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Vol. 7, No. 1, February 22, 2012
BRIEFS
NJ Lt. Governor Touts Newark Liberty Investments Ahead of 2014 Super Bowl
On Feb. 2, New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the Port Authority and its private partners announced a total of $70 million in private sector investments to Newark Liberty International Airport in anticipation of the big game that will be hosted locally in two years. The projects include investments by United Airlines and Signature Flight Support Corp. in aircraft and passenger facilities and a commitment by Host Hotels & Resorts for renovations at the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott Hotel. These investments are expected to create over 540 jobs and $30 million in wages.
Board Okays Key Regional Investments
At its Feb. 9 meeting the Port Authority Board approved:

A financial incentive program, placing a renewed emphasis on attracting new airlines and routes at Stewart International Airport, that waives certain fees for carriers, provides marketing support and makes Stewart an attractive alternative gateway to the New York metropolitan region.

• An additional $35 million for final planning and engineering design services for the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program. Visit Port Authority Web site for details about the program.

• An Energy Savings Program to pursue energy efficiency initiatives at the Port Authority Bus Terminal/Lincoln Tunnel and the PATH Journal Square Transportation Center/Harrison Car Maintenance Facility. These projects would yield guaranteed annual operating savings of approximately $2 million and approximately $31 million in aggregate savings to the Port Authority over a 15-year term. The cost of the projects would be more than offset by the resultant savings. Link to the Port Authority's Web site for details about the agency's current Energy Programs.
Public Meetings
The next meeting of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners will be held Thursday, March 29. Visit panynj.gov to view minutes and actions from previous Board of Commissioners meetings and to view schedules for future meetings. Webcasts from the Feb. 9 Board and committee meetings are also available online.
Port Authority Announces Record Year at Airports
and PATH
John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports reported record international passenger travel in 2011. JFK handled 23.9 million international passengers, approximately 810,000 more than the previous record set in 2010. Newark Airport also set an international passenger record with 11.5 million passengers.

At PATH, a total of 76.6 million commuter trips were made in 2011, the highest number since the agency took over operation of the system in 1962. The record ridership follows the investment of more than $1 billion in PATH during the past four years for new cars, station upgrades and commencement of installation of a new signal system. Click here to learn about the money-saving SmartLink Card.
 
Special Board Committee Releases Interim Report
A Special Committee of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners that has been overseeing a full review of the Authority's past and current governance, management and financial practices has delivered the interim report to Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. The review, which is the first of a two-phase audit, has identified several key issues that the Board and agency leadership will closely review prior to implementing recommended changes.

The report describes the Port Authority as an "organization at a crossroads" and indicates that the organization needs a top-to-bottom overhaul of its management structure.

Full statements from Chairman Samson, Vice Chairman Scott Rechler, Executive Director Patrick Foye and Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni also are available online on the Port Authority Web site: http://www.panynj.gov/
 
World Class Retail Development Announced For the New World Trade Center
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a joint venture Feb. 9 with the Westfield Group - a major, worldwide retail property owner - to develop, lease, and operate more than 450,000 square feet of shopping and dining space at the World Trade Center site.

Westfield will invest $612.5 million for a 50 percent share of the joint venture, with additional potential earn-outs for the Port Authority.



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Renderings of the new retail centers to be built at the World Trade Center Site.

 
Port Authority NY/NJ Staten Island Bridge Discount Now Easier to Use With Savings Up to 50 Percent
Since Feb. 1, it has been easier than ever for motorists to save on tolls when they use the Bayonne or Goethals bridges or the Outerbridge Crossing.

In January, Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie announced that the Port Authority would launch a plan on February 1 that allows even more E-ZPass customers to save up to 50 percent on tolls when crossing the Port Authority's Staten Island bridges.

The New York/New Jersey Staten Island Bridges Plan, developed at the request of the two governors after the August 2011 toll increase, will ease the burden on residents in New Jersey and New York who use the crossings.

As of February 1, E-ZPass users with non-commercial plates who enroll in the plan will pay $47.50 for 10 trips in a 30-day period, costing them $4.75 a trip, a 50 percent savings. The standard E-ZPass peak toll rate without the discount plan is $9.50. The previous plan required motorists to make 20 trips in a 35-day period.

Drivers who commute five times a week over the crossings can save nearly $1,200 a year on their E-ZPass rush-hour tolls, and $1,800 a year off the cash toll.

Information on the new plan is available on the Port Authority Web site. Motorists may enroll online with either the E-ZPass New York or
E-ZPass New Jersey
service centers, or by phone at 800-333-8655 for the New York center, and 888-288-6865 for the New Jersey center.
 
Board Approves Largest Rehabilitation Program in George Washington Bridge History
The Port Authority announced what will be a nearly half a billion-dollar program to rehabilitate the George Washington Bridge (GWB). The program represents the largest rehabilitation to date on the 80-year-old crossing, and is made possible by the toll increase authorized by the Port Authority in August 2011. The bridge opened in 1931 and a second level was built below the main deck in 1962 to handle the region's rapid growth.

The agency's Board of Commissioners has taken action to facilitate the intensive bridge rehabilitation program. The Board's actions included a project to rehabilitate the 178th and 179th Street access ramps and bus ramps, planning work for the rehabilitation of the Center Avenue and Lemoine Avenue bridges, and planning for rehabilitation work on the bridge's lower level. The investments approved at the Board meeting on Feb. 9th cost an estimated $230 million; ultimately, the three projects are estimated to cost between $460 and $480 million. Read more.
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