Press Release Article


PORT AUTHORITY BOARD LAUNCHES ROBUST PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSED ADJUSTMENTS TO TOLLS, FARES AND FEES AND THE REASSESSMENT OF THE 2017-2026 CAPITAL PLAN

Date: Jun 27, 2019
Press Release Number: 111-2019

Six public hearings – including three in New York and three in New Jersey – scheduled during July

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today launched a robust public comment period – including three public hearings in New York and three in New Jersey in July – on the agency’s proposal for the first inflation-based toll increases to the agency’s six bridges and tunnels since 2015; changes to PATH’s fare structure; the first increases to AirTrain fares in 14 years; and a new airport ground transportation access fee. The hearings will also allow for public comment on the agency’s reassessment of its 2017-2026 $32.2 billion Capital Plan, which includes $4.8 billion in additional spending. Of the proposed $4.8 billion increase, approximately $4.5 billion or 94 percent of the increase, is projected to be funded by additional non-toll and non-fare revenues, including revenue increases from the following: terminal rents; airline cost recoveries; user fees; anticipated receipt of passenger facility charges; and Sandy recovery and airport improvement grants associated with certain projects.

During its monthly meeting, the Board was briefed on the two proposals, which if approved will allow the Port Authority to continue its unprecedented level of investment in improving and rebuilding the region’s legacy transportation infrastructure. The Board then set in place a robust public comment period – including six public hearings – that will run through September 13, 2019.

“Port Authority facilities are vital to the regional and national economy. Regional growth is driving record volumes across our facilities all while the agency is delivering on unprecedented levels of infrastructure investment,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We look forward to hearing from the public on the proposals announced today, which build on the work of previous boards and are necessary to maintain our commitment to transforming legacy assets into modern, world-class facilities capable of meeting 21st century expectations.”

“There’s no question that this region needs greater levels of transportation infrastructure investment and the funding to pay for it,” said Port Authority Vice Chairman Jeffrey Lynford. “This proposal will allow us to move ahead on a historic capital plan that transforms our facilities across the region. We strongly urge the public to submit comments at one of the six public hearings or through the agency’s website as the Port Authority will thoughtfully consider all the feedback it receives.”

“We recognize all toll, fare and fee increases are painful. Nobody wants to pay more. But building 21st century infrastructure requires funding – and we are committed to bringing all of our facilities in line with 21st century standards,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We sought to spread the increases across all our operations to avoid undue burdens. We are wholly committed to delivering improved facilities as we ask our customers to share in supporting the infrastructure investments the region so desperately needs and deserves.”

A broad range of infrastructure and civic leaders have expressed their support for the need to advance these proposals:

“The Port Authority has recently announced important amendments to its Capital Plan to build transit links to our airports, which will benefit both drivers and transit riders. RPA has long advocated for drop-off and pick-up charges to pay for these investments. We applaud the Port Authority for their proposal to join other major airports around the country in doing this,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of the Regional Plan Association. “While nobody ever wants to pay more, toll increases on our congested tunnels and bridges are necessary to generate investment in our infrastructure systems and maintain regional competitiveness.”

“The New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, with $1.8 trillion in economic output, is one of the largest regional economies in the world. To adequately service the employers and workers who generate this economic activity requires continuous investment in modernization and expansion of airports, rail and other transportation infrastructure,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “The business community fully backs the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s proposal to increase tolls and fares in order to fund the transportation projects outlined in the authority’s Capital Plan.”

“The capital investment plan of the PANYNJ is critical to the success of business in the region and the quality of life for residents,” said Jim Kirkos, President of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce. “If the NY/NJ metropolitan region is to remain an economic engine, our policy makers must prepare long-term plans that invest mightily in our future. We applaud the work the Port Authority is doing and are eager to advocate in any way we can.”

“The Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce, the largest chamber of commerce in the New York-Northern New Jersey region, fully supports the ongoing efforts of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to modernize the infrastructure of the region,” said Jim Coyle, President of the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Modern and efficient infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy, and the infrastructure of the New York-New Jersey region has been shown by numerous studies to be in desperate need of upgrading to keep the millions of tons of goods flowing into the port moving. This sector is reliant on effective and modern infrastructure.”

