Worst Train System in US, PATH Train Increases to $2.75

NoPax

I’m 100% completely and utterly confused about the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) train line and what it is that the organization does in their working hours. Did that 25 cent fare hike yesterday just give half of PATH employees a 3 week paid vacation? Two weeks ago, PATH trains from Journal Square to 33rd Street were shut down for two days, forcing riders to go to WTC or to take the ferry or bus. Today, the PATH train running to 33rd Street was once again suspended with “signal problems.” Reading through tweets from riders, it was apparent that PATH uses cops and dogs to fix their so called “signal problems.”

Just for fun, let’s just do a quick comparison of PATH to the NYC Subway system:

Total Length of Tracks
PATH – 13.8 miles
Subway – 232 miles

Number of Lines
PATH – 4
Subway – 34

Number of Daily Riders
PATH – 240,000
Subway – 5.5 million

Most would think that it’s much more complicated to run the NYC Subway system, than it is the PATH system. Well, they’re absolutely right. But when you put a bunch of incompetent people in charge of something, you get the experience that PATH provides its riders.

Here are some questions that the riders of PATH train have for the PATH organization:

1) Why do you not communicate the truth about reasons that the PATH train is down?

2) Why are you not giving frequent updates to issues via the intercom on the trains and Twitter updates? For every 10 mins that the PATH is suspended, there should be at least 3 updates via the intercom and Twitter. Silence and poor communication is one of the PATH’s greatest weaknesses.

3) What exactly is the PATH train increase of 25 cents for? Especially when the PATH has frequent suspensions.

4) Why does it cost almost 3X more to run the PATH than it does to run one of the world’s most complex train systems, the NYC Subway? (FACT)

I think it’s time that the people in power (yes, we’re talking about you Chris Christie, Steve Fulop and Dawn Zimmer) start thinking about giving their communities alternative routes to work before the people get fed up with the public transportation infrastructure and take their tax paying dollars and lives somewhere else–like to New York. Wonder if a walking bridge from Jersey City to Manhattan could be the answer?

Could a Walking Bridge to NYC Be Jersey City’s Golden Ticket?

Walkway_Over_the_Hudson_4

Jersey City is a hot spot to live right now. With prices booming in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Jersey City is this little town on the other side of the Hudson that has extremely close proximity to Manhattan, at about half the price as Williamsburg. Some say that Jersey City is on route to become the next Brooklyn too. Those who live here already believe it’s already the place to be.

As Jersey City continues to grow in size (thousands of new residential units hitting the market over the next few years), the current residents worry about the city’s infrastructure–mainly the PATH system. If you’re a commuter from Jersey City, going into Manhattan every day, you’re already watching multiple trains go by on the platform before there’s any sign of space for you to fit onto a PATH car. The same on your trip back to Jersey City. This is already an issue. What’s going to happen when a few thousand more people are trying to get on that same PATH train? Don’t think they’re driving in or taking an Uber. Sure, maybe some of them will take the ferry…but the biggest problem with the ferry is the expense. At $8 each way, an Uber ride isn’t looking too bad.

With the PATH system operating at near maximum capacity during commuter hours (240,000 people per work day) and the fact that it’s very unreliable (Journal Square to 33rd was shutdown entirely for 2 days last week), the future of increased JC to NYC travelers is not looking very good.

So, what can be done? There’s a potential solution that could be game changing, revolutionary and legen–wait for it–dary. Let’s quickly travel up the Hudson River about 80 miles to Poughkeepsie where you’ll find a bridge unlike any other in the world. It’s the world’s tallest (212 feet over the river) and longest (1.28 miles long) pedestrian walking bridge–connecting two sides of the Hudson River. The bridge’s original use was for railroad and this new design was absolutely brilliant.

Although, there’s no current foundation for a bridge, like Poughkeepsie had, this idea is far from far-fetched. With the way our country is moving towards a green, eco-friendly, Tesla-esque future, a walking bridge could be a solution to more than just a Jersey City commuter nightmare. Yes, a walking bridge would provide a Brooklyn Bridge-like experience from the Jersey side, but it would also symbolize a movement that is part of the biggest topic in America right now–climate change. Given the opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike to work every day from NJ, people would jump all over it. A motivating factor for people to walk or ride a bike to work? Absolutely!

Let’s just make a short list of all the benefits that could come out of a walking bridge connecting Jersey City to lower Manhattan:

1) Relieve commuter nightmare from the PATH and bus system
2) Symbolize an environmentally friendly movement
3) Potential revenue for Jersey City and NYC from a walking bridge toll (gotta pay for it somehow)
4) Would cut down on the driving traffic and automobile pollution
5) Would increase property values in Jersey City
6) If this happened under Steve Fulop’s mayorship, it would elevate Fulop’s status to kingship.

It’s time for Jersey City to start thinking about the commuting problem and take action. Even if a walking bridge were to get approved and funded, it would still be a multi-year project. A project that needs to happen now. We, the people of Jersey City, challenge you, Steven Fulop, to either make this a reality or come up with another solution to the commuter traffic nightmare that’s only just begun.