NEW YORK CITY — Getting to Newark Airport could soon be far less of a schlep.
The Port Authority’s board voted Thursday to launch a study on long-awaited plans for direct train service from Lower Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport.
The plan would extend the World Trade Center-Newark PATH rail line, which currently ends at Newark Penn Station, all the way out to the Northeast Corridor’s Rail Link Station, where the AirTrain picks up passengers for the airport’s terminals and parking lots.
Today, the only way to get to the airport is via New Jersey Transit or the highway — which can take more than an hour, even at peak operating times.
"Extending PATH to Newark Liberty International Airport has been discussed for a generation," Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said in a statement.
“We are now moving this process forward quickly to bring together our PATH system, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Lower Manhattan. It is a regional win for all."
In addition to studying the cost and benefits of the extension, the study will also look at a potential timeframe and funding ideas. The authority estimates the plan could funnel more than $600 million into the economy, while slashing travel times to and from Lower Manhattan.
Also Thursday, the Port Authority board voted to approve a new $32 million animal facility catering to four-legged creatures at JFK airport.
Spanning more than 150,000 square feet, the new "ARK" facility will feature everything from kennels with animal daycare and grooming services, to quarantine areas, a veterinary hospital, lawn space for exercising, a rehabilitation center for horses and other large animals —
and even an aviary for critters who can fly without the help of a plane.
“While most of our airport passengers walk on two legs, this new center will serve the important travel needs of our four-legged and winged friends,” Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said.