Budget Calls for Fiscal Discipline on Operating Side;
Robust Investment on the Capital Side
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved a $6.7 billion, 2009 budget that provides for a robust $3.3 billion in investment in capital projects, and no growth in operating expenses and staffing levels. The budget makes clear that the Port Authority faces downward pressure on its long-term capital financial capacity, and will need to manage its long-term capital program in the context of the new economic and fiscal realities.
Details of the budget can be found in the Port Authority’s 2009 Budget Book, which is posted on the agency’s Web site - www.panynj.gov
The budget calls for the largest amount of capital spending in the agency’s history - $3.3 billion - an increase of $725 million or 28 percent over the 2008 budget. The infusion of investment into regional capital projects will help buffer the economic crisis and address the region’s infrastructure challenge.
To make way for the capital investment, the budget provides for zero growth in operating expenses and no increase in staffing levels.
While the Port Authority is certain of its financial capacity to fund the proposed spending in 2009, the budget makes clear that the agency, like other public entities, faces downward pressure on its long-term capital financial capacity given the impact of the economic slowdown on revenues it receives from its tunnels, bridges, airports, and seaports, as well as decreases in financial income. As a result, the Port Authority will, over the next several years, need to manage its long-term capital program in a way that reflects the new economic and fiscal realities.
Despite the difficult economic conditions, the budget calls for no increases in tolls and fares.
The $3.3 billion 2009 Port Authority capital budget includes these investments:
- Continued development of the World Trade Center site.
- Significant investments in the continued development of the ARC Tunnel project.
- Rollout of the new fleet of PATH cars and modernization of PATH.
- Continued modernization and expansion of airports, particularly Terminal B modernization at Newark Liberty, Stewart Airport upgrades, and the JFK flight reduction program.
- Expansion of ExpressRail at the port’s marine terminals to increase the use of freight movement by rail rather than by truck.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Candace McAdams or Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777
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, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Port Authority Auto Marine Terminal; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Greenville Yard-Port Authority Marine Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and is a partner in the Access to the Region’s Core tunnel project.