Press Release Article


Date: Dec 06, 2001
Press Release Number: 157-2001

AirTrain Newark, the new link that provides direct rail access to Newark International Airport from New York City and points across New Jersey, will soon be serving more than three million riders a year, according to figures released today by Port Authority Acting Executive Director Ronald Shiftan.

AirTrain Newark is already a hit with passengers. Since the system opened on October 21, it has averaged nearly 1,500 passengers a day, well above projections, according to Mr. Shiftan.

Nearly 12,000 passengers rode AirTrain Newark to and from the airport over the five-day Thanksgiving travel period – including nearly 4,000 travelers on Wednesday, November 21, the day before the holiday.

Nearly two million additional passengers are expected to ride AirTrain Newark to and from Newark Airport next year. In the coming years, that number will grow to more than three million annual passengers.

\"Newark International Airport is vital to New Jersey’s economy. This new service will enable millions of business travelers and tourists to reach the airport by rail each year – creating jobs, relieving traffic congestion and reducing air pollution,\" said
New Jersey Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco. \"Strengthening Newark Airport strengthens New Jersey.\"

The Acting Governor praised the Port Authority, NJ Transit and Amtrak for completing the AirTrain Newark project ahead of schedule.

\"Thanks to the diligence and hard work of these agencies, under extraordinary circumstances, a more convenient, quicker and hassle-free ride to and from the airport awaits thousands of holiday travelers. That\'s a great gift during these difficult times,\" Acting Governor DiFrancesco said.

NJ Transit and Amtrak provide 160 trains to Newark Airport each weekday, 120 each Saturday and 122 on Sundays. At Newark International Airport’s new rail station, located a few minutes west of Newark Penn Station on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, travelers in effect arrive at the airport – with flight displays and ticketing by participating airlines. From the station, AirTrain Newark provides service approximately every three minutes during peak periods to the airport’s terminals.

Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg noted that AirTrain Newark opened two months ahead of schedule – a sign of the Port Authority staff’s determination following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

\"Throughout the past three months, despite the trauma caused by the loss of friends and colleagues, the men and women of the Port Authority have worked tirelessly to continue providing the highest levels of service,\" Chairman Eisenberg said. \"I assure the public that the Port Authority is undaunted. The agency has the will, the resources and the expertise to deliver new transportation projects that are vital to the region.\"

\"AirTrain Newark travelers from points throughout New Jersey can board NJ Transit or Amtrak trains and reach the new Newark International Airport Station quickly and conveniently,\" said Mr. Shiftan. \"Travel time is only about 20 minutes from New York City. Then travelers connect to AirTrain Newark, which takes them to their terminal in about 10 minutes.

\"By linking Newark International Airport to NJ Transit, Amtrak and the Port Authority’s PATH system, AirTrain Newark provides a significant new transportation option for business and pleasure travelers from New York, New Brunswick, Princeton, Hoboken, the Jersey Shore and other points across New Jersey. Our surveys also project the service will be used by travelers from as far away as Connecticut, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Baltimore,\" Mr. Shiftan said. \"Based on the initial popularity of AirTrain Newark, we expect tens of thousands of travelers will choose this new service over the holidays, which will take them from their hometown to our front door.\"

Newark Mayor Sharpe James said, \"Almost 30 years ago, when I began my public service career as Newark’s South Ward Councilman, I argued for the establishment of a direct rail link to Newark International Airport from downtown Newark and the Northeast Corridor. It took three decades of struggle, dedication and effort, but this dream has now come true. This service will help relieve traffic congestion on our highways, and make airline travel easier. I congratulate our city’s partners at the Port Authority who worked to make my dream a reality.\"

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said, \"A significant part of Newark International Airport is in the City of Elizabeth. The AirTrain service will make the airport more accessible and appealing to the traveling public. The impressive amenity will attract visitors and allow them the opportunity to enjoy our restaurants and Jersey Gardens Mall.\"

All local NJ Transit trains and some express trains serving the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines make regularly scheduled inbound and outbound stops at the new Newark International Airport Station, located between North Elizabeth Station and Newark Penn Station. NJ Transit serves the new station with 124 trains each weekday, and 87 trains each Saturday, Sunday and holiday. Thirty-six Amtrak trains serve the station each weekday, 33 each Saturday and 35 each Sunday.

AirTrain Newark’s hours of operation are consistent with NJ Transit and Amtrak service seven days a week. NJ Transit and Amtrak do not provide scheduled service to the Newark International Airport Station between 2 a.m. and 4:45 a.m. on weekdays, and between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on weekends.

NJ Transit and Amtrak generally provide:

· Eight trains per hour – four in each direction – during most peak hours on weekdays.

· Six trains per hour – three in each direction – on weekends.
The Newark International Airport Station features numerous customer amenities – including flight ticketing by participating airlines, baggage check-in, rail ticketing services, climate-controlled waiting areas, rail and flight information displays, telephones, restrooms and red-jacketed customer service representatives.

In addition to on-site civilian staff and Port Authority Police, the station is monitored by closed-circuit television. AirTrain Newark is fully compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

\"This new rail connection is revolutionizing the trip for residents, visitors and business people traveling through Newark International Airport,\" said NJ Transit Executive Director Jeffrey A. Warsh. \"NJ Transit and Amtrak provide this world-class destination with frequent and convenient train service, linking to the state-of-the-art
AirTrain Newark system that delivers passengers to the front door of the airport’s three terminals.\"

\"Amtrak is pleased to partner with the Port Authority and NJ Transit to offer travelers this well-designed and seamless connection between planes and trains,\" said Amtrak President and CEO George D. Warrington. \"Amtrak is committed to working with our transportation colleagues around the country to integrate the many pieces of the travel network into a balanced, national system that meets the public\'s transportation needs.\"

The Port Authority, NJ Transit and Amtrak worked together to build the Newark International Airport Station and the one-mile extension of AirTrain Newark.

The $415 million project is a key part of the Port Authority’s $3.8 billion public-private partnership that is rebuilding Newark Airport.
More than seven million passengers a year already use AirTrain Newark, formerly known as the monorail, to travel between Newark Airport’s terminals and parking lots.

\"Public demand for AirTrain Newark is strong,\" said Port Authority Director of Aviation William R. DeCota. \"The aviation industry has already begun to recover from the events of recent weeks. The Port Authority is confident that AirTrain Newark will meet and exceed its ridership goals.\"

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