A structural fire at Penn Station has affected PATH service between Newark and World Trade Center stations. Service in both directions is subject to a 30-minute delay.
In separate news, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey unveiled a full-size mockup of the new PATH car, according to the authority’s Web site. Each new PATH car will be equipped with video news weather and sports feeds from WNBC, as well as PATH service announcements. Each cars also will have three doors on each side to allow for faster loading and unloading; on-board CCTV surveillance capability; improved lighting; pre-recorded station announcements; enhanced signage; and the capability for passengers to communicate directly with the crew. The cars also will have an environmental feature known as regenerative braking, which will allow the car to return some of the electrical power it uses to accelerate back to the power system when it goes into braking mode.
The new cars are a highlight of the agency’s 10-year, $3.3 billion PATH program, which includes, among other improvements, completely replacing the existing 340-car fleet, adding up to 119 new cars to the fleet, modernizing the PATH signal system and increasing capacity on the system by approximately 25 percent.
The new cars will contain customer amenities designed to attract more riders to the mass-transit system to reduce congestion and improve the environment. The system now handles approximately 242,000 passenger trips each weekday.
All of these amenities sound great, but I think the new cars are missing a couple of key features: a train monitor to keep some of these creepy commuters in line (“Is that your hand, sir?”), and someone to haul people out of their seats whenever pregnant women or the disabled get on the train and need to sit down.