Port Authority unveils expert panel to review transit alternatives to LaGuardia AirTrain

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey assembled a panel of worldwide specialists to examine alternatives for the stalled $2.1 billion AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport, the bi-state company introduced Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The three transit gurus will seek the advice of the Port Authority in its ongoing “thorough review” of constructing mass transit choices to the airport aside from the controversial elevated rail mission, together with extending the subway or constructing out higher bus service.

The mind belief contains Janette Sadik-Khan, former New York Metropolis Division of Transportation commissioner from 2007-2013 beneath then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who now works as a principal on the former mayor’s philanthropic consulting arm Bloomberg Associates.

Sadik-Khan might be joined by Mike Brown, former Transport for London commissioner and former managing director at Heathrow Airport within the English capital, together with Philip Washington, the CEO of Denver Worldwide Airport who used to head up Los Angeles Metro.

The triad will analyze different connections to the Queens airport, resembling devoted bus lanes; a subway extension; new ferry service; mild rail from close by subway and commuter prepare stations; and “other new and emerging technologies,” in accordance to the Port Authority.

The state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority might be a “key participant” within the examine, particularly for subway and bus proposals.

9 civic organizations, transit advocates, environmentalists, and good authorities teams penned a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul prior to the announcement asking her to make MTA a “full partner” within the mission to higher handle straphangers’ pursuits.

“We are particularly concerned that re-examination by the Port Authority alone in the context of the current environmental impact statement may likely result in little change,” wrote the teams, together with Ditmars Boulevard Block Affiliation, Guardians of Flushing Bay, Reinvent Albany, Riders Alliance, and Riverkeeper, amongst others.

“The scope of the recent AirTrain project was tightly defined around specific Port Authority concerns such as relocating employee parking, but not explicitly designed to improve transit connectivity or create a higher transit share of overall travel to LaGuardia,” they added within the missive.

The Port Authority hit the brakes on the AirTrain final month after Hochul requested that officers to look into different transit choices.

The company’s govt director Rick Cotton had beforehand been all set to transfer ahead on the two.3-mile individuals mover between LaGuardia and the Mets-Willets Level stations on the subway’s 7 line and the Lengthy Island Rail Street, which secured federal approvals earlier this 12 months and was a pet mission pushed by disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Critics tried to derail the scheme as a result of it doesn’t provide a one-seat trip to Manhattan and begins out by taking passengers headed to the island the wrong way east, and known as for an extension of the N/W subway line or higher bus service as a substitute.

At October’s Port Authority Board of Commissioners assembly, Cotton introduced they might faucet “outside experts” for his or her review, however was tight-lipped about any additional particulars. 

The company stated Tuesday that officers will study standards for every mode of transport resembling building impacts, “customer experience” for riders, decreasing greenhouse gases and eradicating automobiles from roads, price, how lengthy it’ll take to construct. 

The Port Authority board is scheduled to meet once more for its month-to-month assembly this Thursday morning, Nov. 18.

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