A Study of the Port of New York Authority

By Frederick L. Bird | Go to book overview

Chapter Seven
The FINANCIAL OPERATING RECORD

THE PORT AUTHORITY'S RECORD of financial operations on a large scale dates from 1932, the first full year in which the George Washington and Bayonne Bridges were in operation and the Holland Tunnel was fully under the Authority's control. While the two Arthur Kill bridges had been opened in 1928 they were relatively minor enterprises. Over the 16-year period 1932-1947, the annual income of the Authority has increased from $10.1 million to $28.8 million, the net revenue available for debt service from $8.1 million to $20.7 million, and the amount available for debt retirement and reserves from $3.6 million to $15.9 million.

These large gains have been due in part to increased use of the facilities in operation in 1932, and in part to the addition to those facilities of the Port Authority Building in 1934, the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in 1937, the Port Authority Grain Terminal in 1944, the north tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in 1945, and LaGuardia Airportin 1947.


The Long - Term Trend of Revenues and Expenditures

The 16 years from 1932 through 1947 provided an unusually thorough test of the Port Authority's earning power and financial stability. The period started inauspiciously with the two most acute years of the 1930's depression. Several years of irregular economic recovery followed, but by 1942 booming motor traffic had become a war casualty. It was not till 1946 and 1947, in fact, that the combination of completed crossing facilities, unrestricted gasoline supply, and general business prosperity permitted the Authority to demonstrate its real fiscal potentialities. The record shows, however, a relative stability of operations that was in contrast to the vicissitudes of the period, a consistently adequate earning power, and an ability on the part of the management to cope successfully with changing conditions.

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