PANYNJ awards Doppelmayr contract for first phase of AirTrain Newark replacement

Dec. 15, 2023
The contract will task Doppelmayr with developing a modern 2.5-mile automated people mover system at Newark airport.

Newark Liberty International Airport could host a modern automated people mover system by 2029 that will meet increasing passenger demands and provide a modern customer experience. To help achieve this goal, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) awarded Doppelmayr the first phase contract for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new system. 

“By advancing the replacement of AirTrain Newark, we further build upon Newark Liberty’s transformation into the modern, world-class airport our region deserves,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “This project marks a massive win-win not only for the tens of thousands of passengers who utilize AirTrain Newark daily, but for our residents in adjacent communities as well. While the revamped AirTrain will improve efficiency and connectivity at Newark Liberty, the project will also promote workforce development opportunities and good-paying local jobs, including for minority- and women-owned businesses.”

Doppelmayr was selected after a review process, following a Request for Qualifications issued in December 2022 and a Request for Proposals issued in March 2023.

The contract includes $570 million for design and construction, with an estimated $385 million over 20 years, net present value, for operation and maintenance of the automated people mover system and its vehicles. Additionally, the first phase of procurement includes the furnishing, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of the system technology components, such as train control, electrical power, communications, propulsion and Maintenance and Control Facility (MCF) equipment.

Future project procurement phases will include contracts related to the system’s guideway and stations, maintenance and control facility, pedestrian connections and demolition of the existing system, among others.

PANYNJ says the contract continues its mandate to create equitable economic opportunities at its major capital projects. To this end, Doppelmayr has committed to making good-faith efforts to meet specific benchmarks around the hiring of minority-owned business enterprises, women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned business enterprises and locally owned business enterprises, with those from the cities of Newark and Elizabeth prioritized.

The firm is also required to develop a locally based workforce development program, with goals to hire program participants for future work on the new system’s construction and operation. Additional details regarding work and contracting opportunities are available on the EWR Redevelopment website.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.