The first of 72 new Kawaski-built PATH rapid transit cars will enter service in New York and New Jersey starting April 17. The aim: to boost capacity.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) on April 13 unveiled some of the new cars at the PATH Hoboken (N.J.) station. Ordered in 2018, they will supplement the current fleet of 350 cars, and be gradually integrated into the system throughout 2023 and into 2024, marking an increase of more than 20% in rolling stock, the agency said. The cars will also supplement the implementation of PATH’s new nine-car trains in service on the Newark to World Trade Center (NWK-WTC) line. That service began March 23, and by the start of 2024, nearly all trains on the line—PATH’s busiest—will be nine-car trains at peak times.
Part of PANYNJ’s $1 billion PATH Improvement Plan “to reduce delays and enhance the overall customer experience,” the new cars last fall began being transported to a Kawasaki facility in Yonkers, N.Y., where they were outfitted and tested before being delivered to PATH.
“With each step of the PATH Improvement Plan, we are bringing better service, easier access, and more modern facilities and equipment into our system,” PATH Director Clarelle DeGraffe said. “Today [April 13] marks another achievement in the agency’s ongoing commitment to providing the best possible customer experience for our riders.”
“The addition of these new railcars aligns with our broader initiative to enhance service quality, improve customer experience, and boost overall capacity across the PATH system,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of PANYNJ. “With ridership recovering from the pandemic, we anticipate more riders utilizing the PATH system and want to ensure we have the capacity and reliability people expect.”
According to PANYNJ, expanding capacity is one of three components of the PATH Improvement Plan, which was introduced in 2019. It calls for a capacity increase through the acquisition of additional railcars; expansion of station platforms to accommodate nine-car trains on the NWK-WTC line versus the current eight-car trains; and utilization of a new signal system to run trains more frequently, particularly during morning and evening rush hours.