THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


FACED WITH CONSTRAINED CAPACITY DUE TO HISTORIC ECONOMIC RECESSION, COUPLED WITH BILLIONS IN WTC AND POST 9-11 SECURITY COSTS, AND UNPRECEDENTED NEED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE OVERHAUL, PORT AUTHORITY PROPOSES TOLL AND FARE INCREASE

Date: Aug 05, 2011
Press Release Number: 50-2011

Faced with three unprecedented challenges at once – (1) a historic economic recession that has sharply decreased revenue below projections, (2) steep increases in post-9/11 security costs, which have nearly tripled, and the overall cost of the WTC rebuilding, and (3) the need for the largest overhaul of facilities in the agency’s 90-year history – the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today proposed a two-phase toll and fare increase to fully fund a new $33 billion ten-year capital plan, which will generate 167,000 jobs.

The proposal comes only after the Port Authority initiated an aggressive cost-cutting plan started in 2008 to manage its resources as the impact of the economic recession became clear: cutting $5 billion in capital projects and deferring billions more; holding operating expenses at zero-growth for three consecutive years; and cutting agency headcount to the lowest levels in 40 years – an 11 percent reduction of non-police staff in the last five years.

The Port Authority does not receive tax revenue, making its toll and fare structure the primary way to fund the region’s critical interstate transportation network. At this point, after a multiyear effort to control spending in recognition of declining capital capacity, failure to act risks 240 critical infrastructure projects and thousands of jobs, and will prevent the overhaul of the agency’s aging facilities.

The factors leading to the agency’s financial position include:

The new 10-year capital plan would deliver significant economic benefits to the region, including the generation of 167,000 jobs, $38.4 billion in sales, and $9.7 billion in wages within the 17-county New York-New Jersey Port District.

The agency’s proposed toll structure, which would be adjusted in September 2011 and in 2014, focuses the greatest increase on cash users and trucks that cause the most traffic congestion and wear and tear. In addition, the agency proposes raising the PATH fare in September 2011, while fully preserving PATH’s deep discount for multi-trip users.

Projects contingent on the proposed toll/fare plan include:

The Port Authority also plans to direct 100 percent of the revenue from the proposed PATH fare increase back into the PATH system to complete projects that will replace 340 PATH cars, replace the 100-year-old signal system and duct bank network, upgrade PATH security with tunnel hardening and flood mitigation measures, and rehabilitate the system’s aging stations, including new 10-car platforms.

To fund these major transportation and security projects, the Port Authority’s toll/fare proposal calls for:

Before the Board of Commissioners considers a final toll/fare plan at a Board meeting on August 19, the agency has announced a public hearing schedule on August 16 with nine total hearings across both states, which will be held at the following times and places:

Newark Liberty International Airport
1 Conrad Road
Building 157, Bay 3
Newark, NJ 07114
973-961-6161
8 a.m.

Port Authority Technical Center
241 Erie Street, Room 212
Jersey City, NJ 07310
201-216-2700
8 a.m.

Port Ivory/Howland Hook
40 Western Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10303
718-330-2950
8 a.m.

Port Authority Bus Terminal
625 8th Avenue
Times Square Conference Roo