Panel Rejects LaGuardia AirTrain, Recommends Better Buses

The recommendations issued by a panel of experts concluded that bus improvements could serve travelers sooner and more cost-effectively than the proposed AirTrain rail line.

1 minute read

March 16, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

A report from a panel of experts on how to best improve public transit connectivity to New York’s LaGuardia Airport does not recommend the controversial—and stalledAirTrain plan, rendering it “effectively dead,” writes Eddie Small in Crain’s New York. The panel instead recommended improving the Q70 LaGuardia Link bus service and adding a nonstop shuttle from Astoria to the airport.

“Improvements to the Q70 bus line that they recommended included building a mile-long exclusive bus lane along the northbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Northern Boulevard and Astoria Boulevard and creating an area specifically for bus pickups and dropoffs by Terminal C. The new shuttle service at the end of the N/W line would feature dedicated bus lanes on 31st Street and 19th Avenue to minimize travel time.”

The report was requested by New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who said she accepts the findings and looks forward to their implementation. Although a subway line would be ideal, the panel noted that high costs and long timelines for subway extensions make bus service a faster, more cost-effective way to improve connectivity. Bus improvement costs are estimated at roughly $500 million, while light rail options were projected to cost as much as $6.2 billion.

Monday, March 13, 2023 in Crain's New York Business

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