Date: Aug 11, 2011
Press Release Number: 82-2011
A series of Queens, NY business organizations have announced their support for the Port Authority toll and fare proposal that will invest in economic growth throughout the region and generate 167,000 jobs, $38.4 billion in sales. The statements below from the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Queens Economic Development Council, the Long Island City Partnership and the Jamaica Business Resource Center join a growing group of leading labor, economic, transportation and community groups who have come out in support of the plan. These groups include the Regional Planning Association, Association for a Better New York, the Partnership for New York City, The General Contractors Association and many others.
Executive Vice President of the Queens Chamber of Commerce Jack Friedman:
“The Queens Chamber of Commerce recognizes that The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, in order to fund vital infrastructure projects that generate jobs and economic activity, may have virtually no other choice but to consider imposing reasonable toll and fare increases. The financial well being of the Port Authority, operator of John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports, is especially important to the Borough of Queens. These airports together employ 42,000 people, support 328,000 total jobs in the region and generate $43 billion in annual economic activity.”
Executive Director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation Seth Bornstein:
“Queens County is home to JFK International and LaGuardia airports, which account for over 85,000 on-airport jobs and thousands more off-airport jobs. As such, a significant portion of the local workforce is affected by the aviation industry. Infrastructure investments in our airports and in the region create jobs – both temporary construction jobs, but more importantly, permanent jobs. For every one million additional passengers that the airports are able to serve, 4,100 permanent jobs are created. It is crucial that our airports be constantly upgraded so that we can accommodate travelers, our workforce and new technologies. If our airports and the rest of the Port Authority’s regional transportation infrastructure are not competitive, our economy will stagnate. In difficult economic times, public sector investments are catalysts to growth. It’s always difficult to impose increases, but we need to consider long-term growth and prosperity to ensure New York City maintains its place as a world-class city in every sector.”
Long Island City Partnership President Gayle Baron:
“In order for our region to remain economically competitive, it’s transportation infrastructure must be efficient, well maintained and continuously improved. An inadequate transport system can be seen as a constraining factor in economic development.
Trade is a critical factor in today’s economy. Over 14% of Long Island City’s businesses are industrial. These businesses access the region’s transportation network not only to move goods globally between countries using the area’s ports and airports, but as importantly to local outlets resulting in area job and income growth.
For 90 years the Port Authority has shown an unwavering commitment to providing outstanding transportation facilities and services. The costs of maintaining such a complex transportation infrastructure continue to escalate. Revenue must be generated and improvements implemented to ensure the region maintains its competitive edge.”
Jamaica Business Resource Center President Timothy Marshall:
“During these challenging economic times no one welcomes a fare and toll increase; however, as we understand it, these additional funds will be used to continue much needed capital and infrastructure investment projects. The importance to us is that these projects represent opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses to keep their businesses afloat while at the same time creating and retaining critically needed jobs in depressed communities. With the unemployment rate for African American and Latino communities at an all time high, we need every opportunity to create jobs. These minority and women-owned business are an important gateway to jobs.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman or Ron Marsico, 212 435-7777