Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY TO HOST—TRANS-HUDSON TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT ON MAY 7

Date: Mar 19, 2015
Press Release Number: 38-2015

DayLong Forum is Initial Step toward Strategy for Expanding and Developing Regional Transportation Capacity over Next 50 Years

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and its regional partners, including Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New Jersey Transit, and the Regional Plan Association, will host a summit on May 7, 2015 focused on the regional challenge of increasing Trans-Hudson transportation capacity. To be held at the newly opened One World Trade Center, the day-long summit—entitled "A Vital Link: Expanding Transportation Capacity Across the Hudson"—will bring together leaders in the transportation community to discuss the current state of the infrastructure linking New York and New Jersey, alternatives for increasing capacity to meet future demand, and the numerous financial and regulatory hurdles to be faced in making these plans a reality.

The Summit proceedings—which will be available online for public viewing—will feature expert speakers and panel discussions, including public and private sector leaders in transportation policy, finance, and regulation.

In keeping with the recommendations of the Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority, which issued its report to Governors Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo in December 2014, the Port Authority views the Summit as the beginning of a focused dialog among the regional transportation agencies, federal, state and local government leaders, and the business community and commuting public to develop a strategic vision and concrete action plans to address the regions need for expanded Trans-Hudson transportation resources. The Summit participants will address a broad spectrum of ongoing transit initiatives, such as bolstering bus and tunnel capacity and redeveloping Penn and Moynihan stations. Summit participants will also discuss innovative infrastructure funding sources, financing techniques, and project delivery mechanisms, including public-private partnerships, tax-increment financing and other value-capture mechanisms, along with ways to improve the current regulatory provisions to reduce costs and fast-track infrastructure projects.

"The issue is simple yet daunting. Trans-Hudson commuter demand will increase by 50 percent over the next 25 years and infrastructure capacity does not currently exist to adequately serve our commuters and businesses, putting the economic well-being of New York and New Jersey at risk," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. “Meeting this challenge will take strong leadership, partnerships with sister agencies, federal, state and local governments and the private sector, along with innovative engineering and financing solutions. The Port Authority is uniquely positioned to help lead this effort and we are excited to host the first Trans-Hudson Transportation Summit, where key stakeholders and other experts can begin a focused dialog on meeting the region's transportation needs in the years ahead."

"The challenge of expanding transportation across the Hudson is a regional problem that deserves a regional solution," said Port Authority Vice-Chairman Scott Rechler. "If we are to remain competitive as a region, we must address the need for additional cross-Hudson transportation capacity. This conference is the first step in developing a holistic plan that integrates our region's transportation networks and provides for the kind of comprehensive solution that the public deserves."

Trans-Hudson travel is expected to increase significantly in the next 25 years, presenting considerable congestion challenges for access roads, bridges and tunnels and rail links between New York and New Jersey. Options for crossing the Hudson River have not kept pace with population growth. The last infrastructure project that increased transportation capacity across the Hudson was construction of the lower deck on the George Washington Bridge more than 50 years ago.

Congestion created by the limitations on Trans-Hudson access creates a ripple effect across the region, and stands as a major impediment to long-term economic growth. Alleviating congestion and spurring the economy ultimately hinges on the development of new Trans-Hudson transportation capacity.

"The transportation network is the lifeblood of the metropolitan region's economy, but the network has reached its capacity. Unless we make crucial investments in our infrastructure, delayed trains, crowded transit hubs and clogged roads will diminish the region's appeal as a place to live and do business," said Tom Wright, president of Regional Plan Association. This conversation will help us determine what steps we need to take to ensure that our transportation system can support the region's growth and vitality in the decades to come."

CONTACT:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency's network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.


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