Average weekday ridership throughout the PATH system in July reached a record 298,000 passengers, a 9.2-percent increase over the previous year. This was the highest average weekday ridership for any month since the Port Authority took over the rail line in 1962.
Six percent of the weekday increase consisted of NJ Transit ticket holders cross-honored at the Hoboken, 33rd Street and World Trade Center stations as a result of Amtrak’s major Penn Station New York infrastructure work.
PATH’s strategy to add trains, reduce headways between Hoboken and 33rd Street and deploy additional volunteer staff to the cross-honoring stations for customer assistance has helped ease commuting burdens for PATH customers and affected NJ Transit passengers.
On-time performance has remained at a remarkable 98 percent on average since the Amtrak work began July 10.
“For our customers and our employees, this could have been the ‘summer of hell,’ as many had predicted. It hasn’t been,” said Port Authority Board Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “That’s a tribute to PATH General Manager/Director Mike Marino and his highly skilled and experienced team.”
“We recognize that the challenges of this summer are not over,’’ said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “But carrying the highest number of monthly passengers in its entire history, with a 98-percent on-time performance in July, represents an extraordinary performance.”
O’Toole and Cotton conducted an extensive tour of PATH assets and facilities last week to learn more about the system and its people.
Since July 10, a weekday average of 22,970 Midtown Direct NJ Transit riders were diverted to the Hoboken PATH station because of Amtrak’s infrastructure renewal project at New York Penn Station. The infrastructure work is scheduled to be completed September 1.
Including weekend customers, PATH’s July ridership reached 7.13 million passengers, an overall rise of 8.5 percent over July 2016. Saturday ridership was up about 6 percent, with Sundays showing a 3.8-percent increase.
“We anticipated that July would be an extremely busy month, so we’re not surprised by the numbers,” said PATH Director Marino. “With an emphasis on preparation and execution since the Penn Station work began, we believe we’ve provided good service to our customers. They are our top priority and we thank them for their patience and perseverance.”