Why is it the PA can't fucking read the papers about where the MTA went off the rails and ended up with a poorly operating system? All analysis points to prioritizing sexy new projects over maintenance, updating, and expanding capacity of current infrastructure.
True. But it's not quite the same problem just because of scope. Yes, the PATH needs maintenance. But it's only a few stations.
Realistically, there is not much you can do to increase PATH capacity. Upgrading switching and train control can reduce the headways slightly. The WTC to NWK line can add a couple of more cars on with station renovations.
But unless you are going to do something really immense, like build an entire new set of tunnels to double tracks, the PATH system will be what it is.
That being the case, the question is whether we want to say "this is it, we can't expand" and just maintain and upgrade the infrastructure we have. I don't think that is prudent here. A South Newark/Airport extension would increase use and help development in Newark.
I understand concerns about the Rush Hour crunch, but airport traffic would be spread out more. The hope would be that it would justify increasing service in the off hours. For me, at least, the biggest drawback of the PATH is not that it is crowded during Rush Hour, but that service at other times, particularly on weekends, is not frequent enough.
PATH needs upgrades, and extensions will increase operating costs even after they are built. But it is not the 665 miles of 19th century infrastructure cluster$^ that is the MTA Subway. If the expansion can serve rider demand and help develop Newark, it should go forward.