Port Authority plans fare hike to $8 for AirTrains in 2022

AirTrain fares are slated to rise from $7.75 to $8 in January if the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 2022 monetary plan strikes ahead subsequent month.

The 25c improve to take the rail connector to JFK Airport or Newark Airport in New Jersey is meant to match inflation, in accordance the bi-state company’s govt director.

“The AirTrain increase is one that was built in pursuant to a board resolution in 2019,” stated Rick Cotton at a press convention following the panel’s month-to-month assembly Thursday, Nov. 18. “It was triggered just simply by the level of inflation, automatic increase, and that’s really the framework.”

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners agreed in 2019 to schedule fare will increase for the AirTrain and lift tolls for buses to cross its bridges and tunnels. 

Expenses will keep the identical for automobiles and vans to cross the company’s amenities and fares on its PATH commuter trains will stay regular as effectively, stated Chief Monetary Officer Elizabeth McCarthy whereas presenting the monetary plan to the board.

Car site visitors has returned to virtually pre-pandemic ranges on Port Authority crossings, nonetheless airport passengers are nonetheless at about half for 2021 and are forecast to 90% subsequent yr, in accordance to company forecasts. 

The deliberate AirTrain fare hike marks a 3.2% improve, far decrease than when the Authority elevated it from its unique $5 to its present $7.75 in 2019, up 55%.

Beneath the incoming regime, a traveler may have to shell out at the very least $10.75 to get from the terminal to Manhattan utilizing AirTrain and transferring to the subway, or $11.75 if they’ve to purchase a MetroCard.

A household of 4 may have to pay $47 simply to get to town, making it not far under the $52 flat fare yellow cabs cost from JFK to the Massive Apple.

One transit advocate stated the transfer will drive individuals towards hailing a trip, including to congestion, slightly than taking public transit.

“That just adds another barrier to people using public transit and could have the effect of further encouraging people to drive or take Uber to the airport, which is the exact opposite of what we want to do,” stated Liam Clean of the non-profit Tri-State Transportation Marketing campaign.

Clean stated the company ought to droop fare hikes just like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did till mid-2022 on the request of Governor Hochul and given still-recovering ridership, and as a substitute supply funds from will increase on charges for fore-hire automobiles.

“A better way to increase revenues is for-hire-vehicle fees instead of putting the burden on the people who are making the sustainable choice,” he stated.

The Port Authority introduced Monday they’re engaged on implementing a brand new faucet fare fee system on its PATH trains related to to MTA’s OMNY by 2024, however it’s unclear how that may work for the AirTrains, however Cotton stated they’re engaged on it with MTA.

“We’re looking at other alternatives, but there’s no question those interchanges [at airports] have to be upgraded and they need to move to the same kind of all-media capability that both OMNY and the new PATH system reflect,” he stated.

Whereas each OMNY and PATH’s readers will settle for fee from contactless financial institution playing cards and smartphones, Cotton wouldn’t commit to making the 2 techniques cross-compatible, though they’re each designed by agency Cubic Transportation Techniques.

Meaning MTA’s new OMNY playing cards might not work on the Port Authority’s readers and vice versa with PATH playing cards on town’s subways and buses.

“We’re going to have to look at that,” stated Cotton. “The expectation is the overwhelming majority of people are gonna use what’s most convenient, which is their phone or credit card.”

Clean, of Tri-State, stated the combo of fare playing cards at airports and costs will simply create confusion for riders.

“We want transit to be as seamless as possible otherwise people will just say forget it, let’s just take a taxi or drive,” he stated.

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