Press Release Article


Date: Dec 13, 2018
Press Release Number: 193-2018

Operating Budget will allow for enhanced customer experience at agency facilities and provide best-in-class safety and security;

Proposed Capital Budget totals $3.7 billion

Following a month-long public comment period, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved the agency’s 2019 budget consisting of $3.3 billion for operating expenses and $3.7 billion for capital expenses. The budget continues the agency’s commitment to provide best-in-class safety and security at its facilities and to improve all the agency’s facilities to create a 21st Century customer experience including the use of new technology to greatly improve customer communications. In addition, the new budget undertakes significant state-of-good-repair work at its legacy facilities and continues to replace aging infrastructure that is past its useful life.

The 2019 $3.3 billion Operating Budget includes an inflation-based 2.2 percent increase of $70 million in core expenses over the 2018 budget. In addition, the budget provides special targeted incremental spending of $23 million required to address necessary safety and security initiatives and to accommodate passengers during upcoming weekend PATH shutdowns needed to complete Superstorm Sandy repairs. The targeted supplemental spending represents an incremental 0.7 percent increase in spending projected for 2019. It is expected that the 2019 rate of increase, where the expense budget edges above inflation with the inclusion of the targeted safety and Sandy spending, is a one-time event and that future increases will return to levels linked to the rate of inflation.

The 2019 $3.7 billion Capital Budget represents a $300 million increase over 2018. It allows the agency to continue multiple major projects to rebuild and replace the agency’s legacy facilities with state-of-the-art infrastructure and undertake a large set of projects to maintain assets in a state of good repair and improve resiliency in the post-Superstorm Sandy era. All spending is within the project levels set in the agency’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan.

“This budget was painstakingly crafted to be fiscally responsible yet still provide the high level of customer experience that the traveling public demands and expects,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “In addition to extensive investments in security, major facility upgrades and greatly enhanced customer communication, the budget also benefits the region as a whole with the billions we will invest in our infrastructure, which will create jobs and result in extensive economic benefits.”

“Millions of travelers use our airports, tunnels, bridges and PATH system each year, and we owe it to all of them to provide a first-class experience every time they are in one of our facilities,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford. “This budget is in line with our mission of investing in projects to rebuild legacy infrastructure and continue to strive to bring all our facilities up to global standards.”

Following are highlights of the 2019 Operating Budget adopted by the Board:

  • $773 million for safety and security initiatives, including a $45 million increase from the 2018 budget to fund development of updated Emergency Operations Plans for every facility; significantly upgraded cybersecurity efforts; expanded police staffing; enhanced Aviation security staffing in credentialing and compliance; and resources to establish 24/7 Airport Operations Centers at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports.
  • $52 million toward multiple customer experience initiatives, including improving airport customer service by deploying additional customer experience specialists; monitoring of TSA and taxi wait times to provide real-time updates to passengers; continuing the Quality of Commute program at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and other terminal improvements; through upgraded lighting and escalators, by expanding the use of customer service representatives, by upgrading information kiosks, and by other improvements; by installing countdown clocks at all PATH stations and providing cell service at underground PATH stations; and by expanding the use of digital and social media strategies across all facilities to provide reliable alerts and enhance customer engagement.
  • $53 million to deliver first-class operational excellence including, for example, initiatives to improve PATH operations; expand all-electronic tolling at the Outerbridge Crossing and Goethals Bridge; and improve airport operations during storm events. The funding also includes the continuation of efforts to implement an agency-wide Enterprise Asset Management Program to improve overall asset maintenance. Funding also is included to develop and pilot autonomous vehicle technology to increase the capacity of the Lincoln Tunnel Express Bus Lane. Finally, in the Port Department, funding is provided for strategic planning to address intermodal growth at port facilities.
  • $10 million in incremental funding to continue electrifying the airport bus and agency-wide vehicle fleets; the installation of on-site solar power at airports and other facilities; and upgrades at the World Trade Center to install high-efficiency, light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Funding also is included to advance an electric cargo-handling equipment demonstration project at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal and support efforts to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions across all Port Authority facilities.

Following are highlights of the 2019 Capital Budget:

  • $1.5 billion to continue the redevelopment of the region’s airports – LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International and John F. Kennedy International. At LaGuardia Airport, construction continues on an entirely new redeveloped airport. Planning and design work continues for the AirTrain LaGuardia project. At Newark Liberty International Airport, investment continues for the construction of the new state-of-the-art Terminal One. At John F. Kennedy International Airport, work continues to advance the planning for the airport’s redevelopment.
  • $541 million for upgrades trans-Hudson crossings, including continued construction of the Lincoln Tunnel Access program projects, completion of the Bayonne Bridge project, the ongoing work to replace the 592 steel suspender ropes on the George Washington Bridge and other components of the bridge’s rehabilitation program.
  • $249 million for winding down construction activities at the World Trade Center, including the West Vehicular Access project, supporting structures for the Performing Arts Center and improvements to One World Trade Center and World Trade Center retail space.
  • $112 million for PATH’s Signal System Replacement Program and the continuation of PATH station and equipment modernization programs, including Superstorm Sandy recovery work.
  • $89 million for construction and design activities at the seaport facilities, including work on ExpressRail Port Jersey, the Cross Harbor Freight Program environmental review and continued pavement work at the Howland Hook Marine Terminal.
  • $31 million for further planning and design activities for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal to advance this priority project through the formal environmental review process.
  • $17 million to continue to support the planning activities for the Gateway passenger rail tunnel project.

The proposed 2019 Budget also includes $1.5 billion for debt service charged to operations and deferred operating expenses.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

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

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