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Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) is a rapid transit system serving Newark, Harrison, Hoboken, and Jersey City in metropolitan northern New Jersey, as well as lower and midtown Manhattan in New York City. The PATH is operated by, and named after, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. PATH trains run 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

PATH Kawasaki 5602c.jpg
A PATH train of PA5 cars on the Newark–World Trade Center line, crossing the Passaic River en route to the World Trade Center
Owner Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Locale Newark / Hudson County, New Jersey and Manhattan, New York
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 4
Number of stations 13
Daily ridership 283,719 (2017; weekdays)[1]
Annual ridership 82,812,915 (2017)[1]
Began operation February 25, 1908
Operator(s) Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Number of vehicles 350 PA5 cars[2]
System length 13.8 mi (22.2 km)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification 600 V (DC) Third Rail
System map
33rd Street
New York City Subway
28th Street
23rd Street
New York City Subway
19th Street
14th Street
New York City Subway
unbuilt branch to Astor Place
9th Street 
Christopher Street
Hudson Terminal
World Trade Center
New York City Subway
Uptown and Downtown Hudson Tubes
under Hudson River
Exchange Place
Hudson–Bergen Light Rail
Hudson–Bergen Light Rail
Grove Street
Hoboken Terminal
NJ Transit MTA NYC logo.svg Hudson–Bergen Light Rail NY Waterway
Waldo Yard
Journal Square
Manhattan Transfer
Harrison Car Maintenance Facility
Park Place
Newark Penn Station
Amtrak NJ Transit Newark Light Rail
Newark Airport
proposed Amtrak NJ Transit BSicon MONO.svg

The routes of the PATH system were originally operated by the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (H&M). The railroad's Uptown Hudson Tubes first opened in 1908, followed by the Downtown Hudson Tubes in 1909, and the system was completed by 1911, with 16 stations. The H&M system had reached its peak in 1927, with 113 million passengers, and soon started to decline with the advent of vehicular travel. In 1937, two new stations in Harrison and Newark were built, replacing three existing stations. The H&M went into bankruptcy in 1954, and the Port Authority took over the system in 1962, renaming it the PATH. In 1971, as part of the construction of the World Trade Center, the Hudson Terminal in Lower Manhattan was replaced by the World Trade Center station. The PATH system was disrupted for several years after the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001.

The system has a total route length of 13.8 miles (22.2 km), not double-counting route overlaps. PATH trains use tunnels in Manhattan, Hoboken, and downtown Jersey City. The tracks cross the Hudson River through century-old cast iron tubes that rest on the river bottom under a thin layer of silt. PATH's route from Grove Street in Jersey City west to Newark Penn Station runs in open cuts, at grade level, and on elevated track. As of October 2016, PATH had an average weekday ridership of 283,719.

While some PATH stations are adjacent to or connected to New York City Subway, Newark Light Rail, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and New Jersey Transit stations, there are no free transfers between these different, independently run transit systems.[3] PATH accepts the same pay-per-ride MetroCard used by the New York City Transit system, but it does not accept unlimited ride, reduced fare, or EasyPay MetroCards.[4]



Hudson & Manhattan RailroadEdit

The PATH predates the New York City Subway's first underground line, operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. It was originally known as the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (H&M). Although the railroad was first planned in 1874, existing technologies could not safely tunnel under the Hudson River. Construction began on the existing tunnels in 1890, but stopped shortly thereafter when funding ran out. Construction resumed in 1900 under the direction of William Gibbs McAdoo, an ambitious young lawyer who had moved to New York from Chattanooga, Tennessee. McAdoo later became president of the H&M.[5] The H&M became so closely associated with McAdoo that, in its early years, they became known as the McAdoo Tubes or McAdoo Tunnels.[6][7]


One of the original plans, with branches to the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (lower left) and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line at Astor Place (center).

The first tunnel, now called the Uptown Hudson Tubes, started construction in 1873.[8]:14 The chief engineer of the time, Dewitt Haskin, tried to construct the tunnel using compressed air and then line it with brick.[5] The workers succeeded in building the tunnel out by approximately 1,200 feet (366 m) from Jersey City.[9]:12 However, construction was disrupted by a lawsuit,[10] as well as a series of blowouts, including a particularly serious one in 1880 that killed 20 workers.[11] The project was abandoned in 1883 due to a lack of funds.[5][8]:67[9]:12 Another effort by a British company, between 1888 and 1892, also proved to be unsuccessful.[12]

Hudson tunnels shortly after their completion

When the New York and Jersey Tunnel Company resumed construction on the uptown tubes in 1902, chief engineer Charles M. Jacobs employed a different method of tunneling. He pushed a shield through the mud and then placed tubular cast iron plating around the tube.[5] As the northern tube of the uptown tunnel was completed shortly after the resumption of construction,[13] the southern tube was constructed using the tubular cast iron method.[5][14] Construction of the uptown tunnel was completed in 1906.[15]

By the end of 1904, the New York and Jersey Railroad Company had received permission from the New York City Board of Rapid Transit Commissioners to build a new subway line through Midtown Manhattan, which would connect with the Uptown Hudson Tubes; the company received the sole rights to operate this line for a duration of 25 years. The Midtown Manhattan line would travel eastward under Christopher Street before turning northeastward under Sixth Avenue, then continue underneath Sixth Avenue to a terminus at 33rd Street.[16]

In January 1905, the Hudson Companies was incorporated for the purpose of completing the Uptown Hudson Tubes and constructing the Sixth Avenue line. The company, which was contracted to construct the Uptown Hudson Tubes' subway tunnel connections on each side of the river, already had a capital of $21 million.[17] The H&M was incorporated in December 1906 to operate a passenger railroad system between New York and New Jersey via the Uptown and Downtown Tubes.[18][19]

A second pair of tunnels, the current Downtown Hudson Tubes, was built about 1 14 miles (2.0 km) south of the first pair. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1909, also using the tubular cast iron method.[5][9]:18 The uptown and downtown tunnels both consisted of two tubes, which each contained a single unidirectional track.[20] The eastern ends of the tunnels, located underneath Manhattan, employed cut and cover construction methods.[21]


Park Place Station in Newark was the H&MRR's terminus until the completion of Newark Penn Station in the late 1930s.

