Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tdorante10
According to the authority, fares to and from JFK Airport are proposed to increase to $7.75 from the existing $5, effective Nov. 1, 2019
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently advanced to its Board of Commissioners a proposal that includes increases to the AirTrain fares at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, which have not changed since 2003 and 2005, respectively.
According to the authority, fares to and from the airport for both systems are proposed to increase to $7.75 from the existing $5, effective Nov. 1, 2019; and the proposal provides for an inflation adjustment mechanism going forward.
In announcing the increase, the PA noted that the fare for AirTrain JFK has remained at the same level since the system launched in 2003. Nearly 16 years later, the system has carried more than 100 million passengers and is the 10th busiest rail system in the country as measured by annual passenger volume. The fare for AirTrain Newark was last modified in 2005.
In addition to the AirTrain fare hike, the authority has submitted a proposal for the first inflation-based toll increases to the agency’s six bridges and tunnels since 2015 in line with the inflation-adjusted schedule mandated by the board in 2008 and reaffirmed in 2011. The automatic increases are triggered when the cumulative impact of inflation on existing toll rates reaches $1, as measured from the last increase. The cumulative impact of inflation since 2015 will reach this level in 2020, according to the PA, prompting an increase of the cash toll rate at all Port Authority crossings to $16 from $15, as of Jan. 5, 2020. The proposal also makes changes to three other aspects of the toll schedule: discounts for out-of-state E-ZPass accounts; the NY/NJ Staten Island bridges discount program; and the Carpool Discount program. In addition, the proposal addresses changes to PATH’s fare structure with the PATH base fare remaining at its current $2.75 for a single trip but reducing the discount for PATH multi-trip fares.
And an airport ground transportation access fee has been proposed by the authority to be charged to all for-hire vehicles and taxis, consistent with the practice at peer airports. The proposed fee at LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark would be based on the Los Angeles model of $4 per vehicle for app-based and other black car for-hire vehicles, both for picking up and dropping off passengers. As in the Los Angeles model, taxis would only be charged the access fee for picking up passengers.
The proposals will be the subject of a series of six public hearings held in multiple locations in New York and New Jersey during both the morning and evening hours. The only hearing in Queens is scheduled for July 30 at 7 p.m. at JFK Airport: South Service Road – Administration Building #14, 2nd Floor, Jamaica.
According to PA officials, the hearings will present an update of the agency’s levels of investment in the region’s infrastructure and the proposed changes in toll, fare, and fee structure.
“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,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.