THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY READY FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAVEL Despite Sept. 11 Declines, Heavy Air Traffic Expected at Airports; Travelers Encouraged to Use Mass Transit, AirTrain Newark Construction Projects Halted During Weekend to Make Travel Easier

Date: Aug 29, 2002
Press Release Number: 92-2002

The Port Authority is gearing up for the last-minute rush of air travelers hoping to enjoy the unofficial end of summer – Labor Day weekend. Nearly 1.2 million people will pass through the three major airports during the four-day period – Friday, August 30, through Monday, September 2.

Though holiday travel will be down by 11.6 percent from Labor Day last year, before the Sept. 11 attacks changed travel patterns of many Americans, the airports will be busy. The Port Authority encourages air travelers to take advantage of mass transportation, including AirTrain Newark, or arrange to be dropped off at the airport.

“Although there is now more parking at Newark Liberty International Airport than ever before, parking at area airports is always a challenge during the holidays,” said Port Authority Chief Operating Officer Ernesto Butcher. “This Labor Day weekend might be the time to take someone up on their offer to drop you off, hop in a cab or use mass transit to get to area airports.”

If travelers must drive, Mr. Butcher recommended that they call beforehand to get the latest parking conditions, and arrive 30 minutes earlier than the time recommended by their airlines.

“This Labor Day carries with it the spirit of the tragic events that affected all Americans on that beautiful, sunny day nearly a year ago when terrorist attacks claimed the lives of thousands, including Port Authority Police officers and civilian employees,” said Mr. Butcher. “I know that while many families will gather together to spend time during the Labor Day weekend, other families will be missing loved ones. Our thoughts go out to them.”

As the Port Authority continues to operate at a level of heightened awareness at all of its facilities, travelers are reminded that additional time is needed to go through security checkpoints at all the airports.

Newark Liberty Airport customers can call 888 EWR-INFO and enter 22, or 800 AIR-RIDE, to get real-time information about available parking in each of the airport\'s lots. Motorists driving to the airport also can obtain detailed parking information by tuning to highway advisory radio at 530 AM, which can be received within a mile of the airport.

Customers can find parking information on the airport\'s Web site, www.newarkairport.com. The site includes information about parking rates and locations, other transportation options to and from the airport, and nearby off-airport parking lots that offer free shuttle service to the passenger terminals.

AirTrain Newark continues to remain a preferred method of getting to the airport, with ridership averaging more than 3,000 people per day. Later this year, travelers to John F. Kennedy International Airport will have the same option with the opening of AirTrain JFK.

Due to terminal construction at American Airlines, JFK terminals 8 and 9 passengers and meeters and greeters can expect roadway congestion and parking shortages. Please allow additional time to arrive at the terminal and consider using alternate parking in the long-term lot.

Passengers can log on to JFK\'s Web page – www.kennedyairport.com – for information regarding parking rates, locations and transportation options. For the most current information on parking and roadway conditions, customers can call 718 244-4080, 800 AIR-RIDE or listen to its highway advisory radio system, 1630 AM.

A list of LaGuardia parking lots, including long-term parking on site and additional parking available at several private lots located near the airport, along with other airport information, can be found at the airport’s Web site, www.laguardiaairport.com. Travelers can call 718 533-3850 or 800 AIR-RIDE for information on parking availability.

About 2.6 million motorists will use Port Authority bridges and tunnels. This level of volume has historically caused congestion at many of these six interstate crossings. Mr. Butcher again asks that travelers consider using mass transit or travel during off-peak hours whenever possible.

To help reduce traffic back-ups, all major construction at the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethals Bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing will be suspended for the weekend. Drivers can get construction updates year-round on the agency’s Web site, www.panynj.gov, or by calling 800 221-9903.

Port Authority Bus Terminal and George Washington Bridge Bus Station ticket counter lines are expected to form early on Friday, August 30. Travelers should allow extra waiting time.

Bus carrier information for both the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the GWB Bus Station is available through the automated telephone system at 212 564-8484, and on the Port Authority Web site.

To get an early start on the holiday weekend, PATH service will be added as needed to accommodate larger-than-usual numbers of commuters leaving work early on Friday, August 30.

PATH trains will operate on a Sunday schedule on Monday, September 2. Train service that day will run every 15 minutes from Newark to Hoboken and from Journal Square to 33rd Street and from Hoboken to 33rd Street. For further information, travelers can call 800 234-PATH or check PATH’s Web site at www.pathrail.com.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.