Support Letter #2 – STS

Dear Governor Cuomo,

As you know New York faces a grave budget deficit—particularly in funding the capital construction and operating budget of its mass transit systems.  New York also must fund the transition towards zero-emission modes of travel.

To meet these challenges we propose a Sustainable Transportation Surcharge (STS)— a $10 levy on enplaned passengers out of John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Stewart (SWF) Airports, with the proceeds ring-fenced towards sustainable transportation.

Similar arrangements are detailed in a 2019 ICF study on aviation taxes’ role in offsetting the emissions of European carriers.

In 2018, the Port Authority collected $286 million in Passenger Facility Charges at $4.50 per enplaned passenger.  Removing Newark Airport (EWR) from the total, a $10 STS on fares out of JFK, LGA and SWF would have generated $425 million.

We ask that 80% of STS proceeds be disbursed by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority pursuant to its role implementing NYC’s Congestion Pricing.  

Candidates for funding include rail and station upgrades; purchase of hybrid buses; and the creation and expansion of bicycle-pedestrian capacity across arterial bridges, including the George Washington, Newburgh-Beacon, JFK/Triboro, Cross Bay and Henry Hudson.

We ask that 20% of STS proceeds be set aside for projects in communities impacted by Port Authority operations, including those near:

  • Kennedy, LaGuardia and Stewart Airports
  • George Washington, Bayonne, Goethals Bridges and Outerbridge Crossing
  • Holland and Lincoln Tunnels
  • Port Authority Bus Terminal and Pennsylvania Station

We further recommend that New York issue “green bonds” against the projected revenues to jump start funding. Transport for London’s $500 million green bond offering provides a ready model.

We applaud your leadership on climate change and in rebooting New York’s economy in the aftermath of COVID-19.  We respectfully ask that you consider the Sustainable Transportation Surcharge as one more tool to aid in that recovery.


Complete George, TBA

PANYNJ FacilitiesFacilities Map, Port Authority of NY-NJ.

Draft Legislation