Home Asides Port Authority to study PATH extension to Newark Airport

Port Authority to study PATH extension to Newark Airport

by Benjamin Kabak

With dreams of providing a one-seat ride from Lower Manhattan to Newark Airport, the Port Authority announced last week that it would study the feasibility of extending PATH train from its current terminus at Newark’s Penn Station to the nearby Liberty International Airport. The study will lead to updated cost estimates, ridership figures and construction timeframes.

“Mass transit options to our airports are essential to the future growth and economic vitality of our region,” Port Authority Chairman David Samson said in a statement. “We need another mass-transit link to Newark Liberty International Airport, which served nearly 34 million passengers last year, so this initiative is of utmost importance. We will move quickly to make it a reality.”

Off-the-cuff, the Port Authority estimates that such a project would include “more than $600 million in design and construction activity over the project’s life, while adding permanent jobs for the link’s operation.” Meanwhile, airport-bound travelers from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as other parts of New Jersey could have streamlined routes to the airport. A PATH extension and the Newark airport parking lots could also serve as a park-and-ride option for New Jersey commuters heading into Manhattan.

It’s unclear when such a study would be complete, how such an extension would be funded or when we can expect all of this. Still, it’s a worthwhile PATH extension that would have a major impact on the Newark Airport. I’ll follow along when and if this plan moves forward.

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Corey September 24, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Wow, fast turnaround. Or did you already have that article in the works?

Benjamin Kabak September 24, 2012 - 4:24 pm

Saw this pop up on Friday but didn’t have time then. Your email inspired me.

Eric F September 24, 2012 - 4:31 pm

There are a couple of other events of note: Amtrak is testing 165 mph operations on the NEC this week (including today, I believe), and if the MTA meets its 100th extended deadline, that MNR/future LIRR GCT entrance on 45th street will be opening on Thursday.

Eric F September 24, 2012 - 4:42 pm

Sorry, 47th street. The 245 Park address got me confused.

Jerrold September 24, 2012 - 7:04 pm

“Its 100th extended deadline.”

Let’s take their record on this relatively small project into account when we decide whether or not to believe the MTA about the SAS opening at the end of 2016.

Jerrold September 24, 2012 - 7:16 pm

TO ERIC: What website did you get that from? I am interested in that story, so I would like to read the whole article.

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:27 am
Jerrold September 25, 2012 - 9:54 am


Anon September 24, 2012 - 6:04 pm

Dis you see the PATH NFC subway hack? Free Rides w/Android

Eric F September 24, 2012 - 4:27 pm

If they are smart, they will couple the Newark Airport station with a massive park & ride component. At present, commuters use downtown lots in Newark, Harrison and Jersey City to get to PATH trains. This is a highly inefficient use of key real estate that is becoming more valuable as time passes, located in downtowns that are beginning to become commuting centers in their own rights, that don’t need the burden of handling a park and ride element. The airport station can be plugged into the local highway network (78/22/1&9/Tpk) relatively easily. Ideally, people could park and ride either the PATH or NEC trains. Such a facility would introduce welcome flexibility in NJ travel planning and reduce the length of car trips to less-convenient lots, creating much in the way of positive externalities.

tp September 24, 2012 - 8:30 pm

No. People who want to park and ride have a lot of existing opportunities at NJ Transit rail and bus stations. They’re taking PATH ’cause it’s cheaper, and as DT Newark and JC grow as business hubs, parking will get expensive enough that this won’t be true anymore. The PA doesn’t need to build more parking to solve this problem.

Joseph Steindam September 24, 2012 - 9:38 pm

I agree that a park and ride lot isn’t necessary. As Ben noted, if people want they could use the EWR parking lots as Park and Rides now, the same opportunity would exist if and when PATH is extended.

I was thinking it might make sense to have an integrated bus depot on the site, so riders may make a seamless transfer to the PATH/NJ Transit. I know transfers between modes are generally to be avoided for suburban riders, but it might create greater opportunity to get NJ residents to Lower Manhattan. I realize that a similar facility already exists at Journal Square, but it might make sense to allow more buses to bring passengers to PATH.

