Date: Nov 20, 2012
Press Release Number: 197-2012
Extra personnel also will be on hand at the agency’s airports, tunnels and bridges to assist with Thanksgiving travel
In anticipation of extremely heavy volume at the Port Authority Bus Terminal tomorrow – the bus facility’s busiest travel day of the year – the agency will deploy extra staff clad in yellow safety vests to assist customers traveling to and from their holiday destinations.
This year, due to the impacts from Hurricane Sandy, extra attention is being paid to the bus terminal, which has seen a significant rise in bus traffic due to the storm’s impacts on other modes of transportation.
During the five-day holiday weekend, the bus facility—the busiest bus terminal in the country—will handle approximately 600,000 customers. This will be in addition to the increased number of weekday commuters traveling on the No. 126 NJ Transit Hoboken bus to and from the terminal since Hurricane Sandy caused rail service interruptions to and from Manhattan. There are an estimated 8,000 commuters using that bus line, three times the normal passenger volume on the No. 126 route.
In addition to the daily 7,000 bus trips and 225,000 customers who use the bus facility on an average day, more than 240 additional bus trips carrying approximately 30,000 more people per day have been made on weekdays since the storm.
To manage the expected heavy crowds on Wednesday, the Port Authority urges bus terminal travelers to adjust their travel times to off-peak hours, arrive early and expect extended lines to board buses. The Port Authority will have extra bus terminal operations staff, Port Authority Police, and volunteers on duty to direct customers to the appropriate location for their bus and to answer questions.
At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, officials have made the following adjustments to alleviate crowding issues:
Port Authority personnel strongly urge travelers to check with their carriers regarding departure and arrival times prior to heading to the Bus Terminal.
To also help ensure that travel at the region’s airports, tunnels and bridges goes as smoothly as possible, the Port Authority will deploy extra personnel at these facilities, including PAPD personnel, and put in place enhanced customer-service initiatives for the estimated 5 million travelers anticipated during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend travel period.
More than 1.4 million air travelers will pass through four of the agency’s airports including John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, and Stewart International. This is three percent more than during the 2011 Thanksgiving travel period. Travelers should consider allowing extra time to get to the airport and should check with their carriers before leaving home to confirm departure and arrival times. All air travelers should plan to arrive at the airport during the holiday period at least 30 minutes earlier than recommended by their airline.
The Port Authority provides AirTrain service to and from JFK and Newark airports. The service provides convenient transportation within the airports, to and from New York City, and to other mass transit and rail lines. The Port Authority urges travelers to use AirTrain to and from Newark and Kennedy airports to ease congestion. Travelers to JFK can visit www.panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airtrain.html for specific AirTrain information. Travelers using Newark Liberty can visit www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-airtrain.html.
The Port Authority is prepared to assist air travelers at our conveniently located Welcome Centers, which provide information about ground transportation and hotels, and answers to other travel-related inquiries. Additional customer service representatives will be in place at all Port Authority airports.
Bridges, Tunnels and Terminals
The Port Authority estimates that 3.3 million vehicles will cross its six bridges and tunnels in both directions between Wednesday, November 21 and Sunday, November 25. To reduce delays, additional toll collectors will be on duty. No construction projects are scheduled at the George Washington Bridge, the Holland or Lincoln tunnels or the three Staten Island bridges during the Thanksgiving holiday period. For the most up-to-date information, motorists may call the agency’s tunnels and bridges “Customer Connection” line at 800 221-9903 or visit www.panynj.gov.
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in New York. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the state of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency relies on revenues generated by facility users, tolls, fees and rents as well as loans, bond financing, and federal grants to fund its operations. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.