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AirTrain JFK ridership is growing

Posted by Gold_12th on Tue Apr 9 11:30:11 2013

Ridership on the AirTrain that takes passengers to Kennedy Airport has grown nearly 30% since 2007, according to the Port Authority.

The light rail line carried 5.7 million passengers in 2012, up from 4.3 million six years ago.

Patrick Foye, the authority’s executive director, said JFK customers and employees have found the rail line a convenient way to get to the airport while avoiding traffic congestion on the highways.

“It’s heavily used by airport employees for getting to work and moving around the airport,” Foye said.

That includes Cynthia Smith, 26, of Long Island, a Transportation Security Administration employee who rides the Long Island Rail Road to Jamaica Station in Queens, where she switches to the AirTrain.

“It’s convenient,”she said while waiting for a train at Jamaica Station.

“You don't have to drive.”

The AirTrain costs $5 for a round trip from Jamaica.

Smith said the AirTrain is also economical, saving her on gasoline and $33 a day in parking fees if she were to drive to work.

The only downside of the AirTrain is when it’s not running because of maintenance,

Smith said. “There are a lot of issues with delays and maintenance on the track,” she said.

“You never know when it’s going to happen Sometimes, employees are late because of it.”

Foye said a heavily-traveled light rail system is going to need to be taken offline for maintenance, and superstorm Sandy caused service disruptions.

However, when service is down shuttle buses are provide to replace train service, he said.

While AirTrain usage is going up, statistics kept by the Port Authority show that the number of airport users who pay for parking at all of the authority’s airports has fallen about 20% between 2007 and 2012.

--- AMNY


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