Test runs of trains without passengers started through the tunnels in late 1907.[22] Revenue service started between Hoboken Terminal and 19th Street at midnight on February 26, 1908, after President Theodore Roosevelt pressed a button at the White House that turned on the electric lines in the uptown tubes; the "official" first train had occurred the previous day, but was open only to selected officials.[23][9]:21 An extension of H&M from 19th Street to 23rd Street opened on June 15 of the same year.[24]

On July 19, 1909, service began between the Hudson Terminal in Lower Manhattan and Exchange Place in Jersey City, through the downtown tubes.[25] The connection between Exchange Place and the junction near Hoboken Terminal opened on August 2, 1909.[26] On September 6, 1910, the H&M was extended from Exchange Place west to Grove Street,[27] and on November 10 of that year was extended from 23rd Street to 33rd Street.[28][29] On November 27, the PRR tunnel to New York Penn Station opened.[30]

H&M was extended west from Grove Street to Summit Avenue and Manhattan Transfer on October 1, 1911,[31] and then to Park Place, Newark on November 26 of that year.[32]

After completion of the uptown Manhattan extension to 33rd Street and the westward extension to the now-defunct Manhattan Transfer and Park Place Newark terminus in 1911, the H&M was essentially complete. The final cost was estimated at $55-$60 million ($1,498,000,000 to $1,634,000,000 today).[33][34]

External relations and unbuilt expansionsEdit

Originally, the Hudson Tubes were designed to link three of the major railroad terminals on the Hudson River in New Jersey — the Erie Railroad and Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in Jersey City and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in Hoboken — with New York City. While PATH still provides a connection to train stations in Hoboken and Newark, the Erie's Pavonia Terminal at what is now Newport and the PRR terminal at Exchange Place station were both eventually closed and subsequently demolished. There were early negotiations for New York Penn Station to also be shared by the two railroads.[35]

When the New York City Board of Rapid Transit Commissioners had approved the construction of the H&M's Sixth Avenue line in 1904, it also left open the option of digging an east-west crosstown line. The New York and Jersey Railroad Company was given the perpetual rights to dig under Christopher and Ninth Streets eastward to either Second Avenue or Astor Place.[16][9]:22 This option was never fully exercised, as the crosstown line was only dug about 250 feet (76 m); the partly completed crosstown tube still exists.[9]:22[5]

There were also plans to extend the H&M's Uptown Tubes northeast to Grand Central Terminal, located at Park Avenue and 42nd Street.[36] In 1909, the New York Times speculated that the downtown tunnels would see more passenger use than the uptown tunnels because, at the time, the city's financial core was located downtown rather than in midtown. The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was a viable competitor to the H&M, as its Lexington Avenue line was proposed to connect to the H&M at Grand Central, Astor Place, and Fulton Street–Hudson Terminal once the planned system was complete.[36] Its terminus at Grand Central was supposed to be located directly below the IRT's 42nd Street line but above the IRT's Steinway Tunnel to Queens. However, the IRT constructed an unauthorized ventilation shaft between its two levels in an effort to force the H&M to build its station at a very low depth, thus making it harder for any passengers to access the H&M station.[37] As an alternative, it was proposed to connect the Uptown Tubes to the Steinway Tunnel.[38] A franchise to extend the Uptown Tubes to Grand Central was awarded in June 1909.[39] By 1914, the H&M had not started construction of the Grand Central extension yet, and it wished to delay the start of construction further.[40][9]:55 By 1920, the H&M had submitted seventeen applications in which they sought to delay construction of the extensions; in all seventeen instances, the H&M had claimed that it was not an appropriate time to construct the tube.[41] This time, however, the Rapid Transit Commissioners declined this request for a delay, effectively ending the H&M's right to build an extension to Grand Central.[9]:55–56

In September 1910, McAdoo proposed another expansion, consisting of a second north-south line through Midtown Manhattan. The line's southern terminus would be located at Hudson Terminal, and its northern terminus would be at 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue, underneath Herald Square and near the H&M's existing 33rd Street station. The new north-south line, which would be 4 miles (6.4 km) long, would run mainly under Broadway, although a small section of the line near Hudson Terminal would run under Church Street. Under McAdoo's plan, the city could take ownership of this line within 25 years of its completion.[28] That November, McAdoo also proposed that the two-track Broadway line be tied into the IRT's original subway line in Lower Manhattan. The Broadway line, going southbound, would merge with the local tracks of the IRT's Lexington Avenue line in the southbound direction at 10th Street. A spur off the Lexington Avenue line in Lower Manhattan, in the back of Trinity Church, would split eastward under Wall Street, cross the East River to Brooklyn, then head down Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, with another spur underneath Lafayette Avenue. McAdoo wanted not only to operate what was then called the "Triborough System", but also the chance to bid on the Fourth Avenue line in the future.[42] The franchise for the Broadway line was ultimately awarded to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) in 1913, as part of the Dual Contracts.[43][44] The first section of the BRT's Broadway line opened in 1917,[45] and that line was completed by 1920.[46] The BRT was also given the franchise for the Fourth Avenue line in Brooklyn as part of the Dual Contracts.[47] The BRT's Fourth Avenue line opened in stages from 1915[48] to 1925.[49][50]

At one point, McAdoo considered extending the H&M in New Jersey, building a branch north to Montclair and Essex County. A route extending north from Newark would continue straight to East Orange. From there, branches would split to South Orange in the south and Montclair in the north.[51]

There was also a plan to build an extension from the curve west of Hoboken Terminal to where Secaucus Junction is now.