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:33 am

First, there is massive demand for station parking that is unmet. There are waiting lists for many commuter lots in NJ. “Luckily”, the economy tanking has reduced waiting lists, and judging from polls we’ll be looking at another four years of bad job growth, but in a normal economy demand outstrips parking availability.

Second, NJ is not Long Island, it’s not Brooklyn. NJTransit mega-station lots are regional park and ride centers. Get out of your brownstone and go to the Secaucus Junction parking lot. You will see license plates from every state on and around the eastern seaboard. That lot is over-capacity even in this recession. A mega-lot facility will intercept cars off the I-78 corridor and get park-and-ride traffic out of NJ urban centers. Unless you specifically simply hate the idea of anyone driving anywhere, it’s an obvious win for the region.

There are NJ mega-lot facilities in Secaucus, Metropark in the southern part of the state. There is nothing like that in the Essex County area, and it would be a huge deal.

Tower18 September 25, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Agreed, I’m typically not a fan of Park and Ride, because it forever locks out the possibility of Transit Oriented Development…but there is no chance of that happening on the airport grounds anyway, so who cares?

And to agree with EricF, there is indeed massive pent up demand for parking in NJ. Yes, it would be great if people could just park at their local station and take the train the whole way, but if your station has 2000 potential daily riders, and 150 parking spaces, what then? These towns should NOT expand their parking facilities in most cases, because they actually could benefit from land use policies that discourage parking in favor of transit oriented development (although some exceptions could be made for replacing 2-3 surface lots with 1 garage with street-level retail and/or apartments above).

In all likelihood, those who would use a Newark Airport Park & Ride are not users who could legitimately park at their local town station, but just choose not to. These would likely be incremental new users of NJT, who today drive all the way in. Thus, another Park & Ride north of Metropark would benefit both NJ and NYC.

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 1:41 pm

Many towns don’t have the money or desire to condemn property in a small downtown to make way for parking facilities. Even if they do, those lots are often run in a very most favored nation manner and permits are not granted for out-of-towners. In other words, if Berkely Heights decides that it’s 5-year parking lot waiting list is killing property values, maybe they’ll edpand the lot by 100 spots, but there still won’t be room for the salesman coming in from Scranton who wants to attend a trade show at Javits.

The park & ride lots take up overflow from over-subscribed town lots. They also enable people to stay later in Manhattan because trains may be infrequent to, say, Long Branch at midnight, but would be frequent to Secacus or the EWR station, and so a person can attend the office party or a play or whatever and not be panicked about missing atrain and having to wait an hour or more in the middle of the night. Similarly, if you need to spend 90 minutes at the doctor in the a.m. but still get to work and the schedule is not frequent at Glen Rock, you can hit the NEC at the park & ride where the wait is less and lose less work time.

The lots aloso facilitate travel by casual users that will in no event have monthly pass station parking privileges.

Try to think about how people in the chaotic carnival known as real life actually get around.

Anon256 September 26, 2012 - 2:37 am

Given the convenience of the airport station site to the freeways, it might also be a good spot for an intercity bus station/stop, something like the Boltbus stop in Greenbelt Maryland. Currently Megabuses running past NYC stop at Secaucus, but train service there is more expensive and less frequent than PATH. I would rather take PATH out to the airport to catch a bus than worry about the unpredictability of Lincoln Tunnel traffic.

