Growing the Region - News from the Port Authority of NY & NJ

Vol. 2, No. 5, July 2007

Port Authority Authorizes Study of Electronic Tolling
The Port Authority's Board of Commissioners has authorized a preliminary study that could lead to the end of traditional tollbooths at the Authority's bistate crossings.

At its June 21 meeting, the Board commissioned a $9 million, two-year study that would evaluate the potential to replace the existing toll collection system, which relies on tollbooths to collect tolls, with one that collects tolls through a system of overhead gantries equipped with E-ZPass readers and license plate imaging technology.

Board Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Bylaw Changes
At its June 21 meeting, the Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a series of amendments to the Port Authority's bylaws that would continue the agency's efforts at increasing transparency and public access to its decision-making processes.

Over the past 18 months, the agency has adopted several policies aimed at increasing the ability of the public to scrutinize and comment upon the Authority's decision-making processes. On June 18, Governors Eliot Spitzer of New York and Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey proposed that the agency formally amend its bylaws to include these and other reforms.

The amendments are posted on the Port Authority's Web site for public review and comment. After the comment period is complete, the Board will consider formally adopting the measures at its July 26 meeting.

Port Authority, JPMorgan Chase Reach Agreement on Development of New Building at WTC Site
At its meeting June 21, the Board of Commissioners authorized the Port Authority to enter into a long-term sub-net lease with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to build a 1.3 million-square-foot skyscraper at The World Trade Center site.

The parcel that will be developed by JPMorgan Chase is now occupied by the Deutsche Bank building that was damaged beyond repair in the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Under terms of the agreement, JPMorgan Chase will pay the Port Authority $290 million for the development rights during the first three years of the lease, and an additional $10 million for capital construction costs for the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and/or the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.

Read more from JP Morgan Chase...

Additional Funding Allocated to Customer Care Effort
Board Chairman Anthony R. Coscia and Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris recently announced a $34 million boost in the Port Authority Customer Care Program that will add more front-line representatives to assist patrons at the region's airports, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and on the PATH rail transit system.

During a press conference on May 31 at LaGuardia Airport, Mr. Coscia and Mr. Shorris outlined several new measures aimed at providing customers with the best service possible as the agency prepares for the busy summer holiday travel season. Improvements at the agency's three regional airports are under way or in planning stages and include the addition of 200 Customer Care Representatives to assist customers, new welcome centers for arriving passengers, more seating and new and upgraded food, beverage and retail outlets. Some improvements are imminent while others are in development. A dedicated email address has been set up for airport customers to provide their input and feedback, and for soliciting ideas on ways to improve the airport:


News Briefs
Port Authority Board of Commissioners Takes Action on Several Items at June 21 Meeting

New Temporary Entrance Opened for PATH's World Trade Center Station

Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris Speaks to New York Building Congress

Did You Know?
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was the first agency of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. The organization was created under a clause of the Constitution permitting Compacts between states, with Congressional consent. Read more about the history of the Port Authority here.

Public Meetings
The next Port Authority Board meeting will be held on July 26, 2007. To view minutes of previous board meetings, board actions and related information click here.