Should the Port Authority be the operator of the PATH rapid transit system? “No,” says a report issued by the New York City-based watchdog organization Citizens Budget Commission, which suggests that NJ Transit take over PATH. The story was reported by WNYC Radio and also on its Transportation Nation website.  The report says PATH’s financing needs to be overhauled, saying that the “fares are unusually low” while there’s been substantial investment to modernize the PATH system. This results in a deficit projected at $387 million for this year. This will be covered by revenues from Port Authority bridge and tunnel tolls; the report notes that PATH “is the only transit system in the country that doesn’t have some general tax subsidy.” This, the report suggests, should change. And NJ Transit, the report says, would be a better fit to manage PATH, as it’s already in the transit business and could better integrate PATH with its other operations.

The report assertion that PATH fares are low is backed by its analysis that PATH riders have higher incomes than bus or New York subway riders, although the report also concedes that Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad riders have even higher incomes than do PATH riders.

The report says taking PATH out of Port Authority jurisdiction would allow the PA to concentrate on what the report says is its core mission: money-making activities such as airports, and even fund improvements such as a new trans-Hudson rail tunnel. 

There has so far been no reaction from either the Port Authority or NJ Transit regarding the proposal.

 

Read the complete story here on Transportation Nation.