Bolwerk September 24, 2012 - 9:31 pm

For somebody so worried about government spending, you have a very odd obsession with paying people to drive.

marvin September 24, 2012 - 5:17 pm

now if rail a connection could only be build to LaGuadia!!!

take you pick:
*Astoria line extension
*a branch off the #7 at citifield
*a monorail shuttle to citifield subway/lirr station
*an extension of of the JFK airtrain via the citifield station
*a branch of the portwashington LIRR
*a continuation of the the Queens Blvd local up the GCP or Van Wyck
*a branch of the hellgate rail structure
*a branch off TriboroRX
*a line via the sunnyside yards

Real Name September 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

…OR turning SAS Phase II to the EAST at its northern end, across Randall’s Island, the industrial fringe of northern Queens, and then directly into LaGuardia. This would not only provide direct access from the airport down the entire East side of Manhattan (and then, via the Broadway line, to points beyond), but it would also minimize the impact on residential areas and the NIMBYs living there.

Eric September 26, 2012 - 4:49 pm

New bridges/tunnels across the East River? Way more expensive than the other options, and not going to happen.

kvnbklyn September 24, 2012 - 6:52 pm

Personally I would love to see LIRR trains (without the LIRR bloated staffing) running from the ESA terminal below GCT along a new right-of-way roughly following the Hell Gate line and Grand Central Parkway to two stations directly at the (soon to be remodeled) terminals. Service could run every 20 minutes, fares collected before boarding, trains tailored for passengers with luggage. And it would take business travelers to the heart of the Midtown in about 20 minutes. And make the ESA project a bit more worthwhile.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:12 pm

kvnbklyn – well that would be tough because Amtrak is going to be sharing the Hell Gate Line with Metro-North… so that ppl from the north can get to Penn Station directly. East Side Access isn’t just for the benefit of ppl east of Manhattan… Everyone has to share.

Anon256 September 26, 2012 - 2:52 am

Metro-North plans to run at most 5 trains per hour over Hell Gate at peak (fewer for most of the day) and Amtrak barely runs 1 train an hour over it right now, so there will be plenty of spare capacity for another 3. (A two-track railroad can reasonably be expected to handle 24 or more trains per hour.) Getting trains to and along the GCP without fatal NIMBY protests or cost escalations is much more of a problem.

AG September 29, 2012 - 11:11 am

That line also deals with some long freight trains (am not sure of the frequency but I see them near Port Morris)… and the city is trying to remove some of the crush of trucks in Hunts Point so they are trying to increase the freight trains using that line to go to the Hunts Point Market. So again – I’m not sure how those logistics would work. Not saying that it can’t – but it wouldn’t be that easy. I think the best bet would be to extend the subway… or possibly do an extension of Air Train going direct to the subway like at JFK.

Nyland8 September 24, 2012 - 6:59 pm

I like the idea of an extension of the JFK AirTrain the best. The right-of-way can travel right up the Van Wyck/GSP corridors without encroaching on, and getting bogged down in, precious NIMBY territory. As a modern, quiet, elevated rail, it would have a small footprint through the park land, and provide inter-connectivity between the airports.

I remember once being in Atlanta and, due to cancellations, I couldn’t get my flight back to JFK. My only option that evening was LGA. It would have been nice knowing that getting back to my car would only have required jumping on the AirTrain.

Henry September 24, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Unfortunately, all these run into the same exact problem – you can’t approach LaGuardia unless it’s underground.

The GCP immediately west of LGA has significantly shorter headlights because a runway landing path ends just at the highway, and there’s no clearance for an elevated structure of any sort there.

My personal favorite would be extending the Astoria Line down Ditmars & Astoria to Flushing, and building a connecting AirTrain LGA down 94th St & Junction Blvd to Junction Blvd on the 7 and Woodhaven Blvd on the M and R.

tp September 24, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Easiest solution for LaGuardia is to have a line branch off at Astoria Blvd N/Q station and follow the Grand Central Parkway at-grade before descending below LGA Parking Lot 1 and stopping at Central Terminal Building, and Terminals C and D. Enough pie in the sky stuff that’s been studied to death and killed by NIMBYs. Go for the simplest, least invasive project.

Justin Samuels September 25, 2012 - 1:45 pm

I agree, the Astoria Line extension via GCP is the easiest and cheapest way to go, as the right of way is already publically owned and there would be no need to condemn private property.

