The Port Authority released for public review and comment the agency’s proposed 2018 $3.2 billion Operating Budget for ongoing operations, maintenance and security at all agency facilities. The proposed $3.2 billion Operating Budget represents an increase of $61 million or 1.9 percent versus the 2017 budget, in line with the rate of inflation.
The Port Authority projects these expenses will be more than offset by increased revenues of $127 million or 2.5 percent versus the 2017 budget. This revenue increase is driven primarily from higher revenues from aviation facilities, as well as higher rental income at the World Trade Center and at port facilities. The Port Authority is projecting a surplus of revenues after operating expenses and debt service of $1.5 billion, an increase of $12 million or 0.8 percent over the 2017 budget, that together with bond proceeds and other sources will be available to support its significant Capital Budget.
The agency also posted for review a proposed 2018 $3.4 billion Capital Budget that includes significant state-of-good-repair work at its tunnels, bridges, airports and PATH system, while investing in major projects to replace aging facilities with modern, state-of-the-art infrastructure and provide for future growth. The 2018 Capital Budget aligns with the 10-year, 2017-2026 Capital Plan adopted by the Board of Commissioners in February and invests in critical regional transportation projects such as: the redevelopment of LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports; advancement of the LaGuardia AirTrain and John F. Kennedy International Airport Vision planning; and planning activities for the new Port Authority Bus Terminal and extension of the PATH system to Newark Liberty rail link station. In addition, the 2018 Capital Budget includes spending for the completion of the Goethals Bridge replacement and Bayonne Bridge projects; the “Restoring the George” rehabilitation of the George Washington Bridge; implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) system across PATH by the end of 2018; the construction of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility at Greenville Yards at the Port Jersey Marine Terminal; and support of the planning phase of the Gateway Passenger Rail Tunnel projects.
“This budget funds our operations and our key capital project priorities while maintaining fiscal discipline,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This proposed budget sets out a fiscally responsible plan that enables the Port Authority to maintain and operate a safe and secure transportation network while we make the critically imperative investments to upgrade and replace facilities that are far below global standards. The budget also significantly increases spending on security at all of our facilities, as well as on improving cyber security – both obviously necessary for the world we operate in today.”
Highlights of the proposed 2018 Operating Budget include:
- $726 million to ensure safety and security at Port Authority facilities, a $20 million increase over the 2017 budgeted amount – the largest single increase in the proposed 2018 budget. The budget includes the addition of new counterterrorism police posts at the airports, the addition of new PAPD supervisory officer positions, and the commencement of two PAPD police classes in 2018, totaling an estimated 270 new police officers.
- $1.6 billion to operate and maintain the agency’s infrastructure operations, reflecting a $17 million increase in operating costs across all facilities over the 2017 budget, and an $11 million increase in maintenance costs driven by additional facilities coming into operation in 2018 at the World Trade Center (facilities that will drive increased revenues in 2018 and future years.)
- $392 million for ongoing management services, a decrease of $9 million from 2017, as an offset to increases elsewhere.
- $396 million for payments to local municipalities and other landlords in return for the use of facilities or property, a $12 million increase over 2017 levels, resulting primarily from the increased occupancy and construction completion at the World Trade Center leading to higher payments-in-lieu-of-tax to New York City (offset by increased revenues in 2018 and future years from these facilities.)
The proposed 2018 Operating Budget also includes funding for a number of initiatives and projects that align with key priorities across the Port Authority’s businesses, including:
- Continued enhancement of security (covering both security at Port Authority facilities and cyber-security) and preparedness;
- Creating a customer service focus in the operations at all Port Authority facilities;
- Increasing investment in sustainability and environmental protection initiatives, and;
- Improving the Port Authority’s use of technology across the board – both to serve our customers better and to improve the efficiency of Port Authority operations.
Highlights of the proposed 2018 Capital Budget:
- $1.1 billion to redevelop the region’s airports and ready them for the future. At LaGuardia Airport, construction continues on the entirely new, redeveloped airport. Planning and design for the LaGuardia AirTrain continues. At Newark Liberty International Airport, investment continues for the redevelopment of Terminal A into the new state-of-the-art Terminal One. Planning and design for the extension of PATH to Newark Liberty rail link station continues. At JFK International Airport, planning continues to advance the Vision Plan of Governor Cuomo’s Airport Advisory Panel for the redevelopment of the airport, encompassing new and interconnected terminals, relocated state-of-the-art cargo facilities and a new roadway configuration for reduced congestion.
- $55 million for further planning and design activities for a new Port Authority Bus Terminal. Procurement is currently under way to select an environmental and architectural and engineering consultant so that environmental review activities can begin in 2018.
- $432 million for upgrades to Trans-Hudson crossings, including: further advancement of the Bayonne Bridge National Clearance Program construction; continued construction on the Goethals Bridge replacement; and the commencement of components of the George Washington Bridge suspender rope replacement program.
- $71 million for PATH’s Signal System Replacement Program, and the continuation of PATH station and equipment modernization programs. By the end of 2018, Positive Train Control (PTC) will be fully operational, in compliance with a federal mandate requiring PTC by the end of next year.
- $55 million for the ExpressRail intermodal container transfer facilities at Port Jersey.
- $17 million to support continued planning activities for the Gateway Program, consistent with the Port Authority’s commitment to pay debt service on $2.7 billion under its 10-year Capital Plan as part of the bi-state region’s commitment to this critical project.
The Port Authority is seeking public comment on the proposed 2018 Operating and Capital budgets, which are available online on the Port Authority’s website. To view the budget materials, click here.
The proposed budgets will be up for action at the Board of Commissioner’s December 7th meeting. Written comments can be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org through December 5, 2017. Comments can also be made at the Board of Commissioner’s December 7 meeting. The agency will submit written comments received to the commissioners prior to their meeting.