NEW YORK (WABC) -- There will not be an AirTrain to LaGuardia, Gov. Kathy Hochul has decided - abandoning a project long championed by the former governor, with a cost that had gone from $450 million to $2.4 billion.
Instead, a panel of transportation experts is recommending increasing public bus service to LaGuardia Airport and then adding a shuttle bus between Queens subway stations and the airport.
Hochul ordered the project to be reviewed amid community opposition. She accepted the report's recommendation on Monday, officially ending the project.
She released the following statement:
"New Yorkers deserve world-class transportation to world-class airports. Shortly after taking office, I asked the Port Authority to thoroughly examine mass transit solutions for LaGuardia Airport that would reduce car traffic and increase connectivity, while meeting the demand of our customers. I am grateful to the expert panel, the technical consultants, and the Port Authority for providing a clear, cost-effective path forward with an emissions-free transit solution for customers. I accept the recommendations of this report, and I look forward to its immediate implementation by the Port Authority in close coordination with our partners at the MTA, in the City of New York and the federal government."
The MTA is pledging to work with Port Authority to provide new direct airport shuttle service and work on improvements to the Q70 service that the panel recommended.
"The MTA looks forward to continuing to work with the Port Authority as it rolls out its new direct airport shuttle service, improving connections to LaGuardia Airport. We also look forward to working cooperatively on the panel's recommendations regarding improvements to the Q70 bus service to LaGuardia from Woodside and Jackson Heights."
The new nonstop shuttle service would be between the airport and the last stop on the N/W subway line at the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd station. It would include the exclusive use of electric buses and dedicated bus lanes.
Improvements to the Q70 service would include:
-Transit signal priority on Roosevelt Ave and Broadway to minimize travel time.
-A mile-long exclusive bus lane built on the shoulder of the northbound Brooklyn-Queens Expressway between Northern Blvd and Astoria Blvd, subject to federal, state and local approvals, to increase service reliability between Jackson Heights and LaGuardia Airport.
-Frequency improvements, as needed, in response to increased demand.
-A new, specially-designated bus pick-up and drop-off area near Terminal C with direct, exclusive road access to avoid congestion on the airport frontage.