Major Developments, Queens, Transportation

LaGuardia Airport’s first new gates and concourse are open

By Alexandra Alexa, Thu, November 29, 2018

Photo by Colin Dennison for LGA on Facebook

The first new gates in LaGuardia Airport‘s Terminal B will open this Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier today. The opening will inaugurate the first of two concourses and 11 of the 35 total gates that will service Air Canada, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. This is the first phase of Cuomo’s larger $8 billion overhaul to create “a whole new LaGuardia.” The new concourse will feature retail space, a “food hall,” complete with local mini-chains like Shake Shack, Irving Farm coffee, and La Chula taqueria, as well as an indoor park (a design feature Cuomo is also implementing at JFK).

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Policy, Transportation

Gateway Tunnel, Hudson River, Andrew Cuomo

Via Gov. Cuomo’s office on Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called his meeting with President Donald Trump “productive,” despite not reaching an agreement about the funding of a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. The two Queens natives met for lunch at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the Gateway project, a plan to fix an existing train tunnel and build a new one, construct two new bridges, and expand Penn Station, estimated to cost $30 billion. “I think it’s fair to say the president was receptive to what we were talking about,” Cuomo said. But there is no timeline for the project, as the governor noted. “So we are nowhere right now,” Cuomo told reporters. “There is no clock ticking because there is no clock.”

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Policy, Transportation

Gateway Tunnel, Hudson River, Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo touring the tunnel in October; photo via governor’s office on Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss funding for the Gateway Tunnel Project, a plan which would fix an existing rail tunnel and build a new one under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City. In October, Cuomo sent the president a video of the severely damaged, century-old tunnel and called on the Trump administration to fund their share of the project, which is estimated to cost $30 billion. “The Federal Government poses many challenges for the State of New York but one of the top priorities is to replace the Gateway tunnels,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These tunnels are Federally owned by the Amtrak Corporation and must be replaced.”

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Events, Midtown, Transportation

Via Flickr cc

Driving in Midtown is never advised, but really must be avoided this Wednesday. The 86th annual lighting ceremony of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree kicks off tomorrow, bringing with it more than 100,000 spirited visitors and blocks of street closures. The city’s Department of Transportation designated Wednesday a “Gridlock Alert Day” for the celebration, meaning drivers can expect travel throughout the area to take twice as long as usual.

Plan ahead


7 train, nyc subway, MTA

Photo via Tim Adams on Flickr

After seven years of installing modern signals on the 7 line, the system failed on the first day it went live. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday announced on Twitter that “modern signaling tech” went live on the entire line. Less than an hour later, the authority tweeted that 7 trains were delayed in both directions due to a “network communication problem.” Upgrading the line with the new system, called communications-based train control, originally was scheduled to finish by late 2016.

7-train problems continue

Policy, Transportation

Via Flickr cc

Under the state’s new congestion pricing measure, starting in January it will cost $5.80 to get into a yellow cab in the most congested sections of Manhattan. Approved by state lawmakers earlier this year, the surcharge on for-hire vehicles affects all rides between Lower Manhattan and 96th Street during the busiest times of the day. But drivers of yellow cabs worry the fee will affect them more than app-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which can mask the surcharge by tweaking trip costs (h/t WSJ).

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holidays, Transportation, weekend subway service

Photo via Flickr cc

Here’s what you need to know to get where you’re going by NYC public transit this Thanksgiving weekend. Special schedules apply for trains and buses from Wednesday, November 21, through Sunday, November 25 to get you over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house and back Thanksgiving weekend. The good news is that MTA is suspending bridge and tunnel maintenance for the holiday, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are providing extra service, off-peak fares apply, and there’s a free bus to La Guardia. Look below for more information.

Vintage trains are back, too


Via Flickr cc

The second phase of the Second Avenue Subway passed its environmental assessment, putting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority one step closer to bringing more subway service to East Harlem. The agency announced on Monday that with the Federal Transit Administration issuing the project a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” the MTA can now secure federal funding for phase two. In this phase, the Q line will extend from its terminus at 96th Street north to 125th Street, moving west to Lexington and Park Avenues, where the line will connect with the 4, 5, 6, and Metro-North trains.

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Policy, Transportation

nyc subway, subway, 34th street

Via Roman Kruglov on Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in July said it would face a budget gap of $634 million in 2022. Turns out, it will actually be much worse than that. The transit authority on Thursday rolled out its proposed 2019 budget and four-year financial plan, which now projects the budget deficit to climb to a staggering $991 million in four years. With this major budget crisis brewing, the MTA announced two new options for fare and toll increases in 2019 and possible service cuts, all while service deteriorates and ridership drops (h/t WSJ).

More on the fare hike here

Lower East Side, Transportation

Delancey Street via Wiki Commons

Mayor de Blasio has announced the opening of a new quarter-mile, two-way protected bike lane along Delancey Street on the Lower East Side. The stretch connects to the Williamsburg Bridge, the most traveled by cyclists of all the East River crossings, and is “expected to play a central role during the shutdown of L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan” when it begins on April 27th. Currently, 7,300 cyclists cross the Bridge each day, and the Mayor expects the new bike lanes to double or even triple that number.

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