PANYNJ 10-year Capital Plan reassessment includes extra funds to rail access

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USA: The Port Authority New York New Jersey (PANYNJ) Board of Commissioners approved the biennial reassessment of the agency’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan, which includes an additional $4.8 billion for critical Port Authority projects. The major elements of the reassessment are:

  • A new AirTrain Newark and additional dollars for AirTrain LaGuardia, both projected to be funded by incremental project-related revenue
  • Addition of three new projects: PATH Improvement Plan; electric vehicle infrastructure; and planning for a new Newark Liberty Terminal Two
  • Adjustments to the Capital Plan regarding JFK Redevelopment and Newark Terminal One to take account of prior Board actions and funded by incremental project-related revenue

Of the $4.8 billion increase, approximately $4.5 billion, or 94% of the increase, is projected to be funded by additional project-related revenues, including revenue increases from the following: terminal rents; airline cost recoveries; user fees; anticipated receipt of passenger facility charges; Hurricane Sandy recovery; and airport improvement grants associated with certain projects.

“The Port Authority is committed to rapid progress on all our critical capital projects to deliver the 21st century transportation infrastructure that the region deserves. The $37 billion Capital Plan that the Board approved today is part of that commitment,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This Capital Plan funds major infrastructure projects like the new AirTrain Newark, the AirTrain LGA and redevelopment at JFK and Newark and makes good on sustainability commitments, such as new, clean electric vehicle charging stations, the PATH improvement plan, and planning for a brand-new Terminal 2 at Newark Airport. Both the original 2017-2026 Capital Plan and the modifications approved today provide for extraordinary and unprecedented levels of investment needed to replace and upgrade our facilities to meet the standards of 21st century infrastructure."

The increases to major projects are all projected to be funded through additional revenues associated with these projects.

  • New AirTrain Newark ($1.64 billion increase; $2.05 billion total): The reassessed Capital Plan provides for a new AirTrain Newark for $2.05 billion. This represents an entirely new project. The new AirTrain project replaces the planned spending of $300 million to keep the old AirTrain in a state of good repair. The increase is informed by previously authorized planning efforts and will be covered by: airline cost recoveries; rental car fees; future period PFCs; farebox revenue; and $110 million of reduced spending elsewhere in the Aviation Capital Plan. This major new commitment is in direct response to a request from Governor Murphy. The proposal targets a start to construction in late 2020 or early 2021.
  • JFK Redevelopment ($1.9 billion increase; $2.9 billion total): With respect to the already announced JFK Redevelopment Project, this change represents the technical Capital Plan provision catching up with the authorizations made by the Board in October 2018. Approximately $2.9 billion of the $13 billion JFK project will be spent on Port Authority infrastructure, e.g. roadways; airfield improvements; a ground transportation center; and utilities and electrical substations. The original 2017-2026 Capital Plan provided $1 billion for spending on PA infrastructure. This incremental cost of $1.9 billion is projected to be funded from private sector sources – rental revenue from private terminal developers and airline cost recoveries. The contribution from private capital remains at $12 billion of the $13 billion total cost of the redevelopment program, as reflected in the Board’s October 2018 approval.
  • AirTrain LGA ($390 million increase; $2.05 billion total): The reassessed Capital Plan provides for a $2.05 billion project to build an AirTrain to serve LaGuardia Airport. The current capital plan included $1.5 billion in spending for this project. The revised project cost is informed by the planning efforts and preliminary engineering analysis underway as a result of previously authorized spending by the Board. The increase to the Capital Plan is $390 million, net of $160 million of reduced spending on other Aviation projects. This increase is projected to be covered by multiple sources, including: farebox revenue; airline cost recoveries; and future period PFCs.
  • Newark Liberty Terminal One Redevelopment ($350 million increase; $2.7 billion total): In February 2018 the Board reauthorized this project because the total cost to complete the project increased by $350 million to $2.7 billion due to market conditions increasing construction costs. The additional funds required for this increase are projected to be fully provided by revenues from the new terminal.
    Funding New Projects

The reassessment provides funding for the Capital Plan for three key initiatives:

  • PATH Improvement Plan ($200 million): As announced in June, the PATH Improvement Plan includes three core elements: increased capacity on the Newark-WTC line by 40% and all other lines by 20% by 2022; a six-point plan to reduce system delays; and a series of actions to improve customer experience including full integration with the MTA’s new tap-and-go fare payment system, OMNY.
  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure ($50 million): As the first public transit agency in the country to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement, the Port Authority’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its facilities includes the aggressive introduction of all-electric vehicles. These funds will provide the electric charging infrastructure needed to support the electric vehicle initiative, including: 1) infrastructure needed for the conversion of airport shuttle buses to an all-electric fleet; 2) the conversion of 50% of the agency’s light vehicle fleet to electric; and 3) charging stations for public use at various parking facilities.
  • Planning for Newark Liberty Airport Terminal Two ($35 million): Just as Newark Terminal A is currently being replaced by the new Terminal One, the reassessed Capital Plan enables planning to replace the existing Terminal B with a new Terminal Two. This is the next step to increasing capacity, improving passenger experience, and moving Newark Liberty International Airport, consistent with all Port Authority airports, to world class standards.

For more detailed information on each of the 2017-2026 Capital Plan, click here.

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