More Smiling Faces than Usual on PATH Commute as Service Resumes at Hoboken Station
The Hoboken PATH station opened back up on Wednesday after being closed since Hurricane Sandy.
The words, spoken in that familiar PATH voice, "next and last stop, Hoboken," were met by smiles and relieved sighs on Wednesday, as PATH service from the Hoboken station resumed for the first time since October 29.
Service started up at 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning, ready for the morning commute.
According to one PATH employee stationed in the Hoboken station, who wished to remain anonymous, the morning commute wasn't too busy because not everyone knew that the station opened back up. The employee said that the evening commute promised to be busier.
For about two months, tens of thousands of Hobokenites have been forced to take a bus or ferry into the city, which can be timelier and costlier than the quick PATH ride into Manhattan.
One woman was so happy to be back on the PATH in Hoboken that she posed for a photo in the middle of the station, hugging one of the posts, on Wednesday afternoon.
Another passenger shared the same joy.
Walking down the stairs to the platform, "I was just smiling," said Mary No, 26. "This is so much better than the bus."
No said that her commute to the city is back to 20 minutes door to door, while it took more than an hour by bus.
"I'm excited," said No, who has been taking the PATH for the past three years.
The PATH system sustained heavy damage during the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, with the Hoboken station being the most severely impacted. While all PATH stations are now up and running again, service is not yet 24/7. Direct service from Hoboken to the World Trade Center is not yet available.
The total damage to the PATH system was about $300 million, according to Port Authority officials. Vice President Joe Biden visited the Hoboken Terminal last month to survey the damage.
But while tens of thousands of commuters Hoboken were relieved to have their station back, some commutes have forever been altered by Sandy.
After 11 years of taking the PATH every day, 67-year-old Frances said she will be switching to the bus permanently.
Putting some money on her smart card on Wednesday, “just in case,” she said that the bus is cheaper and quicker for her.
The suspension of the Hoboken station, however, was still very inconvenient for her.
“I work all kinds of crazy hours,” she said, “it was a disaster.”