Start of declineEdit

The H&M saw record ridership in 1927, when 113 million people used the system.[9]:55 The opening of the Holland Tunnel that year, coupled with the Depression that began shortly after, began the decline of H&M.[9]:55[52] The later construction of the George Washington Bridge in 1931 and the Lincoln Tunnel in 1937 further enticed people away from the railroad.[9]:56

In the 1930s, service to the Uptown Hudson Tubes in Manhattan was affected due to the construction of the Independent Subway System (IND)'s Sixth Avenue Line. The 33rd Street terminal closed on December 26, 1937 and service on the H&M was cut back to 28th Street to allow for construction on the subway to take place.[53] The 33rd Street terminal was moved south to 32nd Street and reopened on September 24, 1939. The city had to pay $800,000 to build the new 33rd Street station and reimbursed H&M another $300,000 to the H&M for the loss of revenue.[54] The 28th Street station was closed at this time because the southern entrances to the 33rd Street terminal were located only two blocks away, rendering the 28th Street stop unnecessary. It was demolished to make room for the IND tracks below.[55]

The Manhattan Transfer station was closed on June 20, 1937, and H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station from the Park Place terminus a quarter-mile north; the Harrison station across the Passaic River was moved several blocks south as a result. On the same day, the Newark City Subway was extended to Newark Penn Station. The upper level of the Centre Street Bridge to Park Place later became Route 158.[56]

Promotions and other advertising proved ineffectual at slowing the financial declinee of the H&MT he 19th Street station in Manhattan was closed in 1954.[57] The same year, the H&M entered receivership due to a consistent loss of revenue.[58] Although it continued to operate, the H&M remained under bankruptcy court protection for years and received a tax cut in 1956.[59] That year, the H&M saw 37 million annual passengers, and transportation experts called for subsidies to help keep H&M solvent. One expert proposed making a "rail loop", with the Uptown Hudson Tubes connecting to the IND Sixth Avenue Line, then continuing up Sixth Avenue and west via a new tunnel to Weehawken, New Jersey.[60] By 1958, the H&M had only 26 million annual passengers, less than one-fourth the 1927 ridership figure.[9]:56 Two years later, creditors approved a tax plan to reorganize the company.[61] During this time, H&M workers went on strike twice due to wage disputes: in 1953 for two days,[62] and in 1957 for a month.[63]

Port Authority operationEdit


PATH train at Newark Penn Station on September 2, 1966

The planning of the World Trade Center in the early 1960s enabled a compromise between the Port Authority and the states of New York and New Jersey. The Port Authority agreed to purchase and maintain the Tubes in return for the rights to build the World Trade Center on the land occupied by H&M's Hudson Terminal, which was the Lower Manhattan terminus of the Tubes.[64] A formal agreement was made in January 1962.[65] On April 1 of the same year, the Port Authority set up two subsidiary corporations: the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) to operate the H&M tubes, as well as another subsidiary to operate the World Trade Center. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would have been bound under federal Interstate Commerce Commission rules if it ran the trains directly, but with the creation of the PATH Corporation, only the subsidiary's operations would be federally regulated.[66]

On September 1, 1962, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company ceased operation of the Hudson Tubes, and service began through the PATH.[9]:58[67] Upon taking over the H&M Railroad, the Port Authority spent $70 million to modernize PATH's infrastructure.[68] The Port Authority also repainted H&M stations into the new PATH livery.[69] In 1964, the Port Authority ordered 162 PA1 railway cars to replace the H&M rolling stock.[70] Subsequently, the agency ordered 44 PA2 cars in 1967 and 46 PA3 cars in 1972.[71]


The Hudson Terminal was located on the future site of the World Trade Center. As part of the World Trade Center's construction, the Port Authority decided to demolish the Hudson Terminal and construct a new World Trade Center Terminal on the site.[65] Groundbreaking on the World Trade Center took place in 1966.[72] During excavation and construction, the original Downtown Hudson Tubes remained in service as elevated tunnels.[73] The new World Trade Center Terminal was opened on July 6, 1971, at a different location from the original Hudson Terminal.[74] The new station cost $35 million to build, and saw 85,000 daily passengers at the time of its opening.[75] At this time, the Hudson Terminal was shut down.[76]

PATH arriving at Harrison, NJ on July 4, 1969

In January 1973, the Port Authority released plans to double the size of the PATH system.[71] The plan called for a 15-mile (24 km) extension of the Newark–World Trade Center line from Newark Penn Station to Plainfield, New Jersey. A stop at Elizabeth would allow the PATH to serve Newark Airport as well. At the Newark Airport stop, there would be a transfer to a people mover to the terminals themselves.[77] Preliminary studies of the right-of-way, as well as a design contract, were conducted that year.[78] This 15-mile (24 km) extension was approved in 1975.[79] However, the Federal Urban Mass Transit Administration was wary of the proposed extension's usefulness and was reluctant to give the $322 million in funds that the Port Authority had requested for the project, which represented about 80% of the projected cost at the time.[80] Eventually, the administration agreed to back the PATH extension.[81] However, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Port Authority's use of bonds to finance the extension was not permitted, significantly setting back the project.[82] In June 1978, the extension, then estimated to cost $600 million, was canceled completely in favor of improved bus service in New Jersey.[83]

Also in 1973, PATH workers went on strike due to union disagreements with the Port Authority.[84] A strike had been avoided in January 1973,[85] but talks subsequently failed and workers walked out that April 1.[84] The 1973 strike had been caused by a dispute over salary increases that the Port Authority was unwilling to grant.[86] Negotiations between workers and the Port Authority broke down as the strike extended past one month.[87] The strike ended on June 2, 1973, sixty-three days after it had begun.[88] Another strike started in 1978 for the same reason as the 1973 strike. However, the 1978 work stoppage was more prolonged: it went on for 81 days.[86]

