Date: Nov 16, 2001
Press Release Number: 150-2001
One Million Passengers Expected at Area Airports Over Five-Day Travel Period; Single-Occupant Vehicle Ban to be Lifted on Thanksgiving Day at Lincoln Tunnel
While forecasts are calling for lighter-than-usual travel this Thanksgiving holiday season compared to last year, officials at Port Authority bridges, tunnels and airports are prepared to handle high volumes of commuters and vacationers during what is traditionally the busiest holiday travel period of the year.
“Analysts predict that travel will be off by 21 percent at John F. Kennedy International, Newark International and LaGuardia airports compared to last Thanksgiving,” said Ernesto Butcher, Chief Operating Officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “But traffic still will be heavy over the five-day period, with 380,000 passengers at Newark, 330,000 at JFK and 290,000 at LaGuardia.
“We are asking travelers to allow extra time to get to their destinations much as they normally would for a holiday getaway, and also to accommodate the heightened security procedures that are in place at the airports, bridges, tunnels and other Port Authority facilities. And to ease the flow of traffic, the Port Authority will lift the ban on single-occupant vehicles at the Lincoln Tunnel on Thanksgiving Day.”
The 1 million passengers expected at Kennedy, Newark and LaGuardia airports from Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25, are urged to use public transportation whenever possible – including the newly opened AirTrain Newark to reach Newark International Airport – in case parking is limited at airport parking lots.
-For Newark Airport parking information, call 888 EWR-INFO and press 22 or tune radios to 530 AM when near the airport. For Kennedy Airport parking information, call 718 244-4444 or tune radios to 1630 AM. For LaGuardia Airport parking information, call 718 533-3400. Information is also available online at www.newarkairport.com, www.kennedyairport.com, and www.laguardiaairport.com.
Port Authority bridges and tunnels are expected to experience their highest levels of traffic since the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11. On Wednesday, which is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year, more than 356,000 eastbound vehicles are projected to use the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the Bayonne and Goethals bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing.
More than 1.6 million eastbound vehicles will use the Hudson River and Staten Island crossings from Wednesday to Sunday. The single-occupant vehicle restriction at the Lincoln Tunnel will be suspended on Thanksgiving Day, and on Saturday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 25. The 6 a.m.-to-6 p.m. SOV restriction at the Holland Tunnel will remain in effect throughout the five-day period.
PATH will operate on a holiday/weekend schedule on Thanksgiving Day, with trains running every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on the Newark-Journal Square-33rd Street, Journal Square-Hoboken and Hoboken-33rd Street lines. Additional trains will be added as needed to accommodate passengers traveling to and from the Thanksgiving Day parade in Manhattan.
“This holiday season will be like no other,” Butcher said. “Many residents in our region have suffered terrible losses. But we can be thankful for the incredible strength and courage we have seen from ordinary people who have shown extraordinary resilience through these difficult times. On behalf of the 7,000 Port Authority employees, I want to extend our best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.”