First female head of PATH system says she will improve rider experience

Posted: Updated:

A new head of the Port Authority’s PATH train system has been named, and for the first time that person is a woman.

Former PATH deputy director Clarelle DeGraffe was named director and general manager of the PATH system earlier this week. DeGraffe is a civil engineer by trade and has worked for the Port Authority for nearly 30 years.

She says that she has a lot planned to improve on the train system – which connects New Jersey with New York City.

“We care. We hear you. We are as concerned as you are and we are putting our best foot forward and we are trying,” DeGraffe says.

She says that she will make passengers her top priority. She says that she is aware of the complaints from riders and reads all of the tweets and comments about overcrowding, delays and construction-related cancellations. DeGraffe says that in the end, this will all pay off.

“Delivering our capital projects, which is also going to feed into reliability,” she says.

DeGraffe says that reliability will be her top focus, along with communication. She points to the new countdown clock system and frequent alerts, which deliver information to passengers. She says that there is also a plan in place to better educate customers by giving them the knowledge to help them better navigate and plan their own commutes.

“What new information do we have that we can be transparent enough to give to our customers, making them more informed so they can create options of their own?” she says.

DeGraffe says that she will also address complaints about overcrowding on the PATH trains and says that new cars have been ordered. These new cars are expected to arrive by 2022. She says that until then PATH will work to improve “headway,” which is the amount of time between trains.

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