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Port Authority Facility Volumes See Modest Uptick

Volumes at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s facilities began to see signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2021, reporting modest increases at the agency’s airports and bridges and tunnels, while PATH ridership remains down.

The seaport’s April cargo volumes remained strong at 18% above pre-COVID 2019 levels, setting a record for the ninth month in a row.

While Port Authority facilities are seeing upward volume trends as broad pandemic-related restrictions are lifted across the country, the agency still anticipates a negative impact on its revenues from the totality of closures and restrictions on movement throughout 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, as reported at a recent board meeting, 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.

Airports:

Passenger volumes at Port Authority airports for the week of May 17, 2021, to May 21, 2021, were down by 52% compared to the pre-COVID May 2019 weekday average.

Airport passenger volumes in May 2021 are now at or close to 50% of pre-COVID levels, having increased 10% since the previous board meeting on April 22, 2021.

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

Overall weekday vehicular traffic at the Port Authority’s four bridges and two tunnels for the week of May 17, 2021, to May 21, 2021, was down 5% compared to pre-COVID, May 2019 weekday vehicular traffic, marking the first time that overall traffic volume has exceeded 95% of pre-COVID volume.

PATH:

PATH’s average weekday ridership for the week of May 17, 2021, to May 21, 2021, was down by 72% compared to the pre-COVID, May 2019 weekday average. PATH’s average weekday ridership for that week was 81,777, the highest since the second week of March 2020.

Port:

The Port of New York and New Jersey’s April 2021 cargo volumes set a cargo activity record for the ninth month in a row at 18% above pre-COVID 2019 levels. In April 2021, the seaport moved 712,799 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

In addition to sharing the most recent week’s data, included below are volume totals for the month of April.

The total April result for airports and crossings showed signs of recovery, while PATH ridership remained down. The seaport continued to move record-setting cargo volumes.

APRIL 2021 VOLUMES DATA

Airports 4.4 million passengers

Down an estimated 63% compared to April 2019 pre-COVID volumes.

Tunnels, Bridges, & Terminals 9.4 Million vehicles

Decrease of 7% compared to April 2019. Automobile traffic was down 6.9%, and truck traffic increased 2.9% in April 2021 compared to April 2019.

PATH 1.9 million riders

Down 73% from April 2019

Port 712,799 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units)

18% above pre-COVID 2019 levels

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