During the 1980 New York City transit strike which suspended transit service on New York City Transit Authority bus and subway routes, a special PATH route ran from 33rd Street to World Trade Center via Midtown Manhattan, Pavonia–Newport, and Exchange Place.[89]

1980s and 1990sEdit

During the 1980s, the PATH system experienced substantial growth in ridership, which meant the infrastructure needed expansion and rehabilitation. The Port Authority announced a plan in 1988 to upgrade the infrastructure so that stations on the Newark–WTC line could accommodate longer 8-car trains while 7-car trains could operate between Journal Square and 33rd Street.[90] In August 1990, the Port Authority put forth a $1 billion plan to renovate the PATH stations and add new rail cars.[91] To help provide revenue, the Port Authority installed video monitors in its stations that display advertising.[92] At that time, the Port Authority incurred a $135 million deficit annually, which it sought to alleviate with a fare hike to reduce the per passenger subsidy.[93] By 1992, the Port Authority had spent $900 million on infrastructure improvements, including track repairs, modernizing communications and signaling, new ventilation equipment, and installing elevators at most stations to accommodate the disabled. A new car maintenance facility was also added in Harrison, at a cost of $225 million.[94]

Around 1990, the new maintenance yard at Harrison was opened. On October 12, 1990, PATH's old Henderson Street Yard–a below-grade, open-air train storage yard at the northeast corner of Marin Boulevard and Christopher Columbus Drive just east of the Grove Street station–was closed.[95]

On December 11, 1992, a coastal storm caused extensive flooding in the PATH tunnels, resulting in the system being out of service for 10 days. A 2,500–3,000-foot (760–910 m) section of track between Hoboken and Pavonia was flooded, as were other locations within the system. This was the longest period of disruption since a 2​12 month strike in 1980.[96] When the 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred, a section of ceiling in the PATH station collapsed and trapped dozens.[97] Nonetheless, the PATH station did not suffer any structural damage.[98] Within a week, the Port Authority was able to resume PATH service to the World Trade Center.[99]

On April 29, 1996, three trains began running express on the Newark–World Trade Center service, cutting running time by 3.5 minutes.[100] This change was made permanent in October after being piloted for six months. Weekend Hoboken–World Trade Center service began on October 27, 1996.[101]

September 11, 2001, and recoveryEdit

The temporary World Trade Center station opened in 2003.
Inaugural train arrives from Newark at PATH's temporary WTC station at 2:08 p.m., November 23, 2003, while passengers applaud its arrival

The World Trade Center station in Lower Manhattan, under the World Trade Center, is one of PATH's two New York terminals. The first station at the site, which replaced the old Hudson Terminal at the same place in 1971, was destroyed during the September 11 attacks, when the Twin Towers above it collapsed. Just prior to the collapse, the station was closed and any passengers in the station were evacuated.[9]:107

With the station destroyed, service to Lower Manhattan was suspended for over two years. Exchange Place, the next station on the Newark–World Trade Center line, also had to be closed because it could not operate as a "terminal" station.[102] Instead, two uptown services (Newark–33rd Street (red) and Hoboken–33rd Street (blue)) [103] and one intrastate New Jersey service (Hoboken–Journal Square (green)) were put into operation.[104] Only one after-hours train was put into service, Newark–33rd Street (via Hoboken).

Modifications were made to a stub end tunnel (also known as the Penn Pocket, originally built for short turn World Trade Center to Exchange Place runs to handle PRR commuters from Harborside Terminal) to allow trains from Newark to reach the Hoboken bound tunnel and vice versa. The modifications required PATH to bore through the bedrock dividing the stub tunnel and the tunnels to and from Newark. The new Exchange Place station opened on June 29, 2003.[105] Because of the original alignment of the tracks, trains to/from Hoboken used separate tunnels from the Newark service. From Newark, trains crossed over to the Newark/Hoboken bound track just north of Exchange Place. Trains then reversed direction and used a crossover switch to go to Hoboken. From Hoboken, trains entered on the Manhattan-bound track at Exchange Place. The train then reversed direction and used the same crossover switch to go to the Newark-bound tracks before entering Grove Street.[9]:108

PATH service to Lower Manhattan was restored when a new, $323 million second station opened on November 23, 2003; the inaugural train was the same one that had been used for the evacuation.[9]:108–110 The second, temporary station contained portions of the original station, but did not have heating or air conditioning systems installed. The temporary entrance was closed on July 1, 2007, and demolished to make way for the third, permanent station; around the same time, the Church Street entrance opened.[106] On April 11, 2007, the Port Authority announced that it would build a new entrance to the World Trade Center PATH station on Vesey Street. The new entrance opened in March 2008, and the entrance on Church Street has been demolished. The contract to build the permanent World Trade Center PATH station, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, was awarded to a joint-venture of Granite Construction North-East (formally Granite Halmar), Fluor Enterprises, Bovis Lend Lease, and Slattery Skanska. Platform A, the first platform of the permanent station, opened February 25, 2014, serving Hoboken-bound riders.[107]

Later 2000sEdit

On July 7, 2006, an alleged plot to detonate explosives in the PATH tunnels (initially said to be a plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel) was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The plot included the detonation of a bomb that could significantly destroy and flood the tunnels, endangering all the occupants and vehicles in the tunnel at the time of the explosion. The terror planners believed that Lower Manhattan could, as a result of the explosion, be flooded due to river water surging up the remaining tunnel after the blast. Officials say that this plan was unsound due to the strength of the tunnels. Since semi-trailer trucks are currently not allowed to pass through the Holland Tunnel, and it was unfeasible to carry such a bomb on board a PATH train, it was very difficult to get sufficient explosives into the tunnel to accomplish the plan. If the tunnel were to explode and allow water from the Hudson River to flood the (Holland) tunnel, Lower Manhattan would be spared since the area is 2–10 feet (0.61–3.05 m) above sea level. Of the eight planners based in six different countries, three were arrested.[108]

