NEW JERSEY | PATH Train Extension to Newark Airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will forge ahead with a $1.5 billion plan to connect its PATH train system to the rail station at Newark Liberty International Airport, officials said Tuesday.

The PATH extension to the airport from its current terminus in downtown Newark is a key priority of New Jersey officials at the bistate authority. It also has drawn support from real estate interests in downtown Manhattan, who believe a quicker connection to a key regional airport will boost the competitiveness of a rebounding residential and office district.

The announcement comes as part of the Port Authority’s proposed 10-year, $27.6 billion capital spending plan, which was unveiled Tuesday morning at a committee meeting of the authority’s Board of Commissioners. The spending plan had been delayed for months by wrangling within the agency, as representatives of New York and New Jersey negotiated over which of the states’ respective priorities would get funding, officials said.


Port Authority unveils $1.5 billion PATH-EWR plans

By Benjamin Kabak, February 4, 2014

So for $1.5 billion, the Port Authority expects to extend PATH from Newark along a pre-existing right-of-way to the Newark Airport station. This isn’t, you’ll note, a pure one-seat ride to the airport, but more on that soon. As part of the work, the PA will construct new platforms and bolster “associated station passenger infrastructure” to improve connections to the AirTrain. The agency will have to replace the rail storage yard near the airport — a significant driver of costs. They’ll have to make modifications to Newark for bidirectional PATH train flow, and they may look to find private dollars for a garage for non-airport travelers near the new station. An interim stop between Newark and the airport is not currently in the works.


How many riders would $1.5 billion PATH extension carry daily?

By Steve Strunsky
October 03, 2014 at 7:35 AM, updated October 03, 2014

NEWARK — A $1.5 billion extension of PATH service to Newark Liberty International Airport would serve about 6,000 riders a day, who would pay just over one-third of its annual operating costs in fares, according to a feasibility study for the project.

Daily ridership on the mile-long link between Newark Penn Station and the airport would top out at 6,072, according to a study led by the Morristown-based Louis Berger Group, which was first conducted in 2000 and last updated in 2010.

After decades of discussion and study by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the airport extension was included in the agency’s $27.6 billion, 10-year capital plan adopted in February. The Port Authority issued a request for proposals to manage the project last week that reflected the $1.5 billion construction cost, with a construction schedule beginning in early 2018 and ending in late 2023.

The study estimated the annual operating cost of the service at $19 million, in 2010 dollars. Based on the PATH’s $2 fare in place at the time, the estimated share of the operating cost paid for by riders would be 37 percent, a lower share than the 45 percent realized by the PATH system as a whole from 2002 though 2008.

…A 2012 analysis by the Regional Plan Association, a non-profit transportation research group that supports the project, put the immediate ridership figure 20 percent higher than Berger’s projection, asserting it would be nearly double after 20 years.

Proponents also say the PATH extension would be used by low-wage airport workers commuting from from Hudson and Essex Counties, and that it would take thousands of cars off the region’s congested roads every day that would otherwise be driven to the airport.

That’s true, according to the Berger study, which projects that ridership would be divided almost equally between air passengers (51.4%) and airport workers (48.6%).

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Some question whether NYC to Newark Airport PATH train is best use of funds


The Port Authority’s capital plan for the next 10 years includes no money to build the critically needed Gateway rail tunnels or upgrade or replace the overcrowded Port Authority Bus Terminal, but it does include $1.5 billion to provide Manhattan residents with a low-cost, one-seat ride on a new PATH line to Newark Airport.

To New Jersey mass-transit advocates, the controversial PATH extension is not only a case of misplaced priorities in an era of scarce funding, but also is emblematic of how political deal-making took precedence over policy needs for too long at the Port Authority, which is the subject of at least six separate federal and state investigations.

…“I’m just not sure that a PATH extension to Newark Airport should take priority over other needs, given the transportation funding crisis that we are facing,” Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) said last week. “You can get on a train in Manhattan and get to Newark Airport now. We have other much more pressing needs to which that $1.5 billion could be devoted.”

Good Riddance: Questionable PATH Extension to Newark Liberty Won’t Leave the Station


Existing New Jersey Transit station at Newark Liberty, image by Joseph Barillari from Wikimedia

When word started circulating of a Port Authority push to extend the PATH rapid transit network from Newark’s Penn Station to the city’s big international airport, the Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann reported that the extension appeared to be part of a quid-pro-quo deal between Governor Chris Christie’s administration and United Airlines.

