The Q70 bus to LaGuardia Airport will now be free year-round

April 27, 2022

Photo by Tdorante10 on Wikimedia

While getting to LaGuardia Airport via mass transit won’t get easier any time soon, at least it won’t cost anything for some travelers. During a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Q70 bus, known as the LaGuardia Link, will be free year-round to travelers starting May 1.

The Q70 bus runs from the 74th Street-Broadway/ Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue subway station in Jackson Heights, home to the  E, F, M, R, and 7 lines, to Terminals B, C, and D at LaGuardia. The bus also has a connection to the Long Island Rail Road from the Woodside Station at 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

The bus, which runs 24/7 and has racks for luggage, has offered free service since 2016, but only on select weekends, holidays, and other peak travel times. The MTA and Port Authority will be working together to “maximize the effectiveness of the year-round program,” according to Hochul’s office.

The free fare announcement comes as transit officials continue to look at alternatives to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s AirTrain project, a proposed 1.5-mile elevated rail that would link LaGuardia with the subway at Willets Point.

After opponents of the project voiced concerns over the review process and the logistics behind building the light rail (and after Cuomo resigned after several scandals were brought to light), Hochul halted the project last October.

In March, the Port Authority unveiled 14 alternatives to the AirTrain, including two subway extensions, five light rail routes, five bus options, a ferry service, and options utilizing “emerging technologies.”

Hochul also said she read a column from the New York Daily News editorial board this week that called for the Q70 to be free and “thought that made a lot of sense.”

“The Q70 bus could be a good interim means to let people know this is a good way to get to the airport to the next station 10 minutes away,” Hochul said during an appearance at the MTA’s board meeting Wednesday. “When there are ideas out there that make sense to us, we’re not going to debate it and study it and think about it for a long time. I’m a person of action.”

Hochul added: “Starting May 1, the fares on the Q70 bus will be suspended while we’re going through our process of alternative means for the AirTrain.”

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