Press Release Article


Date: Jun 30, 2005
Press Release Number: 78-2005

The Port Authority will partner with the region’s two largest mass transit agencies to establish guidelines that will ultimately permit transit riders to use one fare card on all of the region’s systems.

The Port Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and NJ Transit intend to sign a memorandum of understanding this summer under which the agencies will work cooperatively on the standards for smart cards, payment mechanics and potential revenue opportunities from use of the cards.

Smart cards are plastic cards, the size of credit cards, that contain a microchip and are designed to be accepted on subway, bus and rail lines throughout the region. They will provide a seamless, common system for collecting fares so riders can transfer from one system to another.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Our goal is to bring together all of our transit agencies to develop a regional smart card program that would ultimately provide thousands of people with a more convenient way to travel. This is part of our 10-year strategic vision for the Port Authority and the region that will greatly improve the quality of life for those who live and work here, and will enhance regional economic growth.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “A large number of the commuters who come to Manhattan on PATH each day also take the subway to travel to their jobs or to visit friends and relatives. The regional smart card program is an important step toward providing the public with an easy, hassle-free trip through the development of a single-fare payment medium. Our interagency agreement will advance this important regional transit initiative.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We are proud to be leading this regional effort. It will greatly improve the commute for those who travel by rail, bus or subway. We are working to install new PATH turnstiles that will accept New York City Transit MetroCards in addition to PATH QuickCards. By next year, our PATH system also will accept smart cards.”

The agencies will work jointly to develop fare payment pilot programs, evaluate the results and also develop a financial plan for implementing a regional smart card.

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; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; 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 Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the New York Container Terminal on Staten Island, the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-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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