While New York City’s economy is no doubt feeling the heat of the recession, a new report has emerged that PATH rail system ridership and traffic through the tolls on the six area bridges into the city have also taken a hit. PATH ridership declined 3.5 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared to the first six months of 2008. Traffic through the Port Authority’s six bridges and tunnels fell 3.1 percent. The Lincoln Tunnel has had the steepest decline, of 5 percent. This information was announced July 14 by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Consistent revenue coming in from leases and fees along with cutting costs have helped the Port Authority stay afloat financially, but this goes to show that not even New York City’s transportation systems and toll bridges are recession-proof.
Not only has New York City tourism been on the decline this summer with fewer visitors, but fewer commuters are coming in for work, with the loss of 107,800 jobs in New York City since August 2008. Layoffs throughout industries across the board have clearly caused a domino effect on the tourism industry. The unemployment rate is currently at 9 percent in New York, and the recent 65 percent rise in gas prices may be another reason why people are off the road this summer.
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