Friday, September 21, 2012

Port Authority Taking New Look At PATH To Newark Liberty Airport

A train (or subway) to the plane has been a catchy idea for decades in the New York City metro region. Only with the construction of the JFK AirTrain and a connector between the Northeast Corridor and the AirTrain at Newark Liberty airports is there any semblance of a mass transit option at those airports.

It isn't the easiest connection to make, and it would require someone in Manhattan to make multiple transfers to get to Newark Airport in particular.

That's why a direct PATH to Newark Liberty holds such allure.

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The Port Authority is proposing to extend PATH from Newark Penn Station to the AirTrain stop on the Northeast Corridor.
The bistate agency is launching a study to assess the possibility of extending the World Trade Center-Newark PATH rail line from Newark Penn Station to the existing Northeast Corridor Rail Link, allowing access to Newark Liberty's AirTrain for terminal access.

"Extending PATH to Newark Liberty International Airport has been discussed for a generation," said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni. "We are now moving this process forward quickly to bring together our PATH system, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Lower Manhattan. It is a regional win for all."
The project would generate more than $600 million in design and construction work while adding permanent jobs for the link's operation, according to a press release.
This would be an internally conducted feasibility study and it will likely find a need and reason to go ahead with the environmental studies and approvals necessary for construction.

The result of that project would not only add capacity to the airport, but it would mean a one-seat ride from Lower Manhattan to the airport's doorstep. It would significantly cut travel times and improve the competitiveness of Lower Manhattan office space to international businesses. Giving a quick and easy connection to the airport would benefit those businesses and improve rental opportunities at the World Trade Center and other downtown rental opportunities.

This jibes with yesterday's study results that indicate that the Port Authority generates most of its revenues from passengers at its area airports. It would also support the reason behind a proposal for the Port Authority to take over the Atlantic City airport operations. Generating revenues would help support other core missions for the agency although the Atlantic City airport isn't exactly tied to the agency's core mission within the New York City metro area. It would likely be used to generate revenues for other projects within the Port Authority's jurisdiction.

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