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Port Authority Bridge and Tunnel Traffic Approaches Pre-pandemic Volumes

Volumes at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s facilities began to see modest signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in June 2021.

Bridge and tunnel traffic has nearly reached pre-COVID volumes, while the seaport set another monthly cargo record with May 2021 being the highest single-month volume in the seaport’s history. However, airport and PATH volumes have only increased slightly compared to May 2021, and remain significantly below 2019 pre-COVID levels.

As Port Authority facilities experience higher volumes than in previous months as broad pandemic-related restrictions are lifted across the country, the agency still anticipates a negative impact on its revenues overall from closures and restrictions on movement beginning in 2020. The Port Authority continues to project a $3 billion loss covering the 24-month period from March 2020 through March 2022.

The latest facility operating volumes are below. The monthly data comparisons of 2021 to 2019 establish meaningful and consistent pre-COVID baselines for tracking activity trends at Port Authority facilities.


Passenger volumes at Port Authority airports for the week of June 14-20 were down approximately 44% compared to the pre-COVID June 2019 average.

Tunnels, Bridges, & Terminals (TB&T):

Overall vehicular traffic at the Port Authority’s four bridges and two tunnels for the week of June 14-20 was down 0.4% compared to the pre-COVID June 2019 weekly average.


PATH’s average weekly ridership for the week of June 14-20 was down by 62% compared to the pre-COVID June 2019 weekly average.


The seaport’s May 2021 cargo volumes increased 23.8 percent compared to pre-COVID May 2019 levels. In May 2021, the seaport moved 796,693 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

In addition to sharing the most recent week’s data, volume totals by category for the month of May are listed below.


Airports 5.7 million passengers

Down an estimated 54% compared to May 2019 pre-COVID volumes.

Tunnels, Bridges, & Terminals 10.2 million vehicles

Decrease of 4.7% compared to May 2019. Automobile traffic was down 3.7%, and truck traffic decreased 4% compared to May 2019.

PATH 2.1 million riders

Down 70% from May 2019.

Port 796,693 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units)

23.8% above May 2019 levels.

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