PATH communication breakdown


If any of you PATH riders were effected by yesterday morning’s brief service disruption – Hoboken411 reader Richard feels your pain.

path communication problems hoboken nj - PATH communication breakdown

C’mon PATH – is it that hard?

“To everyone it may concern,

I stood on the PATH platform at 33rd Street this morning for over 15 minutes before the first announcement was made that there were problems on the line. I waited another 5 minutes before deciding to take the MTA to WTC to Exchange to catch the HBLR back to Hoboken. During my ride home, I was struck by a number of observations:

  1. Not once in that 20 minutes on the 33rd St. platform did the new flat screen monitors display ANY information about regular PATH service, let alone the problems on this morning’s commutes. These monitors are the perfect place for both types of info — why hasn’t it been implemented? NBC should be for this — if there is no transportation information on the screens, eventually riders will stop looking at them.
  2. Even better, some of these screens should be on the other side of the turnstiles, so that riders would know to turn around and catch the subway to WTC BEFORE they spend a fare to enter PATH @ 33rd, 23rd, 14th, or 9th.
  3. On the other side of the river, there were passengers on the HBLR who were going to Hoboken, unaware that PATH – 33rd service was suspended, who could have easily gone to Exchange Place instead if they were notified. When is a comprehensive, real time rider notification system going to be implemented between all of the NY metro area’s mass transit systems?

Improving communication would have benefits every day, not just during service outages or, in a worst case scenario, a public emergency.”

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Friday, October 2, 2009 9:46 pm

They don’t know jack even on a good day. Most of the time when I take the PATH to NYC, I need to catch a train to Brooklyn on the other side, so either the uptown or downtown train will work. Yet no one in the station can tell you when is the next train to leave. This should be simple! As Richard notes, it could easily be on the TV when the next trains are scheduled to depart from each platform.

As for the audio announcements, how can they convey useful information when they are too busy blasting out our eardrums at every station KEEP ALERT!!! NO EATING OR DRINKING OR CARRYING OPEN FOOD CONTAINERS!!! WE ARE TRYING TO KEEP YOU SAFE!!!! Geez STFU. Then they are blasting us with heat. Once when it was in the 70s outside, it was 94F on the platform of the 9th street station. And if there are 3 drops of rain, the switches don’t work.

As bad as the MTA is, they run dozens of train lines a lot more smoothly than the PATH runs with a handful of stations and 2-3 lines.

Friday, October 2, 2009 4:33 pm

The Port Authority has no business running a mass transit system, if that PATH can even be called that. For the small (relatively speaking) amount of routes, trains, and passengers it should be a breeze to operate compared to NYC subway.

I was in one of the trains and the communication was simply pathetic.

Friday, October 2, 2009 11:24 am

i don’t understand many things the PATH does. they tout their new cars since 2008 and 3/4 of the way through 2009 they are only in sporadic use. not that they seem much better – in fact, Wednesday all cars on the new train i was on had no A/C. you can’t make that up. they spend all this money on the new tv’s in the stations and yet all they show is mostly still the useless info. like about PATH rules and regulations, and NBC commercials. that’s useful (not). why not show something useful and neutral like the Weather Channel?? or CNN Headline News…anything, other than crap. and why not teach your conductors how to turn on the A/C in the apparently high-tech new cars?? is that really overstepping our bounds as commuters to ask for that????

Friday, October 2, 2009 11:08 am

I was sitting on a train in the tunnel and if you think the lack of communication on platforms was absurd you should have been on the Path train…I overheard the motorman talking to the conductor asking him “What should we tell the passengers? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! How about telling us the truth. The looks on my fellow passangers upon hearing that statement was that of aprehension. At first, I didn’t believe them since it seemed as if they were conspiring to cover up what ever the truth might have been. A giant thumbs down to handling the situation yesterday!

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