Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani


Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday August 11, 1996

Good morning. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was established in 1921 to construct a rail freight tunnel under the Hudson River that would connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with New Jersey.

That project was never completed. And yet the Port Authority continued to grow and grow into a bloated, high-cost bureaucracy ... a bureaucracy that does a poor job managing New York City's transportation facilities. In fact, the Port Authority's main function today seems to be taking revenues from New York City, and diverting those revenues to subsidize New Jersey public transportation.

While Kennedy and LaGuardia airports have generated the greater share of Port Authority revenues, New Yorkers have been forced to stand by and watch as these two great airports have become outdated and fallen into disrepair. During the same period, the Port Authority has poured huge sums of money into Newark Airport, developing it into a state-of-the-art facility, with new terminals and even a monorail.

To add insult to injury, the rent that the Port Authority pays New York City for our airports has fallen from an annual payment that hovered around $80 million in the 1980s to a low of $3, $4 million in 1993.

My administration has taken The Port Authority to court in an effort to recover more than $400 million in back rent from Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. They have done everything to block that lawsuit because they don't want to pay New York City the fair rent that they owe the city for both airports.

And there is a serious problem also with the Port Authority security. They have failed to correct a long standing history of theft that has plagued particularly Kennedy Airport. The crime rates at Kennedy Airport have gone up dramatically while the crime rates in the rest of the city have gone down, and the New York City Police Department is excluded from any jurisdiction over Kennedy Airport. The Port Authority keeps them out.

And the Port Authority doesn't do any better with ground transportation. New York City's Port Authority bus terminal lost $63 million last year. In addition to mismanagement and overtime costs, the bulk of that loss can be directly attributed to New Jersey Transit which is given a sweetheart deal. Their commuter buses pay a fraction of market rates to use the terminal, costing the Port Authority $50 million a year.

There are many more examples of Port Authority mismanagement, including the fact that the cost for running PATH trains is 50% higher per passenger mile than the cost for the New York City Transit Authority. At the same time, PATH riders are charged 50% less than New Yorkers for public transportation.

The simple fact is that New York City does not need New Jersey as a partner in running Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport and the bus terminal. And New Jersey doesn't need us as a partner in running Newark Airport. We would both be better off if we extricated ourselves from the Port Authority and New York City ran Kennedy, LaGuardia and the bus terminal, and let New Jersey run their own facilities.

We need the political leaders in this state to stand up and say, "It's time we got out of the Port Authority," run our own facilities ourselves, and not have $200-250 million a year flowing from New York City to New Jersey to subsidize very, very sweet political arrangements for people in New Jersey.

It's a shame, it shouldn't continue any longer and we need the political leaders in this state to stand up and join me in trying to extricate us from the Port Authority. If that happens, among other things, the New York Police Department, the largest and the most effective police organization in the world can bring safety and security to Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, from which they are now excluded by the Port Authority.

Thank you very much. Have a very good day.

This is Rudy Giuliani from Gracie Mansion.

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