Press Release Article


Date: Dec 03, 2010
Press Release Number: 87-2010

Calls for Third Consecutive Year of Zero Growth In Operating Expenses to Mitigate Impact of Economic Downturn; Reduces Headcount by 200 Positions To Lowest Levels in 40 Years

The Port Authority today released a preliminary $7.2 billion budget for 2011 that calls for a third consecutive year of zero growth in operating expenses and reduces headcount by 200 positions to the lowest level in 40 years.

In response to the economic downturn, which has reduced the Port Authority’s capital capacity, the agency also has taken other measures to control operating costs, including eliminating its helicopter program to save $5 million per year, reducing external consultants to save an additional $14 million per year and modifications of its non-revenue E-ZPass program to save $1.5 million per year.

The fiscal discipline on the operating side of the budget has allowed for $3.9 billion in capital spending – enough to continue the agency’s safety and security programs, to keep priority projects moving forward, and to maintain the agency’s facilities in a state of good repair.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “In these tough economic times, we must be diligent in how we spend the public’s money. That’s why we’ve developed a zero growth operating budget, and taken great care to identify capital projects in the region's best interests.”

Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “We continue to hold the line on operating expenses so we can meet our highest capital priorities. Unfortunately, given the severe economic downturn, we have had to make difficult choices to live within our means, which has meant prioritizing certain projects to move forward and deferring others until we have the capacity to pay for them.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “This is an austere budget that keeps operating expenses in check, while providing the resources we need to move forward with key transportation projects such as the upgrades to the PATH system and the redevelopment of Newark Liberty International Airport.”

In light of the historic economic recession, activity levels at all Port Authority facilities – aviation passenger volume, container movements, vehicle crossings and PATH ridership – began to drop dramatically in 2008 and further erode in 2009. Despite modest gains in 2010, activity levels remain significantly lower than projections made in January 2008 when the original capital plan was developed. To put this drop in perspective, in 2008 when the original capital plan was sized, the Port Authority projected that 132 million vehicles would use the bistate crossings by 2011. Now, the agency does not expect to reach that level until 2020.

The preliminary 2011 budget provides $2.5 billion in operating expenses, $3.9 billion in capital expenses, $701 million for debt service and $47 million for other expenses, which include purchases of snow equipment and other agency vehicles and major technology equipment.

View the preliminary 2011 budget

Major highlights of the Port Authority’s 2011 preliminary operating budget include:

  • Zero growth in operating expenses for the third consecutive year.
  • Reduced headcount by 200 to a total of 6,777 positions, the lowest level in 40 years and 12 percent reduction in non-police positions since 2004.
  • The elimination of the non-revenue component of the Port Authority’s E-ZPass program for Port Authority Commissioners, non-represented Port Authority employees and Port Authority retirees for their personal use, including personal use at Port Authority airports, with the exception of the use by those Port Authority employees continuously employed since September 11, 2001 for commutation until such time as the Port Authority headquarters are re-established at the World Trade Center site.
  • Committing $25 million to ongoing activities for the Clean Air Program at the port facilities.

Major highlights of the Port Authority 2011 preliminary capital budget include:

  • Continued development of the World Trade Center site ($1.9 billion).
  • New PATH rail cars and signal system ($247 million).
  • Port Jersey-Port Authority Marine Terminal redevelopment ($81 million).
  • Channel-deepening program for the Port of New York and New Jersey ($70 million).
  • Advancement of the JFK flight delay reduction program ($31 million).
  • Planning for the redevelopment of Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal A and the continued development of Terminal B ($46 million).
  • Development of the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport and Delta’s terminal redevelopment at John F. Kennedy International Airport ($39 million).
  • Stewart International Airport modernization ($17 million)
  • AirTrain overhaul at Newark Liberty International Airport ($14 million)
  • Planning efforts at the Bayonne Bridge at the Goethals Bridge Modernization Program ($16 million)

CONTACT: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

John P. Kelly 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 Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey 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. The Port Authority is self-sufficient and receives no tax revenues from either state.

Web Site Disclaimer    |    Privacy Statement
© 2001-CurrentYear The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. All Rights Reserved.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
(212) 435-7000  •  4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007