Ridership on New York and New Jersey's Port Authority Trans-Hudson, or PATH, trains, is on track to set a record for the second consecutive year.

For 2012, up to June 30, PATH ridership is about 4% ahead of last year's pace.

Trips this year slightly exceeded 39 million, up from 37.6 million through the same period in 2011.

Passenger trips set a record in 2011, totaling 76.6 million.

The rail rapid transit system links Manhattan with nearby New Jersey cities, including Jersey City, Hoboken and Newark.

The system's owner, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has invested more than $1 billion in the PATH system in recent years, including the purchase of 350 new rail cars and station modernization programs.

"These investments in PATH are making it easier, more convenient and reliable to travel by train between New York and New Jersey," said the agency's executive director, Patrick Foye.

If ridership continues at its current pace this year, it will exceed 78 million riders in 2012 - an increase of more than 8% since 2009.

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