PANY/NJ Launches $430MM ‘PATH Forward’ Program

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor, Railway Age
image description
“Big news, @PATHTrain riders! The PATH Forward program launches with a $430M investment over 2 yrs to upgrade the system ensuring more reliable service, upgraded stations, and rehabilitated train cars,” PANY/NJ reported April 5 via social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. (Photograph Courtesy of PANY/NJ via X)

NEWARK - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ) on April 5 reported kicking off a two-year, $430 million program to upgrade stations, tracks, bridges and railcars at PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp.), the fifth-busiest rapid transit system in the United States.

PATH runs in New York and New Jersey. The map above shows service on weekdays (Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.). On weekends and weeknights, trains on the Journal Square / 33 Street line will stop at Hoboken before continuing along the route.

Under the PATH Forward program, PANY/NJ said it will perform:

  • Track, bridge and electrical work: To make the system “more reliable, minimize delays, and speed rides,” track switches on both sides of the movable PATH Lift Bridge over the Hackensack River will be replaced and rebuilt, and the lift control system will be rehabilitated; a variety of projects “targeting the most critical, deteriorated segments of the track system” will be replaced and rebuilt; and the existing track switching network outside Hoboken Station will be rebuilt and improved.
  • Sea wall construction work: A sea wall is being completed along the Passaic River that will protect the PATH system from future flooding.
  • Railcar rehabilitation work: “Key components” of PATH rapid transit cars will be replaced “to reduce the time between mechanical breakdowns and failures, improving the reliability of the system.”
Grove Street Station Rendering. (Courtesy of PANY/NJ)
  • Station work: Four of the 13 PATH stations will see upgrades to floors, ceilings, stairways, electrical systems, and more. Rehabilitation is under way at the Grove Street Station; half of the $16.7 million, 20-weekend project was completed in March; the second phase will wrap up in late June. The project includes replacing floor tiles, patching and repainting work, refinishing platform columns, and installing LED lighting and electrical wiring. At the Hoboken Station, a $54 million rehabilitation project will address lingering damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The work, scheduled for completion in 2025, includes floor reconstruction, wall tiling, upgrades to LED lighting and other finishes, and waterproofing and installation of a new fire alarm system. Five entry stairwells and six platform-to-mezzanine stairs will be rebuilt or refurbished. Mezzanine stairs are slated to be wider and safer, with improved visibility to the platform below. According to PANY/NJ, the Hoboken rehab was coordinated with and approved by the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office. At the Exchange Place Station, work will focus on the restoration of architectural, structural, electrical, and other support systems damaged by flood waters during Superstorm Sandy; completion is scheduled for this year. At the Newport Station, work will be completed in 2025 to address Superstorm Sandy impacts to architectural, structural, electrical, and other support systems; the renovation will also help prevent and mitigate persistent leakage issues at the station.

Completion of the PATH Forward project is expected in early 2026.

“Some portions of the 116-year-old PATH system are showing their age,” PANY/NJ Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “With PATH Forward, we’re fast-tracking our efforts to modernize the system and make sure riders have a smooth trip as we renew our infrastructure, refurbish our trains, and refresh our stations.”

“This investment in our future is an investment in our customers,” added Clarelle DeGraffe, General Manager and Director of PATH. “No one likes service disruptions, which is why we’re committed to transparency and direct communication with riders throughout this initiative. At the end, it will mean a much improved, reliable, and resilient PATH system.”

The PATH Forward program builds off the $1 billion PATH Improvement Plan, which PANY/NJ undertook in 2019 to address “some of the most pressing issues facing PATH, including outdated signals, switch failures and outdated railcar equipment.” The results of the plan allowed nine-car trains to debut on the Newark-World Trade Center line in March 2023. Additionally, PATH built a new accessible station house at the Harrison Station that opened in February 2024.

PATH launched its pilot of the TAPP tap-and-go fare payment system in December 2023, and expanded it to select turnstiles at all terminal stations in the PATH system—Newark-Penn Station, Journal Square, Hoboken, 33 Street, and World Trade Center—as well as the Harrison stop in March.

Exchange Place Station Rendering. (Courtesy of PANY/NJ)
Tags: , , , , ,