NEWARK, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy today urged the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to replace the aging AirTrain system that connects Northeast Corridor passengers to Newark Liberty International Airport.
The AirTrain transports about 33,000 riders each day between Newark Liberty International Airport terminals, parking lots, rental car facilities and the Northeast Corridor Rail Link. More than 11 million people ride the AirTrain annually, the governor’s office said.
“The current AirTrain was built over 20 years ago, and the system simply cannot function as it should, all-too-often leaving passengers delayed and airport personnel unable to get to work on time,” said Murphy in a statement.
The system is apparently beyond capacity constraints. The declining AirTrain is also interfering with plans for future redevelopment at the airport, like the new $2.7 billion Terminal One project that will replace the 45-year-old Terminal A.
“With the development of the new Terminal One underway, we must continue to build infrastructure that can meet the world-class standards the new terminal will bring to Newark,” Murphy said. “That is why it is critical that the Port Authority leadership and Board of Commissioners act quickly to fund a replacement AirTrain that can meet the evolving needs of Newark Airport.”
New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said a modern, reliable air train that can better connect passengers on the Northeast Corridor to the airport will reduce traffic at one of the busiest airports in the world.
An estimated 43 million passengers use the airport every year, and Port Authority officials were receptive to Murphy’s call to update the AirTrain.
“Newark Liberty International Airport is one of New Jersey’s greatest economic engines and a gateway to the state and metropolitan region,’’ said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole in a statement. “The Port Authority is committed to ensuring the airport’s facilities are world-class to meet passengers’ 21st century needs and expectations.”
The Terminal One project at the airport, slated for completion in 2022, is expected to double the former terminal’s capacity.
“The Port Authority’s ongoing $2.7 billion effort to build a new Terminal One at Newark Liberty and ensure the highest level of customer service is part of the agency’s extensive initiatives to improve our airports dramatically to provide a world-class experience for travelers,’’ said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Our vision is clear: Our airports must rival any other in the world and be welcoming gateways to the New York New Jersey metropolitan area.”