In January 2010, Siemens announced that PATH would be spending $321 million to upgrade its signal system to use communications-based train control (CBTC), using Siemens' Trainguard MT CBTC, to accommodate anticipated growth in ridership. The system will reduce the headway time between trains, so trains move more efficiently through the system and passenger wait times are reduced. Trainguard MT CBTC will equip the tracks and 130 of the 340 new EMU being constructed by Kawasaki Railcar. The goal is to increase passenger capacity from the current 240,000 passengers to 290,000 passengers per day. The entire system was expected to become operational in 2017.[109][110] The Federal Railroad Administration mandated that all railroads in the United States have positive train control, another railroad safety system, installed on their trackage by December 31, 2018. The installation of this system on the PATH was done concurrently with the installation of the CBTC signaling system, and by 2017, the PATH was ahead of schedule on its installation of positive train control.[111]

Hurricane SandyEdit

On October 29, 2012, PATH service was suspended system-wide in advance of Hurricane Sandy. The following day, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated that PATH train service would be out for 7–10 days as a result of the damage caused by the hurricane.[112] Storm surge from the hurricane caused significant flooding to PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as at the World Trade Center.[112] An image captured from a PATH security camera showing the ingress of water at Hoboken at 8:23 p.m. on October 29, quickly spread across the Internet and became one of several representative images from the hurricane.[113][114]

The first revenue PATH trains after the hurricane were the Journal Square–33rd Street service, which recommenced on November 6 with modifications, running from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.[115] Service was extended west to Harrison and Newark on November 12, in place of the Newark–World Trade Center service.[116] Christopher Street and 9th Street stations initially remained closed due to overcrowding concerns; beginning November 17 these stations were opened on weekends. Newark–World Trade Center service resumed on November 26, on weekdays only, during which time the Newark-33rd Street trains were shortened to Journal Square-33rd Street, and Christopher Street and 9th Street were fully opened to serve all trains.[117]

On November 27, 2012, it was announced that Hoboken would cost an estimated $300 million to repair while staying closed "for weeks" including damage to 50 train cars, scattered debris, mud, rusted tracks, and destroyed critical electrical equipment after as much as eight feet (2.4 m) of water submerged the tunnels.[118] In order to expedite the return of Hoboken service, from December 8–9 to December 15–16 Newark–WTC service resumed operating on weekends, replacing Newark–33rd Street service to allow for uninterrupted weekend work windows in PATH's Caissons Wye tunnels under Hoboken.[119] As a result, Hoboken station reopened on December 19 for weekday Hoboken-33rd Street service,[120] followed by the resumption of weekday 24-hour PATH service on January 9, 2013.[121][122] The Hoboken–World Trade Center trains resumed on January 29, with return of full PATH service at all stations at all times implemented by the weekend of March 1, following completion of repairs at Exchange Place and World Trade Center.[123]

Newark Airport extension proposalsEdit

In the mid-2000s, a Newark Airport extension was again considered as the Port Authority allocated $31 million to conduct a feasibility study of extending PATH two miles (3.2 km) from Newark Penn Station.[124] In September 2012, it was announced that work would commence on the study.[125] The study estimated in 2004 the cost of the extension at $500 million.[126] On September 11, 2013, Crain's reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would publicly support the PATH extension; its estimated cost grew to $1 billion.[127] The governor asked that the airport's largest operator, United Airlines, consider flying to Atlantic City International Airport as an enticement to further the project.[128]

On February 4, 2014, the Port Authority proposed a 10-year capital plan that included the PATH extension to Newark Liberty International Airport Station. The Board of Commissioners approved the Capital Plan, including the airport extension, on February 19, 2014.[129][130][131] Plans include a planned $1.5 billion PATH extension to Newark Liberty International Airport. The alignment will follow the existing Northeast Corridor approximately one mile further west to airport’s rail station, where a connection to AirTrain Newark is available.[132] Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and last five years.[133]

However, there were calls in late 2014 for reconsideration of Port Authority funding priorities, as the PATH extension was termed "redundant" of existing Manhattan-to-Newark Airport train service (on NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor Line and North Jersey Coast Line as well as Amtrak's Keystone Service and Northeast Regional), while funding was lacking for both the proposed Amtrak Gateway Tunnel for commuter trains under the Hudson River (a substitute for the cancelled ARC Tunnel), and the replacement of the aging and overcrowded Port Authority Bus Terminal.[134] In December 2014, the PANYNJ awarded a three-year, $6 million contract to HNTB to perform cost analysis on the Newark Airport extension.[135]

On January 11, 2017, the PANYNJ released its 10-year capital plan that included $1.7 billion for the extension. Under the plan, construction is projected to start in 2020, with service in 2026.[136][137] Two public meetings on the project were scheduled for early December 2017.[138]

Route operationEdit

Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Manhattan Transfer
Journal Square
Grove Street
Exchange Place
World Trade Center
Christopher Street
9th Street
14th Street
19th Street
23rd Street
28th Street
33rd Street

PATH operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekday hours, PATH operates four train services, using three terminals in New Jersey and two in Manhattan. Each line is represented by a unique color, which also corresponds to the color of the lights on the front of the trains. The Journal Square–33rd Street (via Hoboken) service is the only line represented by two colors (orange and blue), since it is a late-night hours combination of the Journal Square–33rd Street and Hoboken–33rd Street services. During peak hours, trains operate every four to eight minutes on each service. Every PATH station except Newark and Harrison is served by a train every two to three minutes, for a peak-hour service of 20 to 30 trains per hour.[139]