Now if only the JFK Airtrain could be merged with either the IND or the LIRR. They should reactiviate the unused parts of the Rockaway Beach LIRR. With a casino near the airport, they have more of an excuse, and with corporate sponsorship, that could squash any nimbys.

Henry September 25, 2012 - 11:04 pm

I mean, if you really wanted to do something as non-invasive as possible, one could just turn the M60 route into a light rail line with signal priority.

Jon September 26, 2012 - 8:01 pm

But there’s no room to put an N/Q spur without knocking down a bunch of buildings. So instead of pissing off the people at Ditmas Blvd, you’re pissing off the people at Astoria. Plus, there’s practically no median in that below-grade section of the GCP.

If you do a spur off the 7 line, however, you’ve got plenty of space thanks to the Shea parking lots and the GCP/Northern Blvd interchange.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:05 pm

There were plans about a decade ago to extend the subway to LaGuardia… but the community opposed it. I’m not sure why – because it would have benefited them by taking cars off the roads.

Henry September 26, 2012 - 4:46 pm

Elevated rail in New York City is largely regarded as a blight on communities due to their tendency to block sunlight and the noise they create. The area it would be extended to is mostly residential, and on top of that, a GCP alignment (besides being nearly impossible due to the runway configuration at LGA) would not be able to serve both the airport and residents in a reasonable manner.

Newer els are less damaging if built right, but New Yorkers already have the image of elevated rail burned into their minds, so that’s not happening.

Bolwerk September 27, 2012 - 1:28 pm

I think the generalization “New Yorkers already have the image…burned into their minds” is probably true, but not to the point that most reasonable people can’t be convinced. I think you can probably convince most people that a modern el can be quiet and visually fairly low-impact. Who can’t you convince? NIMBYs. They don’t want an el, and they don’t want a subway.

Also, who really lives near them and regards els as blights? That mostly seems like a hobgoblin for car supremacists. Els may not be perfect, but they do have some charm. Does the 7 blight Sunnyside (anywhere near as much as the traffic on Queens Boulevard)? Or does the M really blight Ridgewood? If there is a problem with either, it’s the noise.

Henry September 27, 2012 - 7:43 pm

Okay, “blight” may have been too strong a word to use. They are still large, noisy, physically imposing structures (or at least the current ones are). Along Roosevelt Avenue on he 7, though, pretty much all sunlight is blocked by the current structure, and certain parts have large amounts of pigeons perching on them and dropping their refuse onto the streets (and occasionally people) below.

Another Anonymous Reader September 30, 2012 - 10:46 am

I say both the Astoria Line extension, and a spur from Citi Field leading directly to Flushing Main Street. Of course the plans to extend the Astoria Line go back over 80 years.

Nathanael October 3, 2012 - 10:49 pm

The Astoria line extension has always been the logical one.

D.J. September 24, 2012 - 5:22 pm

Why not just extend the Newark AirTrain (or whatever it is called) to Newark Penn? Then you could get rid of the entire Newark Airport station along the NEC. This would speed up trains between NYC and Philly/DC, and allow airport travelers to use any of the mass transit options at Newark Penn (PATH, NJ Transit, Amtrak, etc.)

Newark AirTrain is pretty slow, but if the track extension was a straight shot, it seems like it should be able to pick up the pace for that section.

Anon256 September 24, 2012 - 5:39 pm

In addition to being slow as you note, the Newark Airtrain is also very cramped/low-capacity. Furthermore, extending it would involve a lot of expensive and disruptive construction in and around Newark Penn station and its approaches where space is relatively constrained, whereas PATH already has platforms there and tail tracks all the way to South St, and construction near the airport would be much cheaper and easier. The Airtrain’s proprietary/vendor-locked technology would raise costs even further.

Getting rid of the EWR stop on the NEC would be nice but seems unlikely to be worth the cost.

Eric F September 24, 2012 - 5:41 pm

I agree, but I think the die is cast with that one. If they ever did that, they’d probably want to switch to larger, more powerful cars on the model of what they use at JFK. The Newark monorail cars are probably due for replacement though, that is some quite old technology they are using there.

