The Port Authority announced on June 9th that PATH train service between Hoboken and 33rd Street will be suspended for 17 weekends beginning August 6th. The closures will take place from 12:01AM Saturday to 5AM Monday so crews can install the next phase of a brand new, federally mandated signal system that will increase train frequency and safety. Closures will not take place during major holiday weekends, including Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving.
Newark-WTC service will continue to run on its usual schedule, providing 24/7 service between Newark and Manhattan. In addition, direct service between Hoboken and World Trade Center – normally available on weekdays between 5AM-11PM – will be added on weekends when service is suspended to 33rd Street. The addition of weekend service will give Hoboken and Jersey City residents 24 hour access to Manhattan via Hoboken, Newport, and Exchange Place stations. Limited shuttle bus service will operate between WTC and West 29th Street along Sixth and Seventh Avenues during the weekend closures.
The Port Authority announced the service changes to give riders two months’ notice, a notable improvement over the announcement of 2014 closures, which was criticized for giving riders only about a week’s notice. The PATH Riders Council and PATH discussed the importance of a longer advance notice period for future service changes, and the longer advance notice this year is a good outcome of that collaboration. The Port Authority’s announcement notes that information related to the service changes will be shared via multiple channels – in stations, on trains, and online:
In the weeks ahead, PATH will continue to provide information on station closures and alternative travel options, with announcements running in stations and on PATHVision alerts. PATH riders also may seek information on alternative service from the Port Authority website, PATHAlerts and Twitter.
The fact that transit service disruptions like this one are newsworthy demonstrates the vital role of transit in an area like the New York and New Jersey urban core. Century-old systems like PATH and the New York City Subway need maintenance and upgrades to enable more frequent and reliable subway service. PATH officials estimate the new signal system will enable up to a 20% increase in service, which will help the PATH accommodate growing demand for transit. This video, created by PATH, explains how the new signal system will work: