Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Friday, November 01, 2013
By Reema Khrais
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it has increased its airport patrols as a precaution in the wake of the Los Angeles airport shooting.
Friday, October 19, 2012
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) - An analysis by the federal Department of Homeland Security shows that corrective action was taken for only 42% of the security breaches recorded at Newark Liberty International Airport between January 2010 and May 2011. That's the lowest grade of six major airports analyzed for the report, which blacked out the names of the other airports examined.
The breaches included a man gaining access to the "sterile," or most secure, area of a terminal, which shut down operations for six hours. In another incident, a dead dog was placed on a passenger plane without screening the cadaver for a bomb. Corrective actions after such incidents can include fines, reprimands, suspensions and firings of employees.
Newark Liberty International Airport is located 14 miles from Manhattan. About 33 million people traveled through it in 2010, making it one of the country’s busiest airports.
As with most U.S. airports, Newark's security screenings are conducted by staff with the federal Transportation Safety Administration. The report says most of the security breaches in which corrective action was not taken occurred in 2010, but goes on to add that security has been more aggressive: "Since 2010, Newark has improved efforts to correct security breach vulnerabilities."
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who commissioned the report, concurred. "TSA has taken meaningful steps to improve performance," he said in a statement.
But the report goes on to slam the federal agency for its lack of coordination. "TSA does not have an effective mechanism in place to consolidate information about all security breaches and therefore cannot use information collected to monitor trends or make general improvements to security," say the report's authors. "It does not have a complete understanding of breaches occurring at the Nation’s airports and misses opportunities to strengthen aviation security.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Bob Hennelly
(New York, NY -- WNYC) The day after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a consultant's report lauding the agency's newfound zeal for transparency and accountability, the public showed up at the agency's monthly Board of Commissioners meeting with a very different assessment.
It was a full house.
A contingent of 9/11 family members used the public comment period to urge the Commissioners to reject a Memorandum of Understanding entered into last week between the bi-state agency and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. The deal, reached a day before the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks, cleared the way for work to resume. Construction at the site had halted last year after a funding squabble.
Sally Regenhard, who lost her firefighter son on September 11th, took the Port Authority to task for not sufficiently involving the 9/11 families in the process. "Do not approve this MOU until we can have full public disclosure involving the 9/11 families as well as the community."
Richard Hughes of the Twin Towers Alliance told the panel it was being expedient with their deal with the Memorial and Museum that calls for passing ownership of the former site of the Twin Towers to the non-profit in exchange for adjacent land where the Deutsche Bank building once stood.
"You have eight acres of prime important downtown real estate -- a site that is sacred to all of us -- and you are giving it away or swapping it, but it is really giving it away, without public debate, behind closed doors," Hughes said.
Under the agency's public comment period protocol, Commissioners don't respond directly to the public. But speaking to reporters afterwards, officials defended the deal as breaking a lengthy impasse and insuring the project stays on budget while guaranteeing the site remains a memorial.
Of particular concern to family members at the hearing were the plans to place several thousand of the unidentified remains from the attack in the museum. Boosters of that plan say it will permit work to continue on identifying the remains. The 9/11 families want the surviving families to be polled.
The full board approved the MOU over their objections -- but after the vote, Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye reminded reporters the agency had lost 84 employees in the attack. He said he understood the families' concerns about the remains. "Given the grievous loss those family members experienced that is an issue that resonates with me," Foye said.
But it isn't only how the Port has handled Ground Zero that had members of the public fuming.
Casandra Dock came with residents of of the city of Newark. She chastised the Commissioners for not holding public meetings of the board west of the Hudson in New Jersey.
"I come before this board today -- since this is the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey -- to ask this board to have some of these board meetings over in Newark, New Jersey," Dock said.
In the board's brief public meeting it did move on some items without controversy. John F. Kennedy International Airport will host a animal handling facility that the Port Authority says will be the most comprehensive facility of its kind in the nation. The board also approved the deal with ARK Development LLC to convert a vacant building at JFK into what Foye says will be a state-of-the-art facility that will handle everything from household pets to horses.
"And this facility will provide animal daycare and kenneling services, more efficient animal transport services--a full service veterinary hospital. The facility is expected to serve approximately 70,000 wild and domestic animals a year,"Foye said.
