Exchange Place is a deep-level PATH station located on the banks of the Hudson River just before the Downtown Tubes cross beneath the Hudson River to the World Trade Center. The station opened in 1909 and was originally built to serve the Jersey City Terminal of the Pennsylvania Railroad that was located here until it closed in 1961. After the railroad closed the station, the area underwent disuse until the 1980s when the Jersey City waterfront started going under redevelopment (that is continuing today) that brought modern office towers and apartments to the Jersey side of the Hudson River across from Manhattan. In 1989 the modern escalator pavilion entrance opened and in 1991 the new elevators opened, making the station ADA compliant. On April 22, 2000 the first branch of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail opened from Exchange Place south to West Side Avenue in Jersey City and 34th Street in Bayonne. This was originally the only place to connect from HBLR for PATH rail service into Manhattan. HBLR was extended to Pavonia-Newport on November 18, 2000. The station was closed immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks after the disaster caused the tubes beneath the Hudson River to flood. The station reopened nearly two years later on June 29, 2003 after crossover switches had been installed at the station allowing trains to terminate at Exchange Place. Service through the lower tubes into Manhattan was finally restored on November 23, 2003 to the temporary World Trade Center PATH station.
The deep-level station has two tracks that are separate from each other but on the same level in their own distinctive tubes. It feels like a station on the London Underground. The platforms have modern slightly arched ceilings (with silver sheethed roofs) and cream colored tiles along both the platform and track walls. All signage has been replaced in the modern format. The tubes are connected in two places, both in the middle of the platform. One is a passageway that that leads to another passageway (between the far apart tubes) to a bank of three escalators and a narrow staircase. Above this passageway are distinctive colored neon lights that add more liveliness to the bright passageways and long escalator ride. These escalators lead directly up to street level and arrive at the bottom of a modern building that is three stories tall and also serves as a ventilation shaft for the underwater tubes. The building is located along Hudson River along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway between the plaza at Exchange Place (the end of Montgomery Street) and the end of Christopher Columbus Drive. The top of this building is pink and silver squares (plus the ventilation equipment) with glass surrounding the level of the passenger entrance area. At the top passengers double back around to two seperate banks of turnstiles with the one bank of escalalors in between. The esclatators reaching the upper landing, facing the river. After the two banks of turnstiles, revolving doors and regular doors lead outside beneath a glass canopy.
The elevators have there own connecting passageway and two elevators lead up to street level. At street level both elevators have doors on both sides and perform the exit side opening first allowing passengers to enter before the entrance side opens routine. The top of the elevator landing is in a crescent shaped marble pavilion with plenty of windows attached to the plaza beneath One Exchange Place. This is farther away from the river and along the northside of Exchange Place, separate from the escalator entrance. The exit side from the elevators has a bank of No Entry turnstiles just before glass doors to leave the system. The entrance side has similar doors (with a simple Wheelchair Logo to PATH trains sign) that lead past some TVMs followed by the turnstiles to the other, entry sets of doors onto the elevators.
February 2013 Update: The elevators are presently using just the entrance side. The exit side is still full of stuff that was stuck there in an attempt to protect it before Superstorm Sandy.. The doors are still plywooded off, complete with sandbags beneath them. PATH has also replaced the previous Ps with similar blue Ps that say PATH beneath them on both the elevator and escalator entrance, these are illuminated at night, causing a quite noticable effect.
Last Updated: 13 February, 2013