JFK Airport’s AirTrain Progresses, Part of $19b Project

It is expected that 3 million passengers per day will travel through JFK.

Source : Wikimedia

June 24, 2024

Author : Patty Allen

With the summer holidays on and the weather looking up, Americans are travelling to exotic locations. But before you make it to your vacation, be prepared to beat the rush at the airport, especially if you are flying out of JFK.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that JFK can expect up to 3 million passengers in a day, an unprecedented number. But that is not all the worry that passengers have to think about when planning their trip. JFK is set for a $19 billion redevelopment project, the largest in the country. This can further add to traffic jams, delays, and traveller woes. 

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director, Rick Cotton has apologized saying, “When coming to JFK this summer leave extra time.” Passengers can expect an extra 15-30 minutes of delay if they are getting dropped or using cabs or Uber or Lyft to reach the airport. Lane closures and detours will happen due to the ongoing construction project. 

A similar situation happened at LaGuardia Airport when passengers had to walk across the highway to reach the airport

The project is set to be completed in 2030, with the addition of 33 new gates and one international terminal. Some of the gates are set to open in 2026, but until then, Port Authorities are urging people to use mass transit to commute to avoid the rush and missing their flights. 

Director Cotton has suggested foregoing the $8.50 per person AirTrain fare for the train going to the JFK Terminal from the hubs at Jamaica and Howard Beach. While suggesting the use of mass transit, Cotton argued that the AirTrain fare is far more reasonable for a family of four than Uber prices. 

The ride is already free for passengers boarding the train from Lefferts Boulevard Station. The new lot will allow customers to easily board the AirTrain, which runs frequently and has an eight-minute journey to the terminals.

Most AirTrain passengers board at either the Howard Beach station, which connects to the subway, or the Jamaica station, which connects to both the subway and the Long Island Rail Road.

Authorities are also planning on opening up the parking lots for free pick and drop-off, to ease the congestion near the terminal. 

“We continue to evaluate traffic conditions and to add a variety of new measures to mitigate the impact of any congestion resulting from construction and high passenger volumes,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton explained.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole commented on the situation, “Building a new JFK Airport with world-class terminals and a new and more efficient roadway network will cause some temporary inconveniences and heightened traffic for passengers this busy summer travel season.” He further stated, “While we will continue to do all we can to minimize the potential for airport traffic in the short term, we can assure you that in the end, a new JFK Airport will rise as one of the world’s great global gateways that will make today’s inconveniences seem like a distant memory.”

Category : Airports Railroads

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