A PATH extension to the airport brings with it the promise of further extensions down the line.

SEAN September 24, 2012 - 6:07 pm

After EWR, what other extentions do you think make sence for PATH. One extenntion idea just came to me as I type, Jersey Gardens & Ikea. Are there others that are cost effective I’m missing?

Also would it be practical to extend trains from 33rd Street to EWR as well?

Nyland8 September 24, 2012 - 7:10 pm

Well … in a sane world, the PATH would go all the way through Elizabeth and swing over the Arthur Kill onto Staten Island’s northern corridor – which would, in turn, be reconnected to the rest of the SIRR. Then you could take a one-seat train ride from Tottenville to Herald Square.

PATH is already an interstate entity between NY/NJ. Isn’t it about time somebody found a viable way to connect New York with the bastard stepchild of the boroughs? Could there be any cheaper way to finally connect the boroughs by rail? We sure we aren’t going to see a tunnel from Brooklyn in my lifetime.

Bolwerk September 24, 2012 - 9:42 pm

Could there be any cheaper way to finally connect the boroughs by rail? We sure we aren’t going to see a tunnel from Brooklyn in my lifetime.

If they could control costs, the cheapest option in terms of net present value or internal rate of return could very well be a tunnel to Manhattan. It’s most direct, and will attract the most usage. Going the way the BMT planned through Brooklyn perhaps means an hour to Manhattan just from the landing on Staten Island. And I could see PATH connecting to JFK through Staten Island in a very intelligently designed fantasy world, but as a route to Manhattan from Staten Island that idea is probably comically roundabout ‐ akin to going to the western Bronx to get to Queens.

Charley September 25, 2012 - 3:58 am

Apologies for getting a bit off topic here, but to address your SI to Manhattan suggestion: I’ve always thought a tunnel under the Upper New York Bay from St George to Lower Manhattan via Governor’s Island would, despite being a ridiculously large undertaking, create the most sizeable ecoonomic return for the city/region and truly tie Staten Island into the economic fabric of the whole city.

If all tunnel boring activity/muck/debris removal was staged on Governor’s Island, there would be less delay/cost overrun building a TBM launch box & station since there is little infrastructure (especially compared to 2nd Avenue). More importantly, since there are few (if any?) permanent residents on the island the tunnel/station construction would have little impact on residents. A station on Governor’s Island would allow for some real development there, and the city, which owns all the land, would generate some serious revenue selling it to developers. Also, I’d imagine that such a long tunnel would need at least one ventilation structure/emergency exit along the way so the island could be an ideal location.

As for which train to extend southward, the E train which terminates at the WTC would make the most sense – IND configuration which means least amount of modifications to SIR portion – although it’s certainly possible that all the WTC infrastructure surrounding the E terminal might prohibit this.

The J train which terminates at Broad Street could be another option to extend southward, and it passes through the Fulton complex which would be a useful free transfer point for SI straphangers getting to different parts of the city.

The 1 train would seemingly be the easiest to connect to a trans-bay tunnel but the IRT to SIR incompatibility would be an issue

Also, the St. George station would have to be rebuilt, and more rolling stock purchased.

It’s a crazy dream, but I believe that if it could be done for $7 billion or less the city would really see a good return on the investment: Development/economic growth on a grand scale for both GI and SI. Imagine what would happen in SI if it was a 10-minute, one seat ride from St George to Lower Manhattan?

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:42 am

I would personally love to see PATH extended along the median of US 22. There is a wide-ish median of Rt. 22 in much of Union County that currently has junky retail that can be demolished in spots to allow for stations and parking. The communities of Irvington, Hillside and Union and the like can use better tranit options. These are relatively down market areas with heavy transit dependency. Irvington is horribly poor and has been bleeding population for years. These areas could use the option and it would likely spur a great deal of development. At present, those areas are stuck relying on bus service exclusively. US 22 should also be straightened and widened through Weequahic Park, where it is currently something of a road of death.

