Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

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  by Bobby S
 
Only a couple months ago there were a couple girls going around the terminals taking a survey regarding a path extension to the airport. I only guess this could be a good thing
  by keithsy
 
That was 35 years ago. It's a dead study eaten by moths.
  by OportRailfan
 
keithsy wrote:That was 35 years ago. It's a dead study eaten by moths.
Though it was still on the their capital budget I believe last year.
  by CComMack
 
So, my girlfriend and I flew into Newark earlier this week, and between her being fed up at getting dinged $15 for the Airtrain/NJT combo and my unwillingness to gamble on Lincoln Tunnel traffic on the bus, we decided to take the NJT bus to NWK and take PATH into the city. And I have to say, it was sufficiently fast and easy that that I'm now permanently sold on saving the $12.15. (Given how much Continental screwed us on this trip, it may be a while before it becomes an issue again, but I digress.) With NJT pushing the goBus 28 BRT route, I think anyone coming off of PATH at NWK has a strictly better option than NJT/AirTrain, and if people realize that, that $5/ride can add up quickly in the PA's bottom line. Extending PATH to EWR would recapture me as an AirTrain customer, and I imagine that would be true for some of the other people I saw on the bus as well.

Standard disclaimers about 'data' not being the plural of 'anecdote'...
  by Marv95
 
The problem is PATH from Penn Station doesn't directly go to the part of Manhattan where most people want to go. And remember, the Go28 does not serve Penn Station. Still gotta transfer or walk to Broad St.
  by JCGUY
 
The way I see it, PATH to EWR accomplishes two things. First, it is an enormous time saver on train trips from lower Manhattan to EWR. With the PATH extension, you eliminate the time suck, the annoyance and the confusion of the transfer from PATH to an NJT train in Newark. Realistically, getting from lower Manhattan to EWR via PATH/NJT is a slow and unpredictable process. With a PATH extension, you can get to Newark quickly and never even consult a time table. The extension could cement EWR as the premiere gateway to lower Manhattan (where the PA owns some real estate if I'm not mistaken). Second, and less important, it has the same benefit for Jersey City businesses and Hudson County residents who currently have a much longer and less convenient trip via train to EWR than people further away and across the Hudson in midtown Manhattan. I would rather the PA 'simply' extend the monorail to Newark Penn, but barring that the PATH extension would be a nice addition to the regional infrastructure.
  by kwyjibo007
 
JCGUY wrote: The extension could cement EWR as the premiere gateway to lower Manhattan (where the PA owns some real estate if I'm not mistaken).
Yes, the PA does own real estate in lower Manhattan, as well as in Jersey City (Hoboken waterfront). Yes, I also agree with JCGUY that getting to EWR from lower Manhattan can be rather confusing. Also, having a direct link to EWR would be great for both lower Manhattan and Jersey City.

My two cents:
Giving people too many options could be a bad thing. Think about it, some people can't tell the difference between NJT and Amtrak. To add a third rail option into Manhattan from EWR has the potential to create a nightmare. The one option, one ticket idea works for those who are not familiar with the region. Those who are savvy and seasoned will find the best/convenient/cheapest route to their liking.

The extension (either PATH or AirTrain) itself doesn't look likely to happen, the idea has been kicked around for awhile, but I have my doubts it's ever going to get off the ground. But, if it were, the legal work needed to acquire property and rights, plus potential public opposition (See LIRR Main Line 3rd Track, MNRR Hudson Line expansion) may kill it outright.
  by OportRailfan
 
I don't think that AirTrain would get extended. Bombardier runs/maintains that as a contract they have with the PA. PATH I could see happening, given the stars align, and they get all the ROW acquisitions and whatnot. Also I think there's talk in the NJT forum about a flyover at Hunter Interlocking for eastbound Raritan Valley Line trains, which is just east of the EWR station. PATH would also have to wrangle for track space as right now they have the flyover and yard west of Newark Penn, and the storage track sandwiched between tracks 1 and 2.
  by JCGUY
 
I can sort of understand the 'too many choices' notion in concept. But users of the Airtrain system at JFK already have that issue. You have the choice of taking Airtrain to the A line, or Air Train to Jamaica, where you must decide whether you are going to "E" it into Manhattan or take the LIRR. Coincidentally, I had lunch with a person who went to JFK from Heathrow earlier this week and used Airtrain (travelling without kids or much luggage). She took the E from Jamaica, walked right by the elevators to the LIRR paltforms, completely unaware that the LIRR was another option from Jamaica, let alone a much quicker one. The signs at EWR could be much simpler, than what you'd have to do to let people sort out the options at JFK. It would be "Lower Manhattan? Newark? Go this way", "Midtown Manhattan? Go this way." Something like that. Maryland uses a question and answer format on some road signs leading from the eastern shore to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Worked for me anyway.
  by AndyB
 
Right now PATH storage yard tracks extend to South St. in Newark. This is almost 4,000 feet south of Newark Penn Station. It is also a little more than a third of the way to the Newark Airport Station. Search McCarter Highway and South St. at MapQuest or Google Maps to view area.

