Press Release Article


Date: Dec 18, 2008
Press Release Number: 156-2008

The number of riders using AirTrain JFK - the rail system at John F. Kennedy International Airport that opened for service five years ago - is expected to set another record in 2008 with heavy ridership projected through the end-of-year holiday season, despite a slight decrease in the projected number of air travelers this year.

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “We’ve seen a trend literally since Day One on AirTrain JFK with growing numbers of passengers choosing this rail system as their preferred method of ground transportation at the airport. The year-over-year increase in ridership continues unabated as we mark the fifth anniversary. Part of that no doubt is because this is by far the most wallet-friendly way to travel to and from the airport quickly, safely and reliably, and it also benefits the environment by taking millions of cars off local roads and highways.”

In 2004, AirTrain JFK’s first full year, paid ridership was about 2.6 million. Last year, more than 4.4 million paid riders used the system, and through the first ten months of 2008, paid ridership was nearly 7.8 percent higher than the same period in 2007. Millions more use the rail system free of charge to travel from terminal to terminal, and between the rental car and long-term parking areas.

AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark at Newark Liberty International Airport, along with all of the Port Authority’s transportation facilities, are expected to be busy with holiday travelers through the end of the year.

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Susan Bass Levin said, “We wish our customers a safe and happy holiday season, and we’ll have plenty of staff available at our facilities to ensure a smooth travel experience for all. Even though slightly fewer holiday travelers are expected this year compared to last year, our airports, bridges, tunnels, bus terminals and PATH are still expected to handle millions upon millions of customers by New Year’s Day, so we again urge travelers to allow extra time during this holiday season.”


Nearly 4.4 million passengers are expected to use the Port Authority airports from today through January 1, 2009. About 2 million travelers are expected at Kennedy, 1.4 million at Newark Liberty, 880,000 at LaGuardia Airport, and 17,000 passengers at Stewart International. The total represents a decrease of about 4 percent compared to the same period in 2007.

AirTrain JFK connects to New York City mass transit via stations at Jamaica and Howard Beach. More information is available by calling 877 JFK-AirTrain (877 535-2478). Travelers who must drive to the airport can call 718 244-4080 for parking information or tune in to airport radio 1630 AM for parking updates.

AirTrain Newark connects to Amtrak and NJ Transit via the Northeast Corridor rail line. More information is available by calling 888 EWR-INFO (888 397-4636), which also offers Newark Airport parking information. Travelers also can tune radios to 530 AM when approaching the airport.

For LaGuardia Airport parking information, call (718) 533-3850.

More information on AirTrain and other public transportation alternatives is available by calling 800 AIR-RIDE (800 247-7433). Airport information also is available at, and Air travelers should check their flight’s status before leaving for the airport, and should allow for heavy holiday road traffic.

For the Transportation Security Administration’s travel tips, including pointers on packing and dressing to help pass through checkpoints more quickly, visit

Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals

About 5.7 million vehicles are expected to use the Port Authority’s four bridges and two tunnels during the nine-day period beginning December 24, a decrease of about 3 percent from the same period last year. To ease congestion, the Port Authority has suspended all scheduled non-emergency work at the George Washington Bridge, and Holland and Lincoln tunnels through January 4. All scheduled non-emergency work at the Staten Island Bridges is suspended from noon on December 24 until December 29, and again at noon on December 31 through January 4. For the most up-to-date information on construction, call the agency’s tunnels and bridges “Customer Connection” line at 800 221-9903 or visit the Port Authority’s Web site.

At the Port Authority Bus Terminal, passenger traffic is expected to be heavier than normal, so customers are urged to allow extra travel time.


For the 15-day period starting tomorrow, nearly 3 million riders are expected to use PATH during the holiday travel period. PATH will operate on a holiday/Sunday schedule on Christmas and New Year’s Day. On New Year’s Eve, PATH will operate a regular weekday schedule during the evening hours, with frequent service after midnight to accommodate passengers returning from events in New York City. Train service on the Journal Square-to-33rd Street line via Hoboken will operate every 10 minutes after midnight. Service between Newark and the World Trade Center will operate every 15 minutes.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Ron Marsico, 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.

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

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