The LGA AirTrain aims to make the trip to the Queens airport much less laborious (and lessen traffic along the route), with an estimated 30-minute commute time from Midtown. The AirTrain will connect to the MTA subway and Long Island Rail Road to ease access to the Port Authority-run airport.
The LGA Airtrain project has been criticized for its indirect route—this isn't a simple trip from Times Square to Terminal B. Instead, the proposed route will start from the 7 line or LIRR train headed from Grand Central, or Penn Station, respectively, and stop at Mets-Willets Point, near Citi Field, in Flushing. From there, the AirTrain will take passengers to LGA. From the AirTrain, passenger walkways will connect to the LGA Central Hall, a parking garage, public transportation and ground transportation areas.
While Governor Cuomo has been working on the proposal for the "LaGuardia Express" for years, as of late, local elected officials and Queens residents aren't thrilled with the effects the AirTrain could have on the community and environment.
"This is a huge slap in the face by@NYGovCuomo to the residents of East Elmhurst," tweeted New York State Senator Jessica Ramos. "COVID has already taken a devastating toll on our neighbors. The last thing we need is a multi-billion dollar vanity project that will further affect the health & well-being of our communities."
"As we come out of the COVID crisis, our state and our country have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in a resilient, transformative, and interconnected future," Governor Cuomo shared in a statement.
As of 2021, LGA is the only East Coast airport not linked to an AirTrain. JFK and Newark airports both use AirTrains, which are run by Port Authority, and currently cost $7.75, on top of MTA fare, but payable by MetroCard.
Currently, proposals are being accepted for the design of the ambitious project, which is slated to begin in 2022, and to be completed in 2025.