According to the Port Authority, each weekend of suspended service will reduce the schedule for restoration of service to Hoboken by as much as five or more days.
“A higher percentage of Hoboken residents – 56 percent - rely on mass transit for commuting than any other city in the country, so the loss of the PATH has had a disproportionate impact on our community. I am very grateful that the Port Authority made this decision that will fully restore PATH service as quickly as possible. Hoboken is open for business, and we look forward to the PATH coming back online sooner rather than later so our residents and visitors can enjoy all that makes our community great.”
The full announcement from the Port Authority is below:
PORT AUTHORITY TO TAKE MEASURES TO SPEED RETURN OF SERVICE TO HOBOKEN
Changes to PATH weekend service will hasten post-Sandy storm repairs
Seeking to return PATH rail service to Hoboken as quickly as possible, the Port Authority will run weekend service only on the Newark Penn Station-World Trade Center line for the next two weekends, allowing crews to proceed unimpeded with post-Hurricane Sandy repair time.
While the Port Authority crews already are working 24/7 to make expedited return of at least partial PATH service a top priority where safely possible during the week and weekends, repair time proceeds significantly faster when power to third-rails can be turned off and trains are not running in construction zones.
Each weekend of suspended service will provide PATH crews with 48 hours or more of uninterrupted work time, which in turn will shave as much as five or more days off of the recovery schedule.
PATH trains will operate between New Jersey and New York only on the Newark-WTC line from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 8-9) and next Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 15-16).
The Port Authority understands shutting down the Newark to 33rd Street PATH line for two weekends will pose additional hardships on our riders, but the agency anticipates this action could help restore service to Hoboken and 24-hour service within weeks. This is because the current nightly shutdowns between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. net less than six hours of actual repair time. Work cannot begin until about 11 p.m. because of set up and must stop about 3:30 a.m. because of time needed to clean up work areas and conduct mandatory testing to ensure the entire system is operable after the work.
The storm damage to equipment serving Hoboken terminal was enormous. Salt water that poured into the Hoboken tunnels shorted out electrical systems and corroded decades-old equipment, rendering much of it inoperable. Fixing the system has required complicated staging operations, following the extensive pumping of water from the station and connected tunnels along with restoration of power in the first days of recovery. Damage assessments of signals, switches and tracks followed, with removal of destroyed equipment and ongoing efforts to get certain replacement parts manufactured. Thousands of wires to signals and switch equipment need replacement, with each individual wire requiring subsequent safety testing.
“We understand our late night and overnight passengers have endured significant hardships these past weeks with all PATH service shut between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day,’’ said Stephen Kingsberry, PATH’s acting director and general manager. “While shutting down PATH’s Newark to 33rd Street line for at least two full weekends will add to passengers’ short-term inconvenience, it will help speed the return of service not only to Hoboken, but also to the PATH’s regular 24-hour schedule throughout the system. Continued patience now will be rewarded later.”
Weekend PATH customers traveling between New Jersey and Manhattan can use the MTA’s subway lines near the World Trade Center PATH line for travel to Uptown Manhattan locations and back. Nearby subway lines include the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E and R trains.
The R train is at the Cortlandt Street station across Church Street from the World Trade Center. The A, C and E trains can be accessed at the Chambers Street Station, with various entrances along Church Street. The 2 and 3 lines are available just north of the WTC site at the Park Place Station at the intersection with Church Street. And the 1 line is available at Chambers and West Broadway.
Alternatively, NJ Transit trains offer weekend Midtown service to New York Penn Station, while various bus lines also operate weekends between New Jersey and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Additionally, cross-Hudson River ferry service is available from New Jersey to Midtown on the city’s West Side. For example, Waterway operates ferry services from Weehawken, Hoboken/14th Street, and Lincoln Harbor, New Jersey to 39th Street in Midtown Manhattan on the weekends. Connecting shuttle bus service is available in Manhattan and New Jersey. For more information on schedules, visit http://www.nywaterway.com/WeekendSchedule.aspx.
Additionally, Port Authority customer service representatives will be available at PATH stations during this weekend and next to help riders find their way with a minimum of inconvenience.