Opposition to LaGuardia AirTrain Plan Emerges After Cuomo Resigns

A highly criticized project has new critics among staffers at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

August 11, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Coronavirus

Hans Pennink / Shutterstock

Clayton Guse reports: "Gov. Cuomo’s resignation led to an outcry among Port Authority staffers who want the agency’s top officials to halt his controversial proposal to build an AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport."

The opposition was voice in a letter sent to Port Authority executive director Rick Cotton shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation, effective in two weeks, on television yesterday. "Tuesday’s letter was penned by Port Authority staffers who, out of fear of retaliation, asked to remain anonymous until Cuomo’s resignation is finalized," according to Guse.

The letter states in no uncertain terms that the project, approved last month by federal officials, was a symptom of Cuomo's leadership style—not good planning.

"For too long, Gov. Cuomo and his staff have repeatedly pushed the agency to make non-transparent, politically motivated decisions, including decisions that squander the trust and money of our bondholders, customers, and the general public," reads the letter, according to Guse.

As a prescription, the letter recommends that the Port Authority Inspector General investigate "whether Cuomo exerted 'undue influence' that prompted agency officials to 'manipulate the federally-mandated Environmental Impact Statement process' to approve the LaGuardia AirTrain over proposed alternatives like a subway extension or dedicated bus lanes to the airport," according to Guse.

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