The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced that its commercial airports handled a record high number of travelers during the first quarter of 2023, soaring above 2019 volumes for the quarter. The agency’s bridges and tunnels also hit their highest first-quarter volumes since 2008, with volumes up by nearly 3 percent above levels during the first three months of pre-pandemic 2019. PATH’s first-quarter ridership also marked the first time in the post-COVID era that quarterly volumes reached 59 percent of pre-COVID volumes.
During the first quarter of 2023, the Port Authority’s commercial airports surpassed its previous record high for any first quarter as a total of 32 million passengers passed through John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia airports. That all-time record high reflected an increase of nearly 1 million passengers compared to the same period in 2019, when the previous record high was set. In particular, new first-quarter record highs were set at Newark and LaGuardia airports with 11.1 million and 7.2 million passengers, respectively, as travelers at both airports benefited from new world-class facilities. The previous first-quarter records were set in 2019 at 10.4 million Newark passengers and 6.7 million LaGuardia passengers.
Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals:
The Port Authority’s six crossings handled a total of 28.7 million eastbound vehicles during the first quarter of 2023, which was nearly 3 percent above the volume handled in the first quarter of 2019. The first-quarter volumes in 2023 also surpassed volumes handled during any first quarter dating back to the first three months of 2008, when 29.7 million eastbound vehicles used the crossings.
Truck traffic during the first three months of 2023 totaled 2 million, which was an increase of 15.2 percent compared to the first three months of 2019. First-quarter total automobile volume totaled 26.1 million, which was up 2.9 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019.
During the first quarter of 2023, ridership on the PATH commuter railroad rose to 11.3 million passengers, which was 59 percent of the ridership during the first quarter of pre-pandemic 2019. PATH’s quarterly ridership has steadily increased, with the second half of 2022 also hitting 54 percent and 57 percent of 2019 volumes.
In the month of March, the railroad served a total of 4.2 million passengers, which was the first time that total ridership climbed above 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels, hitting 61 percent of March 2019 levels.
Port of New York and New Jersey:
The U.S. East Coast’s largest container port was the nation’s second-busiest port during the first three months of 2023, when the port moved nearly 1.8 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), similar to the amount moved during the same period in 2019. The port’s continued strong volumes despite a national softening in cargo movement and its second-in-the-nation status during the first quarter of 2023 reflect the port’s ability to retain the business and cargo growth that shifted in the past few years due to supply chain issues elsewhere in the country.
In the month of March, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 574,452 TEUs, making it the nation’s third-busiest port.