PATH management has two principal passenger outreach initiatives: the "PATHways" newsletter, distributed free at terminals, and the Patron Advisory Committee.[140][141]

In 2017, PATH saw 82,812,915 total trips. On an average weekday, 283,719 passengers used the system. The busiest station was World Trade Center, with 17,159,511 entries in 2017.[1]


The PATH system has 138 miles (222 km) of route mileage; route overlaps are counted only once.[142] During the daytime on weekdays, four services operate:[139]

Between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Monday to Friday, and all-day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, PATH operates two train services:

Prior to 2006, Hoboken–World Trade Center and Journal Square–33rd Street services were offered on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays between 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. On April 9, 2006, these services were indefinitely discontinued at those times, being replaced with the Journal Square–33rd Street (via Hoboken) service.[143] Passengers traveling from Hoboken to the World Trade Center must take the Journal Square–33rd Street service to Grove Street and transfer to the Newark–World Trade Center train.[139]

PATH does not normally operate directly from Newark to Midtown Manhattan. However, after both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, special Newark–33rd Street services were operated to compensate for the loss of other lines and stations. The post-9/11 service from 2001 to 2003 used the red line color of the Newark–World Trade Center service on the PATH system map, while the post-Sandy service of 2012–13 used the yellow color of the Journal Square–33rd Street service from which it was extended.[121]

Station listingEdit

The 19th Street station, abandoned since 1954

There are currently 13 active PATH stations.

State City Station Services Opened Notes
NY New York 33rd Street HOB–33
November 10, 1910
28th Street Closed November 10, 1910 Closed September 24, 1939 when the 33rd Street station was extended southward.[144]
23rd Street HOB–33
June 15, 1908
19th Street Closed February 25, 1908 Closed in 1954 to accelerate service[145]
14th Street HOB–33
February 25, 1908
9th Street HOB–33
February 25, 1908
Christopher Street HOB–33
February 25, 1908
Hudson Terminal Closed July 19, 1909 Closed in 1971 when service opened to World Trade Center.[146]
World Trade Center NWK–WTC
July 4, 1971 Closed from September 11, 2001 to November 23, 2003[147]
NJ Hoboken Hoboken Terminal HOB–WTC
February 25, 1908
Jersey City Newport HOB–WTC
August 2, 1909 Originally a station for the Erie Railroad. Formerly known as Pavonia/Newport until 2011
Exchange Place NWK–WTC
July 19, 1909
Grove Street NWK–WTC
September 6, 1910 Originally Grove-Henderson Streets
Journal Square
Transportation Center
April 14, 1912 Originally Summit Avenue
Harrison Harrison NWK–WTC June 20, 1937 Originally several blocks north (opened November 26, 1911)
Manhattan Transfer Closed October 1, 1911 Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station
Newark Newark NWK–WTC June 20, 1937 Replacement for Park Place and Manhattan Transfer stations
Park Place Closed November 26, 1911 Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station
33rd Street station


As of October 1, 2014:[148]

Ride Type Price[149] Effective Price Per Ride
Single Ride $2.75 $2.75
Two-Trip $5.50 $2.75
10-Trip $21 $2.10
20-Trip $42 $2.10
40-Trip $84 $2.10
1-Day Unlimited $8.25 Varies by use
7-Day Unlimited $29 Varies by use
30-Day Unlimited $89 Varies by use
Senior SmartLink $1 $1

Single ride tickets are valid for two hours from time of purchase.[150] As of October 1, 2014, a single PATH ride is $2.75; two-trip tickets are $5.50; 10-trip, $21; 20-trip, $42; 40-trip, $84 ($2.10 per trip); a seven-day unlimited, $29; and a 30-day unlimited, $89.

Payment methodsEdit

Quick CardsEdit

On October 24, 2008, the Port Authority announced that as of November 30, 2008, NJ Transit ticket machines on NJ Transit stations will no longer sell the QuickCard and as of December 31, 2008, NJ Transit ticket machines in PATH stations (Newark, Hoboken, Journal Square, Exchange Place, and Pavonia -Newport) will no longer sell the cards. The machines at the 33rd Street, Grove Street and WTC stations were removed earlier in 2008.[151]

By the third quarter of 2008, PATH had completed the inactivation of all turnstiles that accepted cash (in addition to the QuickCard, MetroCard and SmartLink card). These turnstiles will continue to accept the various cards as fare payment.

In 2010, PATH introduced a two-trip card costing $4.00 using the standard MetroCard form. Vending machines selling this card are in major PATH stations including 33rd St, World Trade Center and Journal Square. The front of the card is the standard MetroCard (gold and blue) but on the reverse it has the text "PATH 2-Trip Card", "Valid for two (2) PATH trips only" and "No refills on this card". The user had to dispose of the card after the trips are used up because the turnstiles do not keep (or capture) the card as was done with the discontinued QuickCard.

At the end of 2010, the QuickCard was discontinued and replaced with SmartLink Gray, a non-refillable, disposable version of the SmartLink card. This card was sold at selected newsstand vendors and was available in 10, 20 and 40 trips. Unlike regular SmartLink cards, SmartLink Gray cards had expiration dates. SmartLink Gray was itself discontinued in January 2016.[152]


SmartLink turnstiles at the WTC station accept both PATH SmartLink cards and MTA MetroCards.

Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards, a brand of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s standard farecard, are accepted on PATH.[153]

In the fall of 2005, PATH and the MTA installed a number of MetroCard Vending Machines (MVM) on the concourse at the World Trade Center station and at the 30th Street entrance of the 33rd Street station. By the summer of 2006, MVMs were installed in all stations. These machines sell Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards and allow riders to refill SmartLink cards once they were introduced in 2007 (see below). In addition, these machines sell Single Ride PATH tickets for use only on the PATH system. The Port Authority installed new fare collection turnstiles at all PATH stations in 2005 and 2006. These turnstiles allowed passengers to pay their fare with a PATH QuickCard or an MTA Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard.


