THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


AIRTRAIN JFK’S FIRST YEAR A SUCCESS

Date: Dec 17, 2004
Press Release Number: 161-2004

Port Authority officials today marked AirTrain JFK’s one-year anniversary with a “Customer Appreciation Day,” presenting AirTrain JFK customers at Jamaica and Howard Beach with $5 MetroCards good for a free ride aboard John F. Kennedy International Airport’s state-of-the-art rail system.

AirTrain JFK’s first year was a great success, with a total ridership of more than 8.7 million passengers, including more than 2.5 million revenue passengers. The system is now carrying nearly 32,000 riders per day.

About 8,000 to 8,500 of the daily riders are revenue passengers who arrive or depart at the off-airport AirTrain JFK terminals at Jamaica and Howard Beach. The one-day record for paid ridership was set last month, with 13,767 passengers on the day before Thanksgiving. The previous one-day mark was Friday, September 3, with 12,106 paid riders.

New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “For decades, a mass-transit rail alternative at JFK was only a dream, but thanks to dedicated Port Authority staff, we made it a reality. One year and nearly nine million passengers later, it’s proven to be a success. Our next step is to link the airport with Lower Manhattan, and we’ll continue to devote our resources to making this important initiative a reality too.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “One of the major projects announced this month when we approved our 2005 budget was the start of construction on a new passenger terminal on the Terminal 5 site at JFK, which will have a connection to AirTrain. This project, along with all the others in our $1.7 billion capital plan for next year, will ensure that the transportation network operated by the Port Authority remains an economic force for the region.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Anyone who has used AirTrain JFK instead of sitting in bumper-to-bumper highway traffic, wondering if a flight would be made or missed, can attest to the many reasons this cutting-edge rail system has attracted so many passengers. We’re pleased to have brought this project to the public as part of JFK’s $9.4 billion redevelopment program, and we’re confident the system’s second year will be an even greater success.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We’ve seen a steady growth in ridership this year, which indicates that word is spreading quickly about AirTrain JFK’s ease of use and reliability. This system has greatly improved access to the region’s busiest airport, and we are committed to continuing work on initiatives that make it easier to reach JFK, as well as LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports.” The executive director added that more information is available on the Port Authority’s Web site: www.panynj.gov.

AirTrain JFK passengers can use the system to connect between airline terminals, rental car facilities, hotel shuttles and on-airport parking, as well as the subway, Long Island Rail Road and local buses at the off-airport terminals at Jamaica and Howard Beach. On-airport travel on AirTrain JFK is free.

The 2005 Port Authority budget approved earlier this month provides funding for a study to determine the feasibility of building a rail link between Lower Manhattan and JFK.

Construction of the $1.9 billion AirTrain JFK used no state or federal taxes. It was funded through a combination of Port Authority funds and revenue from a $3 surcharge on departing passengers at the region’s three major airports under the federal Passenger Facility Charge program.

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 and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-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 also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.