Port Authority releases mass transit options as possible alternatives to LaGuardia AirTrain project

March 3, 2022

Rendering courtesy of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday released a set of alternative options to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.1 billion LaGuardia AirTrain project, a 1.5-mile elevated rail that would connect the airport with the subway system at Willets Point and link to the Long Island Rail Road. After Gov. Kathy Hochul halted the project last October and urged developers to look for alternate options, Port Authority has come up with 14 alternatives including two subway extensions, five light rail routes, five bus options, a ferry service, and options utilizing “emerging technologies.”

All images courtesy of the Port Authority of NY and NJ

The AirTrain project was halted after concerns over the review process and logistics of building the light rail. Opponents argued routes offered were inconvenient for its targeted riders and that the project’s construction would negatively affect property values in the surrounding Queens neighborhoods.

One of the subway extension options involves the creation of an elevated track that would connect the N and W trains from the 30th Avenue station in Astoria and run along the Grand Central Parkway to LaGuardia. Another similar choice involves the extension of the N and W trains up 31st Street in Astoria before turning right on 19th Avenue and heading towards the airport.

One of the bus route options would create a dedicated bus lane for the Q70 from Jackson Heights to LaGuardia, which would also connect to Hochul’s proposed Interborough Express railway. Another idea includes dedicated bus lanes that would run from the Astoria Boulevard, Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard, and Northern Boulevard subway stations to the airport.

Ferry options would create a route beginning in Pier 11 at Wall Street and make two stops along the East River at E 34th Street and E 90th Street before making its way to two proposed ferry stops at LaGuardia.

One light rail option includes the creation of an elevated line running from the 61st Street-Woodside station to LaGuardia. The original AirTrain proposal that would connect Willets Point to the airport remains on the table, with another light rail connecting to Jamaica Station.

Other hypothesized options involve the use of “emerging technologies,” which include narrow tunnels with electric vehicles, fixed guideway autonomous shuttle vehicles, and personal rapid transit vehicles like pods.

Two feedback sessions will take place at the LaGuardia Marriot Hotel in Elmhurst on March 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on March 24 at the Astoria World Manor from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, according to amNY.


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