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There is still a chance to get the LaGuardia AirTrain right

“A new milestone in the LaGuardia AirTrain project was reached on March 15th when the FAA published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS); a Record of Decision is expected to be issued after 30 days. However, a revised FAA policy regarding exclusive use and rail access now allows existing mass-transit lines to directly connect to airports – effectively eliminating or reducing the need for transfers for passengers carrying luggage, and opening the door to vastly improving the LaGuardia AirTrain project.

“There is still a chance to get the LaGuardia AirTrain right. The FAA’s January rule-change allows the Port Authority to work with the MTA to provide a more convenient connection to LaGuardia with fewer or no transfers at all, for a one-seat ride for Manhattan-bound passengers. The current proposed connection to LIRR’s Mets-Willets Point station – a widely unpopular and unwieldy choice – would require passengers from Manhattan to travel further east just to back-track to LaGuardia while towing heavy and awkward luggage on the already heavily used 7 train. Instead, the Port Authority should work with the MTA to reconsider other alternatives that would provide a more convenient connection to the airport, including running the AirTrain to the LIRR Woodside Station, with its connections to multiple LIRR Branches, numerous bus lines and to the 7-subway line without requiring riders to back-track; or extending the N/W from Astoria, which would allow a true one-seat ride for many.

“Regardless of the connection that is chosen, it is imperative that the 7-line and the Mets-Willets Point LIRR station be made accessible as quickly as possible, perhaps in concert with the new Mets ownership. The need is more urgent than ever and shouldn’t be contingent on what AirTrain path is chosen.

“We strongly recommend revisiting this proposal to find a better connection that will more conveniently serve all riders wishing to connect to LaGuardia Airport.”