The deal will net the agency more than $100 million dollars in rent over the next 20 years.
The Port also funded a study looking at the feasibility of taking over Atlantic City International Airport. It will also take a look at running its existing PATH train from where it currently ends -- in Newark Penn Station -- out to Newark Liberty Airport.
The latest board actions come as the agency grapples with how to fund some $44 billion dollars in upgrades it says the region's transportation infrastructure will need by 2020.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Flight delays could persist into the evening at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport after the control tower was evacuated for an hour due to a report of smoke in an elevator shaft.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
By Janet Babin : Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Air travelers in the New York area who want to improve their chances of leaving on time might want to fly out of LaGuardia. The airport posted big gains in on-time departure statistics over last year, while JFK International Airport only improved somewhat, and Newark International landed on the bottom.
LaGuardia ranks 6th among the nation's 29 major airports in on-time departures so far this year, according to statistics released today from the U.S. Department of Transportation. That compares to January - February 2011, when LaGuardia ranked a lowly 23rd in on-time departures.
JFK International Airport did see some improvement, but the change was not as dramatic as at LaGuardia. JFK ranked near the bottom of the list in on-time departures last year; so far this year the airport ranks 12th when compared to the nation’s 29 major airports.
Last year’s January blizzard in New York, along with record setting snowfall levels in the region last winter, may have been a factor in LaGuardia’s improved departure performance this year. But if weather were the only factor, similar gains would have likely been seen at JFK and Newark. And that was not the case.
And weather can’t account for Newark International Airport’s on-time departure record; it’s even worse than last year, despite the mild weather. The airport ranked last among the nation’s biggest airports so far this year for on-time departures. In January and February of 2011, it ranked 27th.
The data also ranks the on-time arrival rate of major airlines. Virgin America topped that list; it had the highest on-time arrival rate of the 15 airlines that file statistics with the Bureau of Transportation; while United Airlines had the lowest.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
By Annmarie Fertoli : Associate Producer at WNYC
The travel group Frommer’s has made a list of the world’s ten worst airport terminals, and terminals at all three area airports operated by the Port Authority are on it.
TN MOVING STORIES: Racial Profiling At Newark Liberty Airport -- Digital Displays Coming to More NYC Subway Cars
Friday, June 17, 2011
By Kate Hinds
Racial profiling apparently became common practice at Newark Airport, and now lawmakers want to know why. (Star-Ledger)
The NYC MTA says East Side Select Bus Service increased ridership by 30%. (DNA Info)
Budget woes and high gas prices are causing Illinois to cut back school bus service. (Chicago Tribune)
New York may bring automated station announcements and digital displays to 1,700 more subway cars. (New York Times)
Toyota says full vehicle production will return to North America in September -- faster than expected. (Bloomberg)
Women in Saudi Arabia are agitating for the right to drive. (The Takeaway)
A New York Daily News op-ed says that NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan killed a City Council plan to put livery cab stands in outer boroughs.
Parking a pickup truck overnight in Coral Gables, Florida -- even in a driveway -- could cost residents a $100 ticket. (USA Today)
Taxi data could be mined to solve public transit problems. (The Urbanophile)
Plans for a High Line-style park are moving ahead in Chicago. (Red Eye Chicago)
TN Moving Stories: LA Subway Possibilities Unveiled, and Atlanta Takes Baby Steps To Coordinate Regional Transit
Thursday, October 28, 2010
By Kate Hinds
Possible routes for LA's Westside subway extension to be unveiled today, along with details of light rail connector. (Los Angeles Times)
Vote "O" for potholes: seven Bay Area counties will vote on whether to add fees to vehicle registration to pay for road repair (San Jose Mercury News)
MBTA's "Charlie cards" will start working today on buses in Boston's western suburbs. (Boston Globe)
Body scanning machines debut at Newark Liberty International Airport today. (Star Ledger)
A "motley, uncomfortable alliance" of Metro Atlanta officials met to talk about regional transportation needs. The meeting was described as "uneasy." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The Takeaway unpacks the political motivation behind the Obama Administration's high speed rail grants.
New Jersey is moving to privatize toll collection on the Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
World Series tweet of the day: "The BART announcer keeps on teasing Texas. It's nice to see this city rally behind something besides an iPhone every now and then."