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Starting a free airport shuttle bus to LaGuardia is a no-brainer

Will Gleason

The Daily News came out in strong support today for the Riders Alliance-proposed free LaGuardia Shuttle Bus and it’s pretty easy to see why. It's a great idea.

The transportation advocacy group’s basic plan is to turn the current Q70 limited service bus route between the Roosevelt Ave/74th St Broadway subway station and LaGuardia into a rebranded “free shuttle.” 80% of the bus route’s riders currently transfer to the subway so don’t contribute any additional money to the MTA. 

The free shuttle would also be a lot easier to understand for those visiting the city. Navigating the bus stops at LaGuardia is incredibly confusing, and most visitors aren’t even aware that they can currently take a short bus ride to the subway—Let alone what "Q70" means.

When the Ride Alliance interviewed travelers at baggage claim, almost half said they’d consider taking public transit to and from the airport if there was a free shuttle. The Alliance argues that any revenue lost in fares from the route would be offset by increased ridership on the subway.

The MTA, which has a long tradition of not pursuing projects that could potentially become too popular, counters that if ridership were to grow on the route they’d have to add service, which would end up costing money.

Boston implemented a similar service to Logan Airport in 2012 and saw an 18% increase in public transport ridership.


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