(NEW YORK, NY) — Port Authority’s proposal for the AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport has been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration, making the dream of a 30-minute ride from Midtown to LaGuardia Airport a closer reality. The development will undergo an environmental review, during which time, the agency will study the impact of building the train.
LaGuardia is the only airport serving the city without a rail connection, and with a forecasted growth in travelers, another route for airport-goers will help prevent an increase in traffic and congestion.
According to a study by Sam Schwartz Engineers, by 2045, the increase in traffic and congestion will result in a nearly two-hour commute from Midtown and the airport, and vice versa.
A Better Way To LGA, a coalition formed by over a dozen organizations, was created to help support the proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia. Members believe that the AirTrain is an essential development that will accommodate the increasing number of travelers. The coalition is co-chaired by the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Association for a Better New York, and the New York Building Congress.
“Queens businesses are forced to pay a hidden Grand Central Parkway tax due to constant traffic on the roads around LaGuardia, delaying deliveries and hurting workers. And it’s only getting worse each year,” said the CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, Tom Grech.
The current proposal has the AirTrain going from the airport to Willets Point. From there, commuters will be able to transfer to the Long Island Railroad or the 7 train.
The review process for the $1.5 billion AirTrain project should take around 12 to 18 months. If approved, the route will run on the northern edge of the Grand Central Parkway for the first 700 yards, then along the median of the parkway and the edge of the Citi Field parking lot.