As of 2007, payment is also available with a smart card, known as SmartLink. The project is part of a Port Authority project to implement usage of a regional smart card that could be used on transit systems throughout the New York metropolitan area. The new turnstile program first began at the World Trade Center station. Until their discontinuance in December 2010, PATH QuickCards were only valid on the PATH rail system. The initial testing phase of the SmartLink system was delayed by several months due to software problems. It was originally intended to start in August 2006 and then was postponed to October 2006. Continuing problems moved the testing phase for Senior SmartLink cards to February 2007.

The week of July 2, 2007, PATH began an initial roll out of the SmartLink card to the general public at the World Trade Center station. On July 23 the card was introduced at the 33rd Street terminal. On August 6 the card was introduced at the Hoboken terminal. Special vending machines that sold an 11-trip SmartLink card were installed at terminal stations. The cost of the card at $20 which includes 11 trips plus a $5 charge for the card. In 2008 when the fare was increased to $1.75, these machines were upgraded to sell an $18 card which included 10 trips at $1.30 plus the $5.00 card fee. Also a machine selling just the card for $5.00 was installed. The cards can be registered online, allowing riders to retain unused trips in case the card is lost or stolen. A charge of $5 is assessed for a replacement card.[154] In 2011, the card was $20 ($15 for 10 trips + $5 for card) In the initial stage, the SmartLink card will allow riders to place the same value on it as if they were purchasing a QuickCard by using machines located in PATH stations. A later stage will allow the rider to register the card to be automatically be refilled if the value on the card reaches a pre-set minimum. In June 2008, PATH inaugurated an online web account system allowing a cardholder to register the card and monitor its usage. It also allows for an automatic replenishment (linked to a credit card) when the card balance gets to 5 trips or 5 remaining days, depending on the type of trips on the card. Automatic replenishment is offered in 10-, 20-, and 40-trip increments, as well as weekly and monthly passes. Fares are the same as regular purchases.


All terminals (33rd Street, Hoboken, World Trade Center, Journal Square and Newark) are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as are Exchange Place, Grove Street, and Pavonia/Newport. Harrison is currently undergoing reconstruction and will also become accessible, scheduled for completion in 2018.[155] When this project is completed, only four stations will not be accessible to wheelchair users, all of which will be in New York City.[156]

Rolling stockEdit

As of February 2018, there is only one model, the PA5. The cars are 51 feet (16 m) long by 9.2 feet (2.8 m) wide, a smaller loading gauge compared to similar vehicles in the US; this limitation is due to the restricted structure gauge through the tunnels under the Hudson River. They can achieve a maximum speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) in regular service. Each car seats 35 passengers, on longitudinal "bucket" seating, and can fit a larger number of standees in each car. PA5 cars have stainless steel bodies and three doors on each side. LCD displays above the windows (between the doors) display the destination of that particular train. The PA5 cars are coupled and linked into consists of up to ten cars long, with conductors' cabs on all cars and engineers' cabs on the "A" (driving) cars.[157]

In c. 2005, the Port Authority awarded a $499 million contract to Kawasaki to design and build 340 new PATH cars (called the PA5), which replaced the system's entire aging fleet.[2] With an average age of 42 years, the fleet was the oldest of any operating heavy rail line in the United States. The Port Authority announced that the new cars would be updated versions of MTA's R142A cars. The first of these new cars entered revenue service July 10, 2009.[158] All 340 cars were delivered by 2011.[159] The Port Authority exercised a subsequent contract for 10 additional PA5 cars, bringing the total to 350.[2]

As part of the fleet expansion program and signal system upgrade, the Port Authority has the option to order a total of 119 additional PA5 cars as the option order; 44 of these cars would be to expand the NWK–WTC line to 10-car operation while the remaining 75 cars would be used to increase service frequencies once Communication-based train control (CBTC) is implemented throughout the system in 2018.[160] In December 2017, the Port Authority exercised an option to buy fifty extra PA5 cars for $150 million, for an ultimate total of 400 PA5 cars.[161]

Current rosterEdit

Rolling stock Year built Builder Car body Car numbers Total built Notes
PA5 2008–2012 Kawasaki Stainless steel 5600–5829 (A cars)
5100–5219 (C cars)
350 base order
119 in fleet expansion option (10 A cars exercised so far;[162] 50 A and C cars in progress[163])
"A" cars have cab units, "C" cars have no cabs[164]
Siemens SITRAC AC propulsion system, upgradable to CBTC signalling compatibility, 3 doors per side, prerecorded station announcements

Former rosterEdit

The PA1 cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1964-1965.[9]:101[70] A second order, the PA2 cars, were built in 1966–1967, also by St. Louis. Hawker Siddeley built the PA3 cars in 1972. The PA4s were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 1986–1987.[9]:101 All cars were factory equipped with 10 ton Stone Safety Air Conditioning units when built.

PA1, PA2, and PA3 cars had painted aluminum bodies, and two doors on each side. Back-lit panels above the doors displayed the destination of that particular train: HOB for Hoboken, JSQ for Journal Square, NWK for Newark, 33 for 33rd Street, and WTC for World Trade Center. The MBTA's Blue and Orange Line cars, built in 1978–1979 and 1980–1981 respectively were based on the PA3. All PA1-PA3 cars were overhauled by Kawasaki in the mid 1980s. PA4 cars had stainless steel bodies, and three doors on each side. Back-lit displays above the windows (between the doors) displayed the destination of that particular train.

In 1972, PATH revived the tradition of naming its passenger cars. Each car was named after a community whose residents rely on PATH service to reach their destinations. Most of the municipalities were in New Jersey, but there were also a few from Rockland County, New York, along with New York City itself. Each end of the interior of a named car featured a brushed aluminum plaque bearing the name of the city or town along with a brief history and description of the area "today" (meaning in 1972), followed by the lines "This car is named in honor of (municipality name), one of more than 300 communities whose residents travel on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson interstate rail system."

