Port Authority Releases Proposed $9.3B Budget for 2024

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released the agency’s proposed $9.3 billion 2024 budget, which consists of $3.9 billion in operating expenses, $3.6 billion in capital expenses, and $1.8 billion for debt service and deferred expenses.

The agency’s proposed $3.6 billion capital budget reflects a return to pre-COVID spending levels following several years of reduced spending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spending will support:

  • Advancement of the redevelopment of John F. Kennedy International Airport into a unified, world-class international gateway.
  • Continued planning and advancing of the new Midtown Bus Terminal, replacing the current outdated terminal with a modern transportation hub that can accommodate capacity increases and help ease city congestion.
  • Replacement of PATH’s current fare collection system with a modern “tap-and-go” system.
  • Development of a new AirTrain Newark system to replace the current outmoded system serving Newark Liberty International Airport, as well as advancement of the EWR Station access project that will expand rail and airport access for underserved Newark and Elizabeth communities.
  • Planning and preliminary work for a new express bus service for access to and from LaGuardia Airport, and improvements to MTA New York City Transit’s Q70 LaGuardia Link Select Bus Service.
  • Continuation of work on the $2 billion, 11-project Restoring the George program at the George Washington Bridge to rehabilitate, repair or replace nearly every component of the world’s busiest vehicular bridge.
  • Beginning of major work on the Port Street Corridor Improvement project at Port Newark to rebuild one of the facility’s main entrances and improve trucking operations that support the region’s robust supply chain.

Additionally, the proposed budget supports agency priorities centering on safety and security, customer service and operational excellence, innovation, and sustainability and resiliency.

Among other items, the funding will support:

  • The agency’s largest-ever allocation toward safety and security, totaling nearly $1 billion. The funding strengthens the agency’s cybersecurity posture while advancing new Port Authority Police Department initiatives in response to an evolving threat landscape.
  • Further steps toward the agency’s commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The budget includes $86 million toward net-zero initiatives in addition to over $220 million to expand resiliency and flood mitigation measures.
  • Driving innovation efforts, including $219 million for systems and technology supporting innovation. Additionally, $3 million will support the agency’s employee innovation hub, which explores new technologies that may be of high value to the agency.

“The overarching message from this budget proposal is clear: We are full steam ahead,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We’re moving forward on several major projects that are critical to the region, including redevelopment and modernization work at all three of our major airports, the PATH system, the Midtown Bus Terminal, and the busiest and largest container port on the East Coast. It’s gratifying that customers have already started to notice the fruits of our efforts at places like LaGuardia and Newark, and we’re just getting started.”

“This spending plan is both ambitious in its scope and responsible in its proposed spending,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We’re coming out of the pandemic more determined than ever to move people and goods safely, efficiently, and prudently while doing so at the highest standards possible. That includes our largest-ever security allocation to ensure the users of our region’s critical transportation hubs remain safe.”

The $3.9 billion proposed operating budget is focused on improving customers’ day-to-day experiences at agency facilities through diligent maintenance and customer service. Growth is driven by base budget inflationary escalations of $126 million, or 3.5 percent. An additional $66 million of special purpose spending is necessary for incremental costs associated with new or expanded facilities, required security investments, new PATH system state of good repair work, and operational investments.

Automatic inflation-based adjustments are scheduled for implementation at the bridges and tunnels on Jan. 7, 2024, and at AirTrain rail systems on March 3, 2024, as established by three resolutions of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners (2008, 2011, 2019). From September 2022 through September 2023, the consumer price index increased 3.7 percent, which triggered an annual automatic inflation-based bridge and tunnel toll adjustment of $0.63, as well as an AirTrain fare increase of $0.25. These incremental adjustments will result in Port Authority tolls similar to round trip tolls of other regional systems.

Fares at PATH remain at their current level. Discount bridge and tunnel toll and AirTrain fare plans will continue to remain in effect, along with the Port Authority’s Staten Island Bridges Plan.

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