Date: May 20, 2002
Press Release Number: 60-2002
More Than 1 Million Passengers Expected to Use Region’s Airports;
Air Travel Down by 14 Percent, But Still Expected to be Heavy
With airline and auto travel on the rise since September 11, the Port Authority has good news for Memorial Day holiday travelers – the agency has added parking spaces at Newark International Airport and has taken other steps to handle the projected heavy travel volumes at its airports, tunnels, bridges, terminals and PATH rapid transit system.
Although 3,500 additional parking spaces were added at Newark International Airport since last year’s Memorial Day weekend, some lots may fill up during this year’s busy travel weekend. Travelers may want to try the new AirTrain Newark – which opened in October 2001 – to get to and from the airport. For information about AirTrain Newark and other transportation options for the region’s three major airports, travelers are urged to call 800 AIR-RIDE.
The Port Authority also will suspend all bridge and tunnel construction projects for the holiday weekend, and will lift the single-occupant vehicle restrictions at the Holland Tunnel on Memorial Day to help those traveling by car.
“The Memorial Day weekend traditionally signals the beginning of the summer, and it’s also one of the busiest travel times of the year,” said Ernesto Butcher, the Port Authority’s Chief Operating Officer. “Although air travel at our airports is down approximately 14 percent, it is still a busy travel time. We have taken steps to make sure our customers have a safe and pleasant trip traveling to and from their destinations.
“We strongly urge airline travelers to call ahead to get the latest information on parking, and to allow extra time to accommodate increased security at all of our airports,” Mr. Butcher said. “Auto travelers also should be patient in case they encounter traffic at any of our crossings.”
Air travelers are urged to check with their airline prior to leaving for the airport and plan to arrive 30 minutes earlier than recommended. Travelers also can use the Port Authority’s Web site – www.panynj.gov – to get the latest security tips.
During the five-day holiday period, from Friday, May 24 through Tuesday, May 28, the Port Authority forecasts 405,000 passengers at Newark International Airport, 370,000 at John F. Kennedy International Airport and 310,000 at LaGuardia Airport. This compares to last year’s volumes of 475,000 at Newark, 435,000 at JFK, and 360,000 at LaGuardia.
For Newark Airport parking information, call 888 EWR-INFO and press 22 or tune radios to 530 AM when near the airport. For Kennedy Airport parking information, call 718 244-4444 or tune radios to 1630 AM. For LaGuardia Airport parking information, call 718 533-3400.
Information also is available online at www.newarkairport.com, www.kennedyairport.com, and www.laguardiaairport.com.
Approximately 2.5 million vehicles will use the Port Authority’s four bridges and two tunnels during the four-day holiday period from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27.
PATH will operate extra trains as needed for those commuters leaving early on Friday, May 24. On Memorial Day, PATH trains will operate on a Sunday schedule.