Ideally, once that extension occurs, PATH would be double-tracked to handle express/local routes over what would now be a much larger route system.

I don’t see why PATH would be useful along the Raritan Valley line, which has existing NJT service, but I’m not familiar with the rationale of the old “PATH to Plainfield” plan.

PATH is never going to Staten Island.

AG September 29, 2012 - 11:17 am

connecting PATH to Staten Island isn’t as good as an NYC transit subway tunnel… but it’s cheaper and in this day more realistic. It’s the same issue with ppl in Orange and Rockland County having to travel into NJ on Metro North and then transfer to get into Manhattan. The better idea is to build a direct connector across the new Tappan Zee… but as we saw Gov. Cuomo shot that idea down.

Jason September 25, 2012 - 12:25 pm

I love the idea of extending the J-train, it would really bring alot more usage to an otherwise under-utilized line (at least in Manhattan). Also, there already are two stub tracks south of Broad street that could be used for this that wouldnt affect the current Montague street connection to Brooklyn.

Bolwerk September 25, 2012 - 12:50 pm

The problem with the J is the main concern is probably getting people to Midtown.

Bolwerk September 25, 2012 - 12:54 pm

The 1 train would seemingly be the easiest to connect to a trans-bay tunnel but the IRT to SIR incompatibility would be an issue

I don’t think this is much of a problem, if they go the IRT route. It’s mainly a problem for IRT-to-IND conversion in subsurface tunnels. Moving from IND to IRT on the surface (or subsurface) isn’t that big a deal.

The SAS may be down in the financial district if this idea ever took. It could go to SI. Then the major concern is extending platforms for IND trains.

Anyway, it doesn’t seem like a wacky idea.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:30 pm

not gonna happen… that’s why the SI ferry is free. NYC transit is not going to spend money for a tunnel to SI anytime soon.

Chet September 25, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Its possible that a large portion of a trans-harbor tunnel to Staten Island wouldn’t need to be bored. It could be and open trench/pre fabricated tunnel like Ft McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore. That would probably save a lot of time and a lot of money.

Henry September 25, 2012 - 11:13 pm

Governor’s Island is currently used as a park and a venue space, so that might crimp the existing development plans for the island.

Also, I’m not exactly sure if Staten Island residents would want such a future to become reality.

Alon Levy September 26, 2012 - 1:38 pm

True, but this park and venue space isn’t that well connected to Manhattan or Brooklyn. There are ferries, but they’re not very frequent, and as far as I recall from the only time I’ve been there, there are lines at closing time.

Charley October 1, 2012 - 5:27 pm

I think the city would absolutely jump on the opportunity to have a subway stop on the island and reap the rewards of selling the land. It it used as park and venue space only because it cannot support full time residents due to lack of access – the city is simply using it for what it can be used for given this lack of access.

I’ve heard a lot of complaints coming from the direction of Staten Island residents/politicians about lack of transit options and how it has affected traffic on SI’s expressways. I could see how those that like SI for it’s suburban density/character might be opposed, but the economic potential of creating direct subway access is huge, not just for the borough & city economy but for the region’s economy also.

Bolwerk October 2, 2012 - 4:38 pm

Part of the deal made when they bought it from the feds was that it wasn’t ever allowed to have full time residents. Don’t ask me why.

ajedrez September 26, 2012 - 11:01 pm

Well, theoretically, all you would have to do with the (1) is expand the platforms on the SIR.

Personally, if the SAS can ever get down to Hanover Square, that would be a good candidate to send to SI. The (J) would be a good candidate, except for the fact that it’s basically an all-local line coming from Jamaica.

