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The Port Authority’s PATH system – which continues to provide critical mass transit service between New York and New Jersey despite the loss of two of its primary terminals on September 11 – has been honored as the top rail system in the nation for 2001 by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The Association honored PATH for outstanding performance in the categories of safety, customer service, financial management, marketing, policy and administration and community relations. PATH competed against the nation’s largest rail systems to win the award.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “I want to commend the hundreds of PATH employees who are among the many heroes of September 11. Not only did PATH employees help to evacuate thousands of people from the World Trade Center, but they also took action to stop trains bound for the Trade Center to prevent commuters from being put in harm’s way.”

New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, “PATH employees have worked tirelessly since September 11 to restore critical transportation service, and it is gratifying that their dedication has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association. The PATH system has always been one of the most important links between New York and New Jersey, impacting our economy and our quality of life.
Restoring the PATH service is a top priority as we work to rebuild and to revitalize Lower Manhattan and our entire region.”

Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, “The spirit of PATH employees has truly been phenomenal since September 11. The Board of Commissioners sincerely thanks all of them for their hard work and dedication, and wants them to know that the restoration of PATH’s downtown service is the agency’s top priority.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “New Yorkers clearly recognize that PATH is a key component in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. We are extremely proud of the efforts of PATH staff to move quickly and efficiently to restore service to the World Trade Center site.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “I congratulate all PATH employees for their hard work and dedication and am pleased they are being recognized at a national level for running a cost effective, customer-friendly service.”

APTA President William W. Millar said, “PATH has a solid record of commitment to customer service. On September 11, that commitment not only saved countless lives, but provided a lifeline for commuters to return safely to their communities. PATH’s record of achievement continues and APTA is proud to honor PATH and its employees with the transit industry’s highest award.”

Prior to September 11, 2001, PATH was on track to set new records in several key categories, including ridership, on-time performance and equipment reliability.

PATH staff prevented further casualties at the World Trade Center after the attacks. Moments after the first plane struck Tower One, PATH’s deputy director spoke to the PATH trainmaster, telling him to immediately stop all train service to the World Trade Center Station.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, the World Trade Center Station was destroyed and the Exchange Place Station in Jersey City was severely damaged. Although PATH and other transportation facilities in the region were initially shut, the rail system was back in service shortly after 4 p.m. on September 11, providing modified service to patrons.

Since that time, PATH has operated a modified service that carries all New York-bound passengers to the uptown stations at Christopher Street, 9th Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street and 33 rd Street. A $544 million rebuilding effort is under way to restore the two tunnels leading into and out of the World Trade Center site – which were flooded after September 11 – as well as the Exchange Place Station and the World Trade Center station. Service is scheduled to resume to the Exchange Place Station by June 2003 and to the temporary station at the World Trade Center site by December 2003.

In the midst of the rebuilding efforts, PATH also introduced a unique train tracking system this year that provides customers with the status of the next train to arrive at their station. The information is provided on more than 100 PATHVision monitors that also provide passengers with news, weather, sports and other service information.

PATH staff also prepared plans to replace its aging fleet of rail cars, and its signal and fare collection systems.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.



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