Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) updated its progress toward the installation of Positive Train Control (PTC), as well as its efforts monitor sleep apnea in employees in an effort to ensure safety of riders and the general public.
PATH said it remains on pace to complete PTC installation by the end of 2018. About 91 percent of PATH employees have been trained in PTC. As part of PATH's overall Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) program, CBTC equipment has been installed on 216 of 230 passenger cars through the end of December. The signal work being undertaken not only helps to meet the federal PTC mandate, but will allow PATH trains to safely run closer together, increasing capacity.
Regarding sleep disorder monitoring, the Port Authority's Office of Medical Services has been devising evaluation programs to test current and prospective employees for sleep disorders. Those employees in safety-critical roles found to be at risk are referred for further evaluation, recommended for treatment and are regularly monitored for compliance.
"PATH's number one priority remains the safety of our passengers and employees," said PATH Director/General Manager Michael Marino. "While we perform rigorous safety checkpoints on a regular basis throughout the system, given recent events we're going the extra mile to enhance our safety programs as an added precaution."
PATH notes that these efforts to mitigate sleep disorders and provide personnel with the latest in safety training are just some of the elements the agency is applying to ensure rider and employee safety.
PATH also is increasing the number of inspections it conducts under an existing rule that mandates engineers approaching bumping blocks should be traveling eight miles per hour or less. In 2016, PATH examiners conducted nearly 140 observational tests through the rule, with 100-percent compliance. In 2017, PATH will use data recorded in the cars to gauge compliance with this safety requirement, while relying on additional observational techniques to help measure compliance.