The plan to completely revamp LaGuardia Airport is well underway. In 2015, Governor Cuomo announced a $4 billion plan to overhaul the 78-year-old airport, which Joe Biden famously compared to a third-world country in 2014. One big part of the renovations coming to LaGuardia is an AirTrain that will connect the airport to the 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road via Willets Point. The connection would be similar to the trains that connect riders to JFK via the subway, and will cost an estimated $1.5 billion.
The new train will take another five years to complete, but a major step was made in that process on Tuesday when Cuomo announced that the firm Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. has been selected to conduct preliminary engineering and planning work on the project. The company will run point on a three-station complex at Willets Point, up to two new Airtrain stations to be erected at renovated terminals and all of the fun logistics that come with installing a new rail service in the largest city in the country.
Cuomo's statement promises that the new AirTrian will "provide a guaranteed 30-minute ride to the airport from Midtown Manhattan’s two rail hubs, Grand Central and Penn Stations," which is a lofty promise that sounds too good to be true for any New Yorker who has endured a hellish commute to LaGuardia.
The airport has a long way to go before it becomes a place that the city can take pride in, but if and when an AirTrain keeps you from missing your flight, remember the name "Parsons Brinckerhoff."