The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today released the agency’s proposed $8.3 billion 2023 budget, which consists of $3.7 billion for operating expenses, $2.9 billion for annual capital spending, and $1.7 billion for debt service and deferred expenses. Following a $3 billion revenue loss during COVID, the proposed 2023 budget ensures that the bistate agency maintains its commitment to enhanced safety, security, cleanliness, and customer service while improving or rebuilding its legacy infrastructure to improve customer experience, accommodate the region’s future growth and invest in the economic development of the region.
The proposed 2023 budget would invest $2.9 billion in capital spending to modernize existing facilities or build new, state-of-the-art facilities, including:
- The ongoing transformation of the Port Authority’s three major airports into world-class transportation hubs.
- Planning to replace the Midtown Bus Terminal with a multi-facility terminal complex built to increase bus capacity and help ease city congestion.
- Implementing a new 21st-century fare collection system for PATH and AirTrain.
- Expanding capacity on the PATH commuter railroad.
- Essential state-of-good-repair work is critical to the upkeep of its legacy bridges and tunnels.
- The ongoing $2 billion Restoring the George program to rehabilitate or replace nearly every component of the world’s busiest vehicular crossing, the agency’s 90-year-old George Washington Bridge.
- In addition to the capital spending needed to rebuild the region’s aging infrastructure with 21st-century facilities, the 2023 budget would also:
- Fund the largest security budget in the agency’s history — nearly $1 billion — including funds to continue strengthening the agency’s cyber security posture.
- Provide nearly $2 billion for operations and maintenance of the agency’s assets as post-COVID volumes increase across facilities.
- Dedicate more than $17 million for new technology, customer experience, and employer-of-choice initiatives.
The budget also invests more than $55 million to advance the agency’s net-zero emissions future and climate resiliency goals.
“The proposed 2023 budget outlines the agency’s priorities for the following year and provides prudent guidance for the investments that we must make in order to operate at the highest standards and transform our legacy infrastructure into best-in-class facilities,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Despite the substantial financial hit that our agency took from the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect our facilities in various ways, we are laser-focused on building a future that benefits all users of our facilities and supports the entire region’s economy.”
“This budget continues our efforts to recover from the financial damage done by the pandemic when the volumes handled by Port Authority facilities were decimated,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Our proposed 2023 budget will provide funding for the highest spending on our security and cybersecurity agenda in the agency’s history and will also support capital spending to advance our $2 billion restoration at the George Washington Bridge, our Bus Terminal replacement project, our airport redevelopment projects, our PATH improvement, and new fare payment system initiatives, and our seaport dredging and other initiatives.”
The agency’s proposed 2023 core operating expense budget of $3.6 billion reflects an increase of $112 million, or 3.2 percent, compared to the 2022 core operating expense estimate. It funds increased staffing, security, and maintenance costs due to increasing volumes at Port Authority facilities while demonstrating the ongoing prudent management of the agency’s fiscal resources, from cost reduction measures the agency took at the pandemic’s onset to the actions it has taken over the past two years to manage costs responsibly.
Automatic inflation-based adjustments at the bridges, tunnels, and AirTrains are scheduled for implementation on Jan. 8, 2023, as established by three resolutions by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners (2008, 2011, 2019). From September 2020 through September 2022, the consumer price index (CPI) increase totaled 14 percent, which has triggered $1 increase in auto tolls at tunnels and bridges, as well as AirTrain fare increases of 25 cents. Fares at PATH remain at their current level. Discount plans will continue in effect.