More than a dozen organizations have joined together to form A Better Way to LGA in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport (AirTrain LGA). Comprised of community members, economic development groups, transportation advocates, unionized labor, civic stakeholders, and local business leader, the coalition beleives that it is essential to create a viable transit alternative for LaGuardia Airport travelers and workers. The coalition is co-chaired by the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Association for a Better New York, and the New York Building Congress. The group emphasized in a press release announcing their launch that LaGuardia is the only major East Coast airport without a direct rail connection, despite the fact that LaGuardia Airport is currently undergoing an $8 billion complete renovation.
Via Governor Cuomo’s office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed legislation that jumpstarts the construction of the AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport by letting the state use eminent domain to secure land for the project. Passed by the state legislature last week, the bill permits the state to acquire parcels of land already owned by the City or MTA between Willets Point and the airport, allowing the train to run along Grand Central Parkway. LGA is the only major airport on the East Coast without a rail connection, with 86 percent of travelers using cars to access it.
“How can you not have a rail train to the city from a New York airport? I mean, it’s just incomprehensible, right?” Cuomo said at the bill signing event. According to the governor’s office, the train could bring passengers via the 7-train or LIRR trains between Midtown and the airport within 30 minutes.
Earlier this month, it was announced that work on Governor Cuomo’s $4 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport would begin this summer, and today NY1 reports that a groundbreaking ceremony for the new AirTrain (part of the overall modernization plan) is taking place this afternoon. It will span 1.5 miles along the Grand Central Parkway, connecting with the 7 train and Long Island Railroad at Willets Point. A 2015 estimate put its cost at $450 million.
Commuting in and around NYC can at times be a daunting task, and with the all of the pending subway closures, things are about to get a bit more complicated. However, all hope is not lost, and a trouble-free ride to work right be in the near future. From a city-wide ferry system to cell-phone friendly subway cars, both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have several new initiatives in play to improve the city’s infrastructure. In addition to these ambitious government-backed measures, there are also a slew of motivated residents looking to make some changes, including a 32-Mile Greenway in Brooklyn and Queens and a High Line-esque bridge spanning the Hudson River, just to name a few. To keep your spirits high when subway lines are down, we’ve put together this list of top 10 transportation proposals for NYC.
For those of you still flying high over yesterday’s news that LaGuardia Airport would soon be getting a major revamp, here comes some unfortunate news that might bring you back down to earth. As Crain’s reports, Governor Cuomo appears to have grossly underestimated his vision for the upgraded air hub. “According to several sources with direct knowledge of the project,” the paper says, “a new LaGuardia could take more than 10 years to build and cost close to $8 billion”—a price that’s double the Cuomo administration estimates of $4 billion, with at least another five years tacked on to the schedule.
After much anticipation, Governor Cuomo unveiled his plan yesterday to overhaul LaGuardia Airport, which he called “un-New York” in its current state. The $4 billion project includes consolidating the four terminals into one hub and moving the entire facility south the length of two football fields, according to Crain’s. Additionally, Cuomo’s controversial AirTrain, which will connect travelers to the 7 line in Willet’s Point, will be put into effect, as will a 24-hour ferry service that will operate out of the landmarked Art Deco Marine Air Terminal. The development will be handled by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a new public-private partnership formed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who will oversee the construction, financing, and operation of the new terminal under a 35-year lease.
Get ready to have your bubble burst. As it turns out, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia would actually increase the time it takes to get to the airport, and for some areas, almost double travel time. The Transport Politic enlightened (and dispirited) hopefuls yesterday in an analysis that highlighted the fact that the new train would would deliver commuters to the 7 subway station at Willets Point, which is further away from Manhattan than the airport. In light of the findings, Anthony Weiner threw in his two cents this morning, penning an op-ed in the Daily News, saying “if we are going to solve this problem, we should do it right.” The former congressman also threw a proposal of his own into the ring.