“Business leaders are eager to see the improvements envisioned by the Port Authority because they are huge steps toward bringing our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century,” said Anthony Russo, President of CIANJ. “A modern and efficient transportation network is critical to the economic health and success of the region.”

“Now is the time to make a serious investment in our infrastructure. With population, employment, and tourism in New York City at a record high, we need to ensure that the transportation infrastructure we rely on is adequately funded. The Association for a Better New York supports providing New Yorkers, commuters, and visitors with the transportation upgrades they deserve,” said Steven Rubenstein, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York.

“The current vision put forth in the Capital Plan Update will ensure that that (the budget increase) will be the case – leaving the 20th century in the rearview mirror and embracing the infrastructure needs of a 21st century economy dependent on time-saving communication and convenient travel,” said Felice Farber, Senior Director of Policy and External Affairs for the General Contractors Association of NY. “By reviewing and updating the plan every two years, the Authority ensures that both the projects it contains – and the resources it requires – address rapidly emerging infrastructure needs that will keep the bi-state region nationally and globally competitive.”

“Newark Regional Business Partnership (NRBP) supports the Port Authority’s more robust capital plan that helps to ensure our region’s capacity to move people and goods in safe and efficient ways. Our bi-state transportation assets are critical elements of economic vitality and they require continuous expansion and modernization, said Chip Hallock, President & CEO of NRBP. “We acknowledge the financial impact of increases on businesses, commuters and travelers and expect the results of the enhanced investment to be cost effective and responsive to the greater Newark community’s needs.”

Highlights of the tolls, fares and fee adjustments are as follows:

  • At the bridges and tunnels (which include the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge), the cash/toll by mail rate for cars during all hours will increase by $1.00 from $15.00 to $16.00 at the beginning of 2020. The E-ZPass peak discount for cars will be reduced from $2.50 to $2.25; and the E-ZPass off-peak discount will be reduced from $4.50 to $4.25. The proposed toll schedule will take effect on January 5, 2020
  • On PATH, which has not seen a fare increase since 2014, the base fare will remain at $2.75. The discount for multi-trip purchases will be preserved but be reduced. The per-ride price for multi-trip purchases (10-trip, 20-trip or 40-trip options) will be adjusted to $2.50 on November 1, 2019 and $2.60 a year later
  • The fare for AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark, the first increases for either system in more than a decade, will rise from $5.00 and $5.50 to $7.75, effective November 1, 2019
  • A proposed $4.00 ground transportation access fee on for-hire vehicles and taxis in line with peer airports and the same fees as at Los Angeles International Airport

For additional detail on each of the toll, fare and fee proposals, click here.

Highlights of the reassessment of the Port Authority’s $32.2 billion 2017-2026 Capital Plan, which includes an additional $4.8 billion in spending, bringing the proposed total to $37 billion:

  • A brand new AirTrain Newark and additional dollars for AirTrain LGA, both projected to be funded by incremental project-related revenue
  • The addition of three new projects: the PATH Improvement Plan, electric vehicle infrastructure, and planning for a new Terminal Two at Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Adjustments to the Capital Plan regarding JFK Redevelopment and Newark Terminal One to take account of prior Board actions and funded by incremental project-related revenue

For additional detail on the proposed revisions to the Capital Plan, click here.

The Board is committed to thoroughly soliciting public input as it considers these proposed actions. To ensure the public has ample opportunity to share its views, six public hearings at multiple locations in New York and New Jersey during both the morning and evening hours have been scheduled as follows. Written comments on the proposed actions also may be submitted via the Port Authority website through the end of the public comment period on September 13.

DATELOCATIONADDRESS
Hearing #1July 16, 8:00 am4 WTC150 Greenwich St, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10007
Hearing #2July 17, 8:00 am2 Montgomery2 Montgomery St, 3rd Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302
Hearing #3July 18, 7:00 pmEWR Terminal One Redevelopment Outreach Office79 West Jersey St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Hearing #4July 22, 7:00 pm College of Staten Island2800 Victory Blvd, Williamson Theatre, Staten Island, NY 10314
Hearing #5July 29, 7:00 pmHilton Hasbrouck Heights650 Terrace Ave, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
Hearing #6July 30, 7:00 pmJFK AirportSouth Service Road - Administration Building #14, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY 11430


Contact:
The 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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