost-saving initiative.

Photo courtesy of PANYNJ.org.
Photo courtesy of PANYNJ.org.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The PATH Riders’ Council is strongly opposed to any reduction in PATH service that would adversely impact the communities it serves,” said a statement sent to Hudson County View signed by the organization’s Chair – Ya-Ting Liu – and Vice Chair – Stewart Mader.

“We vigorously oppose the suggestion by the special panel convened by Governors Christie and Cuomo to eliminate weekday and weekend overnight service.”

A 99-page special panel report by the Port Authority made public on Saturday night suggested cutting overnight PATH service, an idea that was expectedly blasted by both Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The PATH connects New York City to Jersey City, Hoboken, Newark and Harrison and a very significant portion of the ridership comes from Jersey City and Hoboken.

As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Census’ American Community survey, Hoboken residents have the highest rate of transit ridership in the nation (56 percent), while Jersey City has the no. 2 highest rate of transit ridership among cities with over 100,000 plus residents (45.8 percent), behind only New York City (55.7 percent).

The PATH Riders’ Council, which “is a one-year pilot program” whose goal is “to garner feedback from riders and improve customer service,” according to the Port Authority website, notes that the timing for the cuts couldn’t be worse.

“The proposal itself comes at a time when PATH is experiencing record ridership numbers, when jobs and commuting patterns no longer follow the traditional 9-5pm, and when governments throughout the region and country are investing – not divesting – in transit.”

Additionally, the PRC argues that the money saved would not actually make a significant impact on the Port Authority’s proposed budget.

“The $10M cost reduction – a tiny portion of the Port Authority’s $7.8B budget – would be devastating for communities on both sides of the Hudson, especially for hard-working New Yorkers and New Jerseyans in industries like construction, healthcare, and hospitality who rely on PATH to come home from an overnight job or commute to a job with an early morning start.”