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AirTrain ridership hit 4.4M last year

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The train, which picks up passengers at stops located in Jamaica and Howard Beach, reached a new ridership benchmark last year with nearly 4.4 million paid passengers, according to the PA. The high level of ridership marked a 12 percent increase from the previous year, Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said. "Our AirTrain systems have played a critical role in accommodating that growth by providing a viable transportation option for travelers and airport employees while greatly easing congestion on roads at and near the airports," he said in a statement.The AirTrain system for Newark Liberty International Airport also showed good progress in 2007. The New Jersey service had a 13.5 percent increase in ridership with nearly 1.8 million passengers paying to travel to its terminals, according to the PA.Combined, both monorails served more than 20 million additional passengers who used the AirTrain to travel between terminals, parking lots, and other areas of the two airports in 2007. PA Executive Director Anthony Shorris said the AirTrain made flying more efficient not only for millions of passengers but also for the environment."By ferrying tens of millions of paid and free passengers aboard two rail systems for the better part of this decade, we've helped reduce emissions while providing a sustainable mass-transit option for airport access," he said in a statement.The JFK AirTrain was constructed in 2003 and opened in December of that year to provide passengers with an alternative means of traveling to and from the airport. The Newark AirTrain began operating two years earlier.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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