I write to strongly urge the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to reconsider its increase in PATH train fares. Any such increase in PATH train fares will be detrimental to the City of Hoboken, and all residents of Hudson County.
Port Authority has proposed a 33 percent increase in the cost of a PATH train ticket, up to $2 for a one-way ride. This planned increase is dramatic, and would only serve to deter ridership on the PATH system. To the extent someone living in Manhattan, Newark or Jersey City decides against a trip to Hoboken because of its cost, that decision has a negative impact on commerce in our City. Less people will visit our restaurants, stores and waterfront. And that impact cuts both ways: surely, there will be residents of Hoboken, Jersey City and elsewhere who opt not to visit Manhattan for the same reason, thereby harming New York City's economy.
As a matter of public policy, the use of PATH as a mode of public transportation should be encouraged. It must be made attractive because of its affordability, and should not be burdened by spiraling cost. Increased use of public transportation is broadly beneficial: it alleviates traffic congestion, decreases environmental pollution, and lessens our nation's dependence on foreign sources of oil. These are laudable and important goals that must be pursued by public transportation agencies, not hindered by them.
It is arguable that Hudson County's infrastructure is being targeted for price hikes because our County lacks representation on the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. Considering the stake Hudson County holds in Port Authority assets, it is only fair and sensible that our County have a member on its Board. I hope that conspicuous lack of representation is acknowledged by Governor Corzine the next time a vacancy occurs on the Port Authority Board. Sincerely,