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Dr. Robert E. Paaswell
Dr. Yuko Nakanishi
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The airport access project addresses a longstanding problem affecting New York City travelers and residents, as well as out-of-town travelers. The project plans to link JFK International Airport to two transit terminals, Jamaica Station and Howard Beach Station. It is expected that over 34,000 passengers and employees will use the light rail system annually. The benefits of the project are expected to be increased airport accessibility, air quality, decreased traffic congestion, and enhanced economic activity and jobs during the construction phase as well as the operational phase of the project. The construction of the light rail system will cost approximately $1.2 billion; the current financing proposal would add another $0.28 billion. While Port Authority (PA) capital contribution is expected to be $0.3 billion, the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) contribution is expected to shoulder the bulk of the financing burden - $1 .2 billion. The PFC which is $3 per enplaned passenger is collected by the airlines for the PA. According to Federal law, PFC money must be used for projects directly related to the airports. This means that 1) the light rail system can only serve airport-bound passengers and 2) the project would use a substantial amount of the PFC funds over a 13-year period; these funds would then be unavailable for other high priority airport-related projects. The purpose of the project is to review and identify alternative funding/financing mechanisms for the airport access project.