Press Release Article


Date: Dec 17, 2003
Press Release Number: 167-2003

Travelers Using JFK Urged to Leave Cars at Home and Try the New AirTrain Service

The Port Authority is ready to handle a predicted 4.8-percent increase in air passengers during the 16-day Christmas/New Year holiday travel period. All three of the region’s major airports – John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia Airports – are gearing up to handle heavy traffic volumes. The agency’s bridges, tunnels, bus terminals and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit rail system are prepared to handle heavy passenger volumes. For the first time during a holiday period, passengers can use AirTrain JFK to travel between Kennedy Airport, Penn Station, and many other points, via easy Long Island Railroad and New York City subway connections.

“Our seasoned staff members work hard throughout the year to keep all of our facilities ready for heavy traffic times like these,” said Ernesto Butcher, the Port Authority’s Chief Operating Officer. “We will make sure that our customers are able to travel through our facilities safely, securely and as quickly as possible. Travelers can do their part by allowing extra time to reach their destinations and checking with their airline prior to leaving for the airport.”

Approximately 3.6 million holiday travelers are expected to use the three airports during the extended holiday travel period from Saturday, December 20, through Sunday, January 4 – an increase of 4.8 percent. During the holiday period last year, approximately 3.4 million travelers used the three airports.

“As we expected, the airline industry continues to rally following the events of September 11, 2001.” Mr. Butcher said.

“Once again we remind airport visitors that vehicles left unattended will be subject to immediate towing,” Mr. Butcher added. “We also ask passengers to consider leaving their cars at home and having someone drop them off at airport terminals, or using mass transit, taxis, limousines or AirTrain service to JFK and Newark Liberty International airports.”

Passengers can call 800 AIR-RIDE for up-to-date information on transportation options including the Port Authority’s AirTrain Newark – which connects Newark Liberty International Airport to NJ Transit and Amtrak rail service – and the new AirTrain JFK.

For current parking information at Newark Liberty International Airport, call 888 EWR-INFO and press 22, or tune radios to 530 AM when near the airport. Those planning to park at JFK can call 718 244-4444 or listen to 1630 AM for updates. For LaGuardia Airport parking information, call 718 533-3400 or tune into airport radio at 530 AM. Information on parking can also be found on the Port Authority website

AirTrain JFK began service on Wednesday, December 17. This state-of-the-art rail system provides fast, reliable and convenient transportation between passenger terminals at JFK Airport and rail terminals in Jamaica and Howard Beach. The $1.9 billion system also provides connections between airline terminals and to rental car lots and parking areas at the airport.

An estimated 10.5 million vehicles will use the Port Authority’s four bridges and two tunnels during this year’s travel period. More than 1.3 million travelers are expected to use the crossings on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – about the same as last year.

To ease congestion, the Port Authority will suspend construction and scheduled maintenance work at the George Washington Bridge, Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the Staten Island Bridges starting on Friday, December 19, until Monday, January 5.

The Port Authority Trans Hudson Rail system will operate normal weekday schedules on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. Additional trains will be deployed if needed to accommodate commuters who leave work early. On Christmas Day and New Years Day, PATH will operate on a holiday schedule. For detailed information about PATH’s schedule during the holidays and throughout the year, customers can call 800 234-PATH or visit the Port Authority website. PATH reminds New Year\'s Eve passengers that consuming food and beverages on the train is not permitted.

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 and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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