Charley October 1, 2012 - 5:21 pm

I think the SAS is a good candidate IF all the transfers to the other lines actually get built in phases 3 and 4. If these transfers are unable to be built due to financial constraints (a real possibility in my mind), that would make the T train relatively isolated from the rest of the system and therefore not as useful for commuters coming in from SI

Justin Samuels September 27, 2012 - 2:28 pm

The E train that terminates at WTC has bellmouths that veer off. The IND left provision for expansion.

Technically, it could be done. You’d need changes in NY political cultural and federal politics to make it happen. Such changes are not impossible, we’ve gone through huge changes in the past and will again in the future.

After this election is over, the MTA will again lobby the federal, state, and city government for expansion funds. The Los Angeles MTA is in the middle of a major expansion, having borrowed 30 billion from the federal government (the interest on that debt will be paid off by Los Angeles City Sales Tax).

If Congestion pricing were implemented, NY could do something similar easily.

Henry September 27, 2012 - 7:49 pm

The E is already ridiculously crowded, and there’s very little room for capacity expansion. I’m not entirely sure if loading Staten Islanders onto the E would be a great idea. The E would also have to make a pretty steep descent to make it across the harbor at a sufficient depth to still allow ships through.

The 7 should be extended under West St instead – the descent (on the Manhattan side, at least) would be a lot less steep.

Charley October 1, 2012 - 5:18 pm

If you consider rush hour travel patterns, the crowds would be coming uptown into Manhattan in the AM and downtown and back to SI in the PM. While that would make overall ridership on the line increase dramatically, it would be riders crowding in the opposite direction of the rush hour commuting patterns that currently exist on the E.

AG September 29, 2012 - 11:26 am

Justin – it’s not really that useful to compare this region with Los Angeles. It’s almost like they are building a system by scratch…. and they don’t have vast rivers to worry about. So it certainly wouldn’t be so easy. Looking at what London is doing with their expansion is more applicable… but yes most certainly the culture there is different when it comes to transit.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:21 pm

nyland8 – I like your idea… connect PATH to SIR. I’m not sure how feasible it is – but it should be looked at. The MTA and PA should work together to make that happen.

Anon256 September 25, 2012 - 12:51 am

Extensions beyond EWR are of dubious value (better to improve NJT service), but more usefully PATH to EWR would make possible an infill station at South St Newark, in a relatively dense area that currently lacks good transit options.

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:46 am

To my mind, the airport extension is probably 1/3 of the value and 2/3 of the value would be in the creation of 1-2,000 car lot. Newark Airport is at capacity, it doesn’t really need a transportation access option to boost its user-base. The lot complex will be a cash cow for years to come. Does the PA make a dime off all the lots feeding PATH service now? I’m not aware that the PA owns any lots outside of its bus terminal in Manhattan and the airport lots. Here’s a chance to bring in huge amounts of cash to capture some of the money it’s losing on the service.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:09 pm

DJ – it’s mostly because of Lower Manhattan… it’s about a one seat ride to and from there. The idea is to not have to transfer.

D.J. September 25, 2012 - 6:28 pm

There would still just be one transfer. If PATH was extended to the EWR station, riders from lower Manhattan would still have to transfer to the AirTrain to reach their terminal. The only difference is whether the transfer to AirTrain at Newark Penn or at the EWR station.

I realize there are many problems with the suggestion, as people have noted above. I’ve just always felt that the EWR station on the NEC was a waste. And if the AirTrain reached Newark Penn far more NJ Transit/Amtrak trains could be used to travel between the airport and Midtown (as far more trains travel between NYP and Newark Penn than between EWR and NYP).

John T September 24, 2012 - 6:25 pm

Finally the PA is looking at this – it’s about time, they should have done this in the first place. Hard to believe it would cost $600m to build this but nothing comes cheap when building anything in the NY/NJ area anymore.
Here’s hoping it’s open in 2022!

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:49 am

The MTA rebuilt a single station at South Ferry for roughly that amount. If they can pull this off for $600 million, it would be a good deal.

