Press Release Article


Date: Jan 14, 2009
Press Release Number: 8-2009

More people than ever used the Port Authority’s fast, reliable and inexpensive AirTrain systems for travel to and from John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports in 2008, final statistics released today by the agency show.

AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark combined last year to serve nearly 6.7 million paid riders, in addition to the tens of millions of air passengers and people employed at the airport who used the two rail systems to travel free of charge between terminals, parking, and car rental areas. The 2008 combined total eclipses by nearly 8 percent the previous record of about 6.2 million paid riders set in 2007.

Both AirTrain systems have enjoyed year-to-year passenger traffic increases since they’ve been operational. AirTrain Newark, which extended the existing Newark Airport monorail to link with the Northeast Corridor railroad line used by NJ Transit and Amtrak, opened in 2001. AirTrain JFK, which connects the airport to the Long Island Rail Road and the New York City subway system at terminals in Jamaica and Howard Beach, Queens, began service in 2003.

The sharp increase in rail passengers on the two systems took place despite relatively flat year-to-year air passenger traffic numbers at Kennedy and Newark airports. When the final numbers are calculated early in 2009, the Port Authority expects Kennedy will show modest passenger traffic growth, less than 1 percent, while Newark is expected to decline by about 2 percent. About 108 million people used Kennedy, Newark, LaGuardia and Stewart International airports in 2008.

Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Our two AirTrain systems are emblematic of our agency’s mission to move people around the region safely, quickly and efficiently. Since the early part of this decade, the Port Authority’s multibillion-dollar investment in these mass-transit systems helps ease travel for air passengers, keep our air cleaner, and lighten the burden on the roads and highways surrounding our airports.”

Executive Director Chris Ward said, “It’s fast, it’s wallet-friendly, and it’s green - what’s not to like? AirTrain Newark and AirTrain JFK are two modern-day, mass-transit success stories that have served an important niche in the region’s transportation needs.”

AirTrain JFK handled more than 4.75 million paid riders in 2008, an increase of nearly 8 percent from the 4.4 million paid riders in 2007. In August 2008, the system enjoyed its highest-ever daily paid ridership average of 14,842 passengers.

AirTrain Newark carried more than 1.93 million paid passengers last year, also up nearly 8 percent from about 1.8 million paid riders in 2007.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Pasquale DiFulco or Ron Marsico, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.