Christie's Transit Chief Slams Proposed PATH Cuts, Says Service Should Be Extended

Gov. Christie's head of transportation said Monday he is against any cutbacks in PATH service between New Jersey and Manhattan, opposing a report commissioned by his boss and Gov. Cuomo that suggested eliminating overnight service to save the Port Authority millions of dollars each year.

"This is not the way I would save money," Jamie Fox, who once served as deputy executive director of the Port Authority, told a meeting of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. "Mass transit is the future of this state."

In a report commissioned by Christie and Cuomo, the Port Authority last month suggested terminating PATH service between 1 and 5 a.m. on weeknights and possibly on weekends due to low ridership at those times.

Local officials in Hudson and Essex counties and labor advocates had been vehemently opposed to the idea, saying the weeknight service cuts would affect roughly 390,000 riders annually and hundreds of thousands more if weekend overnight service were cut. They said the PATH users at those hours are mostly working-class residents who use the PATH to get to and from their jobs.

There was no comment from the Christie administration, however, until Monday when Fox spoke. Aside from slamming the concept of the cuts, he said the Port Authority should consider extending service beyond current plans for Newark International Airport to as far as Union and Middlesex counties.

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