ROW acquisition?
Let’s think outside the box. PATH is mostly subway. From the end of track at South St., ramp down into a tunnel. Tunnel about 3,000 feet under the corridor, Hunter and the CSA line (exLV line) come up in the area of Rt. 78 / Rt. 21 interchange, then roughly 2,000 feet above ground through abandon rail yards to the Airport Station. This should not be too difficult with modern tunnel boring machines. The entire area was marsh land before the railroads and development, a soft dig.
  by drewh
 
There's no need for expensive tunneling. There is plenty of room along the side of the street for modern aerial configurations - think JFK airtrain along the Van Wyck. Engineering has come a long way in the 100 years since PATH was first built so you don't need all the heavy support columns that the rest of the system has.

A far better solution would have been to never have built the EWR airport station and instead built a newer faster AirTrain that went all the way to NWK Penn Sta just as the JFK AirTrain goes all the way to Jamaica. Passengers would have had many more options, including Acela Express (none of which stop at the airport), as well as PATH, Raritan Valley, and City Subway connections. Remember all Amtrak and NJT trains stop at NWK, most do not stop at EWR airport especially at rush hours. For that matter if NJT had worked together with the PA instead of building the subway extension, we could have had AirTrain all the way to NWK Broad St for easy connections with the Morris & Essex lines too.
  by JCGUY
 
As an unschooled observer, it seems to me that running the monorail to Newark Penn would have been ideal for allowing maximum connections and avoiding creating another stop for local NEC/NJCL trains. (In my dreams this would be a replacement monorail built to the specs and carrying capacity of what is used at JFK, which seems much more substantial and reliable). It also would have been a nifty thing for Newark, as I'd imagine a nice concourse in downtown Newark's main train station similar to the Air Train station in Jamaica, connecting Newark's downtown to Newark's airport. Alas, the die is cast and a PATH extension is the only option that the PA seems to be entertaining.
  by CLamb
 
Wouldn't the PA attempt to recoup the cost of extending the PATH to EWR by charging a high fare just as they do for the NJT/Amtrak station?
  by JCGUY
 
At JFK, they charge what is effectively a $5 access fee for the monorail. In other words, you pay your A Train fare, and when you transfer to Six Flags Over JFK at Howard Beach you cough up another $5 (you can use your Metrocard). I doubt those $5s come anywhere close to recouping the cost of the system, but it must help a bit. I understand that the system was financed by the facility charge that airports are allowed to tack on to plane tickets. I'm not sure if those facility fees are spoken for and thus unavailable for a PATH extension. I also understand that at least at one point the facility fees were not allowed to be applied to a general use transit system. In other words, you couldn't use the fee to somehow extend the A Train one stop into JFK, but you could use it to set up a monorail connection from JFK to the A Train. If that restriction was still in effect you'd think that the mandarins in our one-party congressional delegation could get a waiver.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: I am in agreement with what has been posted here-PATH should have been extended to EWR or the Airtrain monorail built to directly serve Newark Penn Station.

I feel that it would have been somewhat easy to extend PATH to EWR by using the lay-up tracks that extend to the old South Street station and then a elevated structure curving up and over the NEC ROW using the demolished McCarter Highway bridge location but after NJDOT constructed the replacement interchange one of the structures
adjacent to Hunter Interlocking loops near the NEC ROW compromising that meaning an even higher structure would have to be constructed for PATH above that point.

CL: PATH could easily have charged an entry/exit fare at EWR in this manner using the current fare: Charge $3.50 to enter and $1.75 to exit at the EWR station terminal.
Metrocards could easily handle this charge which would be collected like the JFK Airtrain does in both directions - I based this suggestion on the MBTA's(Boston) use of additional fare to some of their outlying stations namely the Red Line at Quincy Adams and Braintree stations. The PA perhaps would charge an even higher enter/exit fare if they desired but I feel with NJT offering low-cost bus service to EWR from central Newark some riders will opt for the cheaper option...

Thoughts and insight by MACTRAXX
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