2021/09 – Sustainable Transfer Surcharge (STS)

A $10 levy on enplaned passengers out of JFK, LGA and Stewart airports in 2018 would have generated $425 million for sustainable transportation.

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 1.04.18 PMImage ICF.

Dear Governor Hochul,

As you know, New York faces a grave deficit in funding the capital construction and operating budgets of its mass transit systems.  New York is also obligated to funds 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. Had this arrangement been in effect in 2018, it would have generated $425 million for reinvestment.

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

We ask that 60% 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 40% of STS proceeds be set aside for projects in communities disproportionally 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 the model.

We applaud your commitment to make climate change a priority and while 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