Date: Apr 21, 2008
Press Release Number: 37-2008
First Tolling Agency in Country to Offer Program
Expanding a program that devotes about $9 billion of a $29.5 billion 10-year capital plan to increasing the level of sustainable transportation in the New York City metropolitan region, the Port Authority will offer drivers and air travelers the opportunity to offset their own “carbon footprint” with a few clicks of a computer mouse. The Port Authority is the first tolling agency in the country to offer this program.
This month, the agency is issuing a request for proposals to create an online mechanism that computes a driver’s or air traveler’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions based on specific travel habits, and allows that person to purchase the equivalent emissions offset. The Port Authority will ensure that all offsets offered to customers are high quality, working with internationally recognized third-party verifiers to guarantee that they will produce the environmental benefits they advertise. The system is expected to be available to travelers this year.
Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Port Authority is playing a leading role in developing innovative strategies to meet the urgent problem of climate change. Partnering with our customers allows us to make an even more meaningful impact. Through this joint venture we can together make real and significant reductions in our collective carbon footprint.”
Deputy Executive Director Susan Bass Levin said, “The Port Authority has dedicated nearly one-third of its capital plan to expanding sustainable transportation. That’s truly a statement of our commitment to the environment, but we’re not stopping there. This offset program will empower our customers to help reduce the region’s carbon footprint. It’s the latest in a series of measures designed to ensure that the Port Authority does its share – and then some – to deal head-on with the threat of global warming.”
Today’s announcement joins a growing list of recent environmental initiatives introduced by the Port Authority, all of which build on the agency’s commitment to reduce the overall GHG emissions from the public use of its facilities, which includes the emissions of planes at its airports, cars and trucks at its river crossings, and ships at its seaports, by 80 percent by 2050. The Port Authority’s efforts on other fronts include: