The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is taking steps to serve the nearly 5 million people who will travel by air, car or rail during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer travel season. The agency is taking proactive measures to ensure travelers have a safe and customer-friendly experience while using Port Authority facilities across the region.
Beginning Friday, May 27, through Tuesday, May 31, the agency expects more than 1.7 million passengers to use the Port Authority’s aviation facilities – a 3.8 percent increase from this time last year.
The Port Authority expects approximately 800,000 passengers to travel through John F. Kennedy International Airport this holiday weekend, approximately 489,400 to travel through Newark Liberty International Airport, an estimated 370,900 to travel through LaGuardia Airport, a projected 17,100 to travel through Atlantic City International Airport, and 3,800 to travel through Stewart International Airport.
To handle the increased volume of expected air travelers, the Port Authority will staff the airports with a contingent of 350 Customer Care Representatives to assist travelers throughout the holiday weekend. Travelers should check with their carriers on the status of their flight before going to the airport. In recent months, travelers have experienced long wait times at TSA checkpoints, and the federal agency this week announced plans to increase staffing to help reduce wait times during the summer travel season. However, travelers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights to get through the check in and screening processes given the forecasted increase in passengers. For additional information on how passengers can streamline their trip through screening checkpoints.
Bridges and Tunnels
The Port Authority projects that approximately 3.3 million travelers will use its bridges and tunnels during the holiday weekend. The agency will have a full complement of toll collectors on duty to expedite travel through the crossings. With passenger traffic expected to be heavier than normal, motorists are encouraged to allow extra time to reach their destination.
All construction on Port Authority bridges and tunnels, with the exception of emergency work, will be suspended for the holiday weekend. The Bayonne Bridge will remain opened from early Saturday morning through Tuesday morning.
Heavier than normal crowds are expected at the Port Authority Bus Terminal during the holiday getaway and passengers are urged to purchase their tickets in advance to avoid waiting in lines prior to their scheduled departure.
To ensure the safety of the traveling public, the Port Authority Police Department will conduct DWI checkpoint at its Hudson River crossings throughout the weekend to discourage people from drinking and driving.
The Port Authority projects that approximately 310,000 travelers will use its PATH rail system during the holiday weekend. PATH will operate additional trains as needed on Friday, May 27, to assist commuters leaving early for the holiday weekend. PATH will operate on a normal Saturday schedule on Saturday, May 28. In addition, there will be extra trains on Saturday on the Newark to Journal Square line from 5 p.m. through 11 p.m. to accommodate fans attending a Red Bull soccer game at Harrison. On Sunday, PATH will operate a normal Sunday schedule. On Monday, May 30, PATH will operate on a Saturday schedule.