The long awaited arrival of a PATH station in Newark's South Ward took a step forward today when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey authorized $57 million in planning funds for the first phase of the PATH system extension to Newark Liberty International Airport.
"The Port Authority is committed to making critical investments in a transportation network that supports regional growth and meets the demands of the millions of people who live, work and visit the region," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan.
"This planning effort will provide analysis of key components – ridership data, cost updates, environmental and economic impacts – to help the agency continue to evaluate the project before moving forward with construction," Degnan said.
The $1.7 billion project that is a key component of the Port Authority's 2017-2026 capital plan and essential to improved regional rail service for the commuting public.
Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said the Port Authority's 10-year capital plan calls for $32 billion for investments to modernize the region's transportation infrastructure.
"This project improves transportation access to Newark Airport while extending PATH’s trans-Hudson network in Newark," Foye said.
Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, who represent's Newark's 29th Legislative District, applauded action taken by the Port Authority to advance the project.
“Mass transportation is critical to the economy of our state and expanding the PATH to Newark airport will have a direct positive impact on the city and the region,” said Senator Ruiz. "This investment will provide a one-seat ride to Newark Airport from lower Manhattan, and will allow employees to commute to work on the PATH system. It will also help to fuel the revitalization of the South Ward where a new train stop will be located."
The South Ward station stop would be located in the Dayton Street neighborhood. But there are still many steps ahead before ground is broken on the extension.
The Port Authority said an environmental review process must be completed along with authorization by the Port Authority board.
The overall proect would include a new rail yard facility and modification of existing platforms at Newark Penn Station to accommodate increased passenger flow.
The Port Authority's vote today provides funding to move the project through preliminary design and the required environmental review process. It includes funds for environmental and transportation services, including preliminary engineering work as well as program and project management services.
The PATH Newark-to-World Trade Center line ends at Newark Penn Station. The project will extend the line west at the Newark Liberty rail link station.
Once approved, construction of the extension is expected to begin in 2020 with full revenue service to start in 2026. As a multimodal transportation hub, the new station also will reduce traffic congestion and provide environmental benefits through increased use of public transportation.