All PA1-PA4 equipment were retired in 2009-2011, with the PA4's remaining on site as work service cars.

Rolling stock[9]:101 Year built Builder Car body Car numbers Total built Notes
PA1 1964-1965 St. Louis Car Company painted aluminum 100–151 ("C" cars)
600–709 ("A" cars)
162 (110 cab units, 52 trailers) "A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs, 2 doors per side. 143 (trailer) at Trolley Museum of New York (Kingston).
PA2 1966-1967 St. Louis Car Company painted aluminum 152–181 ("C" cars)
710–723 ("A" cars)
44 (14 cab units, 30 trailers) "A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs, 2 doors per side
PA3 1972 Hawker-Siddeley painted aluminum 724–769 46 All cab units, 2 doors per side. 745 at Shore Line Trolley Museum (BERA).
PA4 1986-1987 Kawasaki Stainless steel 800–894 95 All cab units, 3 doors per side. Most in work service.

Rolling stock incidentsEdit

A train consisting of cars 745, 143, 160, 845, 750, 139, and 612 was left under the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The collapse of the south tower largely destroyed the train; cars 745 and 143 were not positioned directly beneath the tower and were the only cars to survive the collapse relatively intact. These two cars were cleaned and placed in storage following the collapse while the remains of the rest of the train had been stripped of usable parts and scrapped. The cars were intended to be displayed in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.[165] However, the cars were deemed too large to be displayed in the museum; as a result, car 745 was instead donated to the Shore Line Trolley Museum,[166] while car 143 was donated to the Trolley Museum of New York[167]

On October 21, 2009, an unidentified PATH train from New Jersey crashed into the barricade as it arrived at the 33rd Street station.[168]

On May 8, 2011, PA5 cab car 5741 ran into the bumper block of a yard tail track near Journal Square station.[168][169] The car was back in service by June 2012.[170]


FRA railroad statusEdit

While the PATH resembles a typical intraurban heavy rail rapid transit system, it is in fact under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).[171] PATH continues to be subject to FRA regulations because it used to share trackage with the Pennsylvania Railroad between Hudson interlocking near Harrison and Journal Square. In more recent past the line connected to the Amtrak mainline near Harrison station and also near Hudson tower. These connections have since been severed as the track layout at Hudson interlocking has been modified considerably. While PATH operates under several grandfather waivers, it is required to do things not typically seen on American transit systems. Some of these include the proper fitting of grab irons to all PATH rolling stock, the use of federally certified locomotive engineers, installation of positive train control (PTC), and compliance with the federal railroad hours of service regulations.[172]

While PATH once shared trackage with the PRR, this joint running and all interlocking connections to former lines have been cut, except for one diamond crossing on a siding near the Hudson tower. Due to its relative isolation from the national rail network, PATH could potentially end its status as a railroad. However, this railroad status might prove valuable if PATH were to extend service along existing rail routes as normally transit lines are required to either run on separate rights of way or have time separation with FRA railroads.

Photography restrictionsEdit

The PATH regulations as of December 20, 2015 state that all photography, film making, video taping, or creations of drawings or other visual depictions within the PATH system is prohibited without a permit by PATH and supervision by a PATH representative.[173]:17 According to the rules, photographers, filmmakers, and other individuals must obtain permits through an application process.[173]:18 Although it has been suggested that the restriction was put in place due to terrorism concerns, the restriction predates 9/11.[174]

It is thought that this ban excludes members of the general public who want to take pictures, and the photography and filmography ban only applies to commercial or professional purposes.[174] There have been decisions from the United States Supreme Court stating that casual photography is covered by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, the case law is mixed. Under the law PATH employees may not force a casual photographer to destroy or surrender their film or images, but confiscations and arrests have occurred. Litigation following such confiscations or arrests have generally, but not always, resulted in the dropping of charges or the awarding of damages.[175]

Tunnel decorationEdit

On trains bound for Newark or Hoboken from World Trade Center, a short, zoetrope-like advertisement used to be seen in the tunnel before entering Exchange Place. There also used to be one on 33rd Street-bound trains between 14th and 23rd Streets near the abandoned 19th Street station.[176]

Every year, around Thanksgiving, PATH employees light a decorated Christmas tree at a switching station in the tunnel used by trains running from 33rd Street and Hoboken into the Pavonia/Newport station. This tradition has continued since the 1950s when a signal operator, Joe Wojtowicz, started hanging a string of Christmas lights in the tunnel. While PATH officials were initially concerned about putting up decorations in the tunnel, they later acquiesced and the tradition continues to this day. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a back-lit U.S. flag was put up beside the tree as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.[177]

In popular cultureEdit

PATH trains and stations have occasionally been the setting for music videos, commercials, movies, and TV programs, sometimes as a stand-in for the New York City Subway.

The video for the White Stripes's song "The Hardest Button to Button" was taped at the 33rd Street station.[178]

See alsoEdit


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  166. ^ "9/11 surviving PATH Subway Car will arrive at SLTM – Thursday, August 6th 11:15 AM - The Shore Line Trolley Museum Operated by the Branford Electric Railway Association, 17 River Street, East Haven, CT, 06512". Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  167. ^ "PATH train cars that survived 9/11 on display in CT, NY trolley museums". December 4, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
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  174. ^ a b "Is it really illegal to take pictures in the train station? Transit agencies have differing policies for photographers videographers". Hudson Reporter. 2014-12-23. Retrieved 2018-03-02. 
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  • Brennan, Joseph. "Abandoned stations". 
  • Carleton, Paul. (1990). The Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Revisited. D. Carleton Railbooks. 

External linksEdit