TENDERS have been called for the first stage of a programme to renovate and renew the PATH metro operating between Newark, Jersey City and Manhattan.

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey issued a request for proposals in June for 246 new cars, together with alternative bids for the mid-life overhaul or replacement of an additional 94 cars bought in 1986. The new cars will have improved lighting, air-conditioning and heating, cantilevered seats for easier internal cleaning, and better passenger information systems.

Approved by the authority board last September (RG 10.03 p613), the $809m package includes modernisation of the Harrison car maintenance depot and preliminary work on a new signalling system. Funding will come from the PA capital programme, which is financed by bridge tolls and other revenue. A contract for the cars is scheduled to be awarded by the end of this year. The first unit should be in revenue service in late 2008 or early 2009, with the last to be delivered in 2011.

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J Seymour said the new cars ’will further improve our ability to attract more riders to the PATH system. Since the opening of the temporary World Trade Center PATH Station last November, ridership at that station has far exceeded our projections.’