As part of the governor’s longstanding attempt to revive Atlantic City (how’s that going, governor?), the Journal reported, Christie’s representatives offered United Airlines a shiny new PATH extension to Newark Liberty International Airport (where United is the dominant carrier), in exchange for the airline flying into Atlantic City “International” Airport.
And now, a new report from Mann makes it clear that the PATH extension to Newark Liberty and United service to Atlantic City were, in fact, linked – and that with the demise of United’s Atlantic City service, the PATH extension is also in jeopardy:

United Airlines will halt its service to Atlantic City International Airport in December, pulling the plug on a seven-month experiment that surrogates of Gov. Chris Christie helped negotiate as part of the administration’s effort to revive that city’s sagging fortunes. […]

This week, there have been signs that the PATH project won’t be moving ahead soon. On Nov. 3, the Port Authority canceled bidding requests for environmental and transportation planners for the project, with no notice when the bidding might resume.

While YIMBY is generally supportive of transit expansion throughout the region, this project was a highly questionable use of scarce resources, and we’re not shedding any tears over its demise.

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Port Authority hires firm to study PATH line extension to Newark Airport

By Paul Milo on December 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM
The Port Authority awarded a contract to an engineering firm Wednesday to study a proposed PATH rail link extension to Newark Liberty Airport (File photo )

JERSEY CITY — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took a preliminary but significant step Wednesday in a proposal to extend the PATH line to Newark Liberty International Airport, a plan that would provide direct, one-seat service to and from Manhattan.

At their monthly meeting in Jersey City, Port Authority officials awarded a three-year, $6 million contract to HNTB to come up with a more precise cost estimate for the project after examining various technical and compliance issues. The century-old infrastructure engineering firm has offices across the United States, including in Newark, Parsippany and Camden.

The Port Authority currently reckons the project to cost about $1.5 billion and would take an estimated five years to complete. Construction is tentatively slated to begin in 2018, the bistate agency said in September.

“This is exactly the type of project the Port Authority should be doing,” Jamie Fox, the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, said in a statement. “Transportation is all about getting people where they need to go in the most efficient manner. Providing a mass transit option with direct access between lower Manhattan and Newark Airport enhances the accessibility and convenience for travelers using the airport.”

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Who even knows if the PATH will ever get extended to Newark airport?

But for those who seek to travel from lower Manhattan to the airport via mass transit, there may soon be an option that does not involve taking the PATH to NJ Transit commuter rail to the AirTrain.

I am talking about the so-called “Elizabeth Fast Ferry.” According to its website, service will start on August 15.

The Elizabeth Fast Ferry will operate every day with service between the City Marina in Elizabeth, NJ, and lower Manhattan. The trip takes under 30 minutes.

Direct connections via shuttle bus to Newark Airport (EWR) from the Elizabeth dock.


The PA is planning on bringing the PATH to EWR, although the dream of walking off the train and into the terminal will never happen. They have to milk extra cash from you somehow with the AirTrain (which should be free at all the airports…).


Port Authority commissioners are scheduled to vote Thursday on authorizing $12 million for preliminary design and planning work for a new South Ward multi-modal station on the Northeast Corridor Line to serve south Newark and Elizabeth, dubbed the EWR Station Access Project.

However, it will be a NJ Transit train taking them to and from the airport instead of PATH.

I am not sure if this will actually happen. Sadly infill stations on the Northeast Corridor Line in New Jersey tend to dissolve into vaporware. North Brunswick infill station was approved in 2013 for opening in 2018 but they keep publishing the same article year after year.


All they’re doing is making it possible to access the EWR train station from the surrounding neighborhood to the west. Right now it is only possible to exit the station to the east (for AirTrain).

So at some point in the future the EWR train station will be just like the Howard Beach subway station in Queens, with neighborhood access to the west and AirTrain access to the east.


I’m glad they’re at least making the EWR station accessible to the neighbourhoods there although I wish the PATH would go to the terminals but, that’s wishful thinking at this point. This project might open up expanded pedestrian access to the airport as well, e.g going to the NJT/Amtrak station to take the air train to your terminal.


Thanks for confirming that.

Every article about this project makes it sound like more than it is. Not that I don’t support it. Improving connectivity to the surrounding neighborhoods is something that should’ve been planned from the start.

But yea, the articles aren’t 100% clear on the actual work being done.

They’re all word-by-word reprints of PANYNJ press releases. Local journalism is dead, unfortunately. RIP.

I noticed that as well. Every article repeating the same 3 or 4 lines verbatim.

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