I doubt most New Jerseyans would celebrate it, but April 30th marks the birthday of the Port Authority, as it was formed in 1921. According to the Port Authority’s website, it “builds, operates, and maintains critical transportation and trade assets.”

The Port Authority oversees bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports. The list of Port Authority projects is almost dizzying: Both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, the Goethals Bridge, the Outerbridge Crossing, the PATH trains, One World Trade Center in Manhattan, and all three “New York area” airports, including Newark Liberty Airport (it also runs some of the smaller airports, including the AC airport).

Of particular interest to travelers is that the Port Authority is responsible for the tolls on the bridges. The first assets the PA took control of, and still one of the most important, was the Port of New York/New Jersey, including the Port Newark-Elizabeth Port, one of the busiest in the world and the Port Jersey Marine Terminal in Jersey City and Bayonne. The PA has the ability to issue bonds for construction and maintenance and can raise tolls and fees to cover these costs. The Port Authority also has its own police force,. According to the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, there are 1800 uniformed officers.

The Port Authority itself is overseen jointly by the governors of New York and New Jersey.

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