"In spite of the multitudinous surface-cars, elevated-railways, suburban steam roads, bridges, steam-boats and ferries, not to speak of carriages and cabs, New York finds herself continually in want of new methods of transit from one part of the city to the other, and to the neighbouring cities. This is due not only to the enormously rapid growth of the city in population, but to the consequent spread of her purely commercial area, and the entailed necessity of living at a distance from one's place of business. Moreover the long and narrow shape of the island compels the great mass of travel to be back and forth in the same direction; and morning and night all the public conveyances up and down town are over-crowded, so that more are earnestly needed. A few words in regard to the various ways of getting about the city will be appropriate.
Brooklyn 'Annex' Lines.--The various railroads terminating in Jersey City and in Weehawken have lately established lines of double-decked ferry boats run in connection with their trains, at intervals of about half an hour, including Sundays, until midnight. They carry passengers to and from the Pennsylvania and Erie railway depots in Jersey City, and to and from the steamboats of the Albany Day and Fall River lines; land in Brooklyn at the foot of Fulton st., where nearly all the horse-cars and elevated roads of that city terminate. The fare is 10 cents, and an excellent impression of the harbor, the Battery and the water-front of the city is gained by this pleasant trip.
Jersey City.--From Desbrosses st. to Pennsylvania Ry. station, foot of Montgomery st., Jersey City, at intervals of 10 or 15 minutes all day, and half-hourly after midnight. At this ferry are the principal station and baggage-rooms of the Pennsylvania Ry. in New York. The Desbrosses st. station of the Ninth Av. El. Ry. is the only El. station near; but horse-cars reach it from every direction.--From Cortlandt st. on same time and to same place as from Debrosses st. This is the 'Jersey City Ferry,' and probably the busiest one in the city. The El. Ry. stations are: Cortlandt st. on the Sixth av. line, and City Hall on the Third av. Horse-cars direct to Grand st., E.R.--From Liberty st. to Communipaw (station Central R.R., N.J.) 5.30 a.m.; then every 15 min. to 9 p.m.; then 10.15, 10.35, 11, 11.15, 11.30, 11.45, and 12 p.m.; 12.20, 1, 1.30, and every 30 min. to 4.30 a.m. Communication same as for Cortlandt ferry.--From Chambers st. to Pavonia av., and the terminus of the N.Y., L.E. & W. (Erie) R.R. at intervals of 10 or 15 minutes all day, and half-hourly after midnight and on Sundays. This is one New York station of the Erie Railway and connections, the other being next mentioned.--From foot of West 23rd st., to Pavonia av. and Erie R.R., 5.55 a.m.; then every 15 min. to 6.55 p.m.; then every 30 min. to 11.25 p.m.; then every hour to 5.55 a.m. Sundays, every 30 min. from 7 a.m. to 11.55 p.m.; then every hour from 1 to 7 a.m."-Ernest Ingersoll's A Week In New York 1891
N.B. The PATH Train, as we now know it, did not start passenger service until 1908, but as shown, tunnels and stations were being constructed around 1873.