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AirTrain LaGuardia

Rendering of AirTrain LaGuardia

AirTrain LaGuardia is a proposed 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) people mover system and elevated railway in New York City that would provide service to LaGuardia Airport in Queens. It would connect with the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road at Mets – Willets Point in a similar manner to AirTrain JFK.[1] It would be built and operated under contract to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the operator of the airport, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Contents

  • Context 1
  • History 2
  • Criticism 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Context

Currently LaGuardia has no rail service. The only public transportation is by bus via the Q47, Q48, Q70, Q72, M60 SBS routes, which connect to the subway and LIRR in Queens, except for the M60 SBS, which goes to Harlem and Morningside Heights. In 2014, 8% of LaGuardia's 27 million passengers took the bus, compared to the 12% of the 53 million passengers using John F. Kennedy International Airport who took Airtrain JFK.[2]

The New York metropolitan area's other two major airports have rail connections; AirTrain Newark opened in 2000, and AirTrain JFK opened in 2003.

History

A rail link to LaGuardia Airport had been proposed since 1943, when the city Board of Transportation proposed an extension of the New York City Subway's BMT Astoria Line (currently served by the N Q trains) from its terminus at Ditmars Boulevard.[3][4] The need for a rail connection to LaGuardia continued to be a discussion point since at least the mid-1990s. In 2003, $645 million was budgeted to extend the Astoria Line to the airport, but the extension was never built due to community opposition in Queens.[5]

On January 20, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to build a people mover, similar to AirTrain JFK. It would follow the Grand Central Parkway for one and a half miles, similar to how the AirTrain JFK runs along the median of the Van Wyck Expressway between Jamaica and JFK. The line would terminate in Willets Point near Citi Field and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, and would connect there with the New York City Subway's 7 <7> trains at the Mets – Willets Point station and, via an existing passenger bridge, with the Long Island Rail Road's Mets – Willets Point station.[6][7]The governor's office estimated the cost for the project would be $450 million.[8]

Criticism

The proposal, which would cost $450 million, has been strongly criticized by transit advocates as being slower than existing transit modes and likely to increase loads on the 7 <7> trains, already operating at full capacity. This will be alleviated somewhat when the IRT Flushing Line is automated.[9][10] However, according to one critic, even with a capacity increase, the new route might not be worth the trip due to its distance from most of the rest of the city, as "transit travel times from LaGuardia to destinations throughout New York City – from Grand Central in Midtown Manhattan to Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn to Jamaica in central Queens to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx – would be longer for passengers using the AirTrain than for passengers using existing transit services already offered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority."[11] In addition, the proposed AirTrain transfer at Willets Point would be 20 stations away from the 34th Street – Hudson Yards station, the new western terminus of the 7 <7> trains.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Durkin, Erin (January 20, 2015). "Andrew Cuomo Announces $450M Plan to Build AirTrain Connecting LaGuardia Airport to the Subway".  
  2. ^ Long Island News & PRs (February 12, 2015). "Governor Cuomo Announces AirTrain JFK Reaches Record High Ridership in 2014". LongIsland.com. 
  3. ^ "Post-War Plans List 2 Subway Links for Boro".  
  4. ^ "Outlay of Billion for Transit Line Proposed for City".  
  5. ^ Robbins, Christopher (February 6, 2014). "Here's Why You Can't Get to Laguardia Airport by Train". Gothamist. 
  6. ^ Maps of proposed Airtrain LGA route at ny.gov
  7. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (January 20, 2015). "Cuomo Wants Elevated Train Link Built to Ill-Served La Guardia Airport".  
  8. ^ Honan, Katie. "Cuomo Announces AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport from Subway, LIRR". DNAinfo. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Harshbarger, Rebecca (July 30, 2015). "New AirTrain not worth the trip thanks to crowded 7 train: transit advocates". AM New York. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Rivoli, Dan (July 30, 2015). "Congestion on the chronically crowded 7 train a worry should it link up to LaGuardia Airport". New York Daily News. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Freemark, Yonah (January 21, 2015). "For LaGuardia, an AirTrain that will save almost no one any time". The Transport Politic. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 

External links

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office's rendering via Flickr
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