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Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

From Academic Kids

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state agency (operated pursuant to an interstate compact) that runs most of the regional transportation infrastructure including the bridges, tunnels, airports and seaports within the New York-New Jersey Port District. This 1,500 mile² (3,900 km²) District is defined as a circle with a 25 mile (40 km) radius centered on the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Established on April 30, 1921 as the Port of New York Authority, the name of the agency and its form of operation were changed to their present form in 1972.

Airports operated by the Port Authority include JFK and LaGuardia both of which are located in the Borough of Queens in New York City, Newark Liberty International located jointly in the cities of Newark, New Jersey and Elizabeth, New Jersey and Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New Jersey. The Authority also operates the Downtown Manhattan Heliport.

Other facilities managed by the Port Authority include the Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge, which connect Manhattan and northern New Jersey; the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing (previously the Arthur Kill Bridges, currently the Staten Island Bridges); the Bayonne Bridge; the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station; the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system linking lower and midtown Manhattan with New Jersey; the AirTrain Newark system linking Newark International Airport with the Northeast Corridor rail line of NJ Transit and Amtrak; the AirTrain JFK system linking JFK with New York City and Long Island; the NY/NJ port; and a number of real estate projects including the World Trade Center site.

The Port Authority currently specializes in transportation, but it was founded to manage the Port of New York itself. Originally the port facilities were in New York and Brooklyn, but now virtually all the docks and wharves are in Newark and Elizabeth. The Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal was the first in the nation to containerize and is now the fifteenth busiest in the world. It moved over $ 100 billion in goods in 2003.

The Port Authority also operates its own police department which is responsible for providing safety and deterring criminal activity at Port Authority-owned and operated facilities.

Although the Port Authority does run a good portion of the transportation structures, some bridges, tunnels and other transportation facilities are operated independently of the Port Authority, including the Staten Island Ferry by the New York City Department of Transportation, bridges, tunnels, buses, subways and commuter rail by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and buses, commuter rail and light rail by New Jersey Transit.

Eighty-four Port Authority employees including Executive Director Neil D. Levin and 37 Port Authority police officers were killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The collapse of the World Trade Center deprived the Port Authority of its official base of operations. The Port Authority archives were also destroyed in the attacks. On November 24, 2003, the World Trade Center PATH station resumed operations.

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