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A light-rail system designed to allow mass transit access to New York's JFK International Airport. The project is proceeding in phases: first, a 1.8-mile loop connecting all terminals and parking lots in the airport; then, a 3-mile stretch to Jamaica station in Queens; lastly, a 3.3-mile extension to Howard Beach for easy subway access. All of this was completed on December 17, 2003. According to the Port Authority, travelers can now get from Penn Station to JFK in about 35 minutes. Work on additional infrastructure will continue into 2004 and possibly beyond. Among the future improvements: passengers will be able to check luggage at Jamaica station for flights departing from JFK.

Remarkably, AirTrain's $1.5-billion budget is being subsidized entirely by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and by the $3 surcharge assessed on plane tickets in and out of JFK. No taxpayer money is used to pay for it.

For more information, call 877-AIR-TRAIN or visit http://www.panynj.gov/airtrain/.

Thanks to sekicho for updates on the status of AirTrain.

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