Eric September 26, 2012 - 4:56 pm

Building costs are lower outside a suburban airport than in downtown Manhattan, obviously.

kvnbklyn September 24, 2012 - 6:46 pm

This is a really worthwhile project. The current service from NY Penn Station is sorely lacking in frequency (often there are only 2 trains per hour – that leave 5 minutes apart – effectively providing 1 tph service). But, didn’t they already study the PATH extension in the late 1990s? Hopefully they can speed up the EIS process with the work done on the previous study and get this thing fast-tracked.

Adirondacker12800 September 24, 2012 - 6:55 pm

and they studied it in the 80s and in the 70s. One of the more ambitious options was PATH to Plainfield. Terminal A at the airport, downtown Elizabeth and then the stations that are served by the Raritan Valley line all the way to Plainfield.

Tower18 September 24, 2012 - 7:41 pm

Park and Ride paired with airport access is definitely a great way to get the maximum benefit out of an extension like this. The direct ride from Lower Manhattan (and easy transfer from midtown without dealing with Penn) would be nice for getting to/from the airport, but anything to get more cars off the turnpike earlier, and out of the tunnels…and as was posted earlier, free up that real estate in downtown Newark and Jersey City.

SEAN September 24, 2012 - 8:01 pm

If the PA was smart, the 33rd street- JSq service would be extended to EWR & beyond if this extention is to be built. Adding a line to St. George & other Staten Island points makes sence, however you are in effect traveling in the wrong direction if you want to go to Midtown. Now if you want to go to Lower Manhattan or Jersey City’s business centers, a one seat ride like this works nicely. Heck even a two seat ride to Hoboken with a transfer at Newport is quite dueable.

Ray September 24, 2012 - 8:26 pm

Can’t support this one. I see no reason to spend PA funds to build (no less study) this redundant connection to Newark Airport. Is a transfer at Newark Penn Station that inconvenient for PATH users? Not worth $600M

I’d prioritize:

A PA share of a Hudson tunnel
A rail connection to LGA
Running catenary to Jamaica/JFK and third rail to EWR

Eric F September 25, 2012 - 8:51 am

Yes it is hugely inconvenient. You are talking about two transfers from Lower Manhattan, with luggage. Also, the transfer at Newark Penn from PATH to the right airport-bound train is quite confusing.

AG September 25, 2012 - 3:34 pm

ray – yes a one seat ride does make a difference to ppl who are not regular transit riders and debate using the road or rail to get to the airport… taking cars off the road is worth it.

Port Authority to study PATH extension to Newark Airport :: Second … | Global Airport Parking September 24, 2012 - 8:30 pm

[…] See the article here: Port Authority to study PATH extension to Newark Airport :: Second … […]

LLQBTT September 25, 2012 - 10:24 am

Is the PATH extension along NEC to connect with mono rail OR is it into EWR, driectly serving terminal(s)?

Jonathan September 25, 2012 - 7:21 pm

This will be useful beyond Lower Manhattan. The existing Airtrain is great if you’re travelling on a weekday during the day, but at other times (and the airports are busy outside rush hour!) it’s far from a turn-up-and-go service. Even if it’s a bit slower, PATH will at least bring guaranteed frequencies to EWR.

pete September 25, 2012 - 8:57 pm

Utterly useless. NYP to Newark Penn is $5 by NJT. NYP to EWR is $12.50. PATH is $2. Expect a $8 exit fee at the PATH EWR turnstyle, DC Metro style.

How much for a PATH extention to Newark Airport? :: Second Ave. Sagas November 27, 2013 - 12:48 am

[…] leaked of Port Authority’s intentions to study the extension, the bi-state agency estimated $600 million in design and construction costs. A year later, Crain’s New York spoke of the PATH hub as a $1 billion project. For an […]

Port Authority unveils $1.5 billion PATH-EWR plans :: Second Ave. Sagas February 4, 2014 - 11:31 pm

[…] price goes up. When the plan first surfaced in September of 2012, the agency anticipated spending $600 million on design and construction. This past fall, Crain’s pegged the cost of the extension at $1 billion, and despite a report […]


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