2003-12-19 / Community

AirTrain Access Through Howard Beach

Governor George E. Pataki was joined recently by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to dedicate the Port Authority’s state-of-the-art AirTrain JFK system at the AirTrain JFK Terminal at Jamaica, after riding the first train from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Jamaica with local officials and Port Authority executives and staff. Regular passenger service on AirTrain JFK began at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and the entire system was free to all passengers until 12:01 a.m. Thursday, December 18.

"More than 30,000 people a day are expected to use the AirTrain system at the start — this means fewer cars on the road, less traffic and less air pollution," Governor Pataki said. "The building of AirTrain also created thousands of construction jobs as well as more than 100 permanent jobs right here in Queens. We promised to get a rail connection to JFK built after nearly half a century. And today, on the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, we can say, ‘Promise made, promise kept.’  I congratulate all those who made this decades-long dream a reality."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "Last year, we welcomed 35.3 million
visitors to New York City including a record number of domestic visitors,
who generated $21 billion in economic activity.  Most of them arrived via JFK and LaGuardia airports.  The inauguration of AirTrain JFK service ushers in a new era in the growth of New York City’s aviation industry.  It will ensure that travelers have the option of a quick, easy and affordable way to get to their New York City destinations and then back to the airport.  And it follows on the heels of the historic agreement we reached in October with the Port Authority, an agreement that put Kennedy and LaGuardia airports on the sound financial and administrative footing worthy of these vital entryways to the world’s greatest city.  AirTrain JFK is now a part of New York City’s future and I’m confident it will be the engine that helps drive the economic revitalization of Jamaica, Queens, New York City, and the entire metropolitan region."

U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, "Access to JFK Airport has long been an issue for travelers and employees.  AirTrain JFK solves this problem.  More importantly, it links the country’s premier international gateway with the nation’s largest commuter rail line - the Long Island Rail Road.  It can move people through southeast Queens and connect them to the world’s most important economic center, Manhattan, or with the scenic coastal lines of Long Island."

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said, "Our hope is that today’s inaugural AirTrain JFK ride - one of our borough’s transportation hubs marks the beginning of what will be a very popular way for thousands of travelers to get to Kennedy Airport without facing heavy traffic and long delays.  Clearly, our expectation is also that this train will also carry Jamaica towards a new resurgence in economic activity and growth."

AirTrain JFK will provide the same fast, reliable service to travelers and
employees at Kennedy Airport as its counterpart, AirTrain Newark, has
provided for more than two years at Newark Liberty International Airport."

Passengers on AirTrain JFK will continue to use the system, free of charge, to connect between the airline terminals, rental car facilities, hotel
shuttles, and on-airport parking.    Beginning Thursday, service connecting to the subway, Long Island Rail Road, local buses, and the street at the Jamaica and Howard Beach stations will cost $5 for a single trip.  Monthly passes offering unlimited trips will cost $40.


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