After a media frenzy lasting almost two weeks, the Port Authority chairman on January 14 announced that a proposal to end overnight PATH service on weekdays was no longer under consideration. In a letter to leaders of New Jersey's Senate and Assembly, PA chairman John Degnan did not totally foreclose such a move in the future, but said it would not take place at any time soon, and then only after detailed study, consultation, and public hearings. The retraction of the proposal was widely reported, including by Matt Chabin in the New York Times (Jan. 15).

The governors of New York and New Jersey made headlines when they each vetoed identical, bipartisan legislative proposals to reform the Port Authority, saying they preferred to proceed along the lines of a report they had commissioned.  But buried deep in the report, according to reporting by CBS, is a recommendation that PATH service between 1 and 5 a.m. on weekday nights be discontinued, as revenue did not justify keeping the system in operation.  The proposal quickly drew fire from New Jersey officials in the area, who said that such a cut would devastate the booming economies of waterfront cities, and that the service was a vital one for workers who labor in the wee hours.  Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said it was one of the most foolish proposals he's seen in years.

Reaction from politicians swiftly followed. According to reporting in the Star-Ledger (Dec. 30), Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), co-chair of the legislative committee investigating the now-famous lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, speculated that the PATH reduction proposal might also be explained as some kind of political retribution, against the mayors of Jersey City and Hoboken, whose communities would be directly affected by any PATH reductions. Port Authority Chairman John Degnan dismissed Wisniewski's suggestion as having no merit: "Absolutely none," Degnan said.

See the Jan. 15 NY Times story here.

See the original CBS story here.

Read the original Star-Ledger story here.