Subway to LaGuardia? Port Authority to Consider the Option – NBC New York

May the subway be prolonged to LaGuardia Airport? It is an choice on the desk as the Port Authority kicks off a overview of higher choices for mass transit to the airport.

The company mentioned Tuesday it was appointing a blue-ribbon panel to think about a listing of choices for higher entry to the airport. “At a minimum,” it mentioned, the panel would think about:

  1. improved and expanded bus service, together with potential for devoted lanes
  2. ferry service
  3. one-system rides, together with subway extension choices
  4. elevated guideway choices together with mild rail from numerous LIRR and subway stops
  5. “other new and emerging technologies that can be pursued and implemented in the near-term”

The skilled panel will embrace former NYC transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Denver Worldwide Airport CEO and former CEO of Los Angeles Metro Philip Washington and Mike Brown, the former managing director of London’s Heathrow Airport.

The Port Authority mentioned the MTA would take part in the course of as effectively, and that the report can be accomplished “as expeditiously as possible.”

Tom Wright, president and CEO of the Regional Plan Affiliation, a New York-based assume tank, referred to as the formation of the panel “the right move at a critical time for our region.”

Final month, the company formally placed on maintain a $2 billion venture to construct a 1.5-mile elevated AirTrain close to CitiField to LaGuardia. The FAA had beforehand concluded that was the most suitable choice to deliver mass transit to the airport.

The AirTrain, introduced in 2015, had been a pet venture of former governor Andrew Cuomo, however his successor Gov. Kathy Hochul has been important of the concept. Critics mentioned the rail hyperlink would hurt the Queens neighborhoods it traverses and wouldn’t be appreciably quicker than driving, since it will contain taking a practice or subway from factors east or west after which switching to the rail hyperlink.

The lawsuit filed in September by Riverkeeper Inc. and group teams alleged the venture was pushed by means of too quick by Cuomo and the Port Authority and used arbitrary screening standards to exclude quite a few worthy alternate options to the rail hyperlink.

Earlier than deciding on the rail hyperlink as the most popular various, the Port Authority had reviewed dozens of choices. These ran the gamut from diverting air site visitors to different airports, to utilizing helicopters, ferries, expanded bus routes, an elevated busway or extending any of three present subway strains.

The problem of extending subways to the airport from factors in Queens — an choice talked about usually by critics of the rail hyperlink — was detailed in a report the Port Authority submitted to the FAA early final 12 months.

Subway strains might begin aboveground however would have to go underground, doubtlessly affecting main utilities, as they method the airport to keep away from coming too shut to a buffer zone round one in every of the airport’s runways. The price of extending any of the three subway strains was estimated at $2.5 billion to greater than $4 billion.

Mike Dulong, an lawyer for Riverkeeper Inc., mentioned if the new various chosen by the Port Authority is considerably completely different from the rail hyperlink, it’s going to require a brand new environmental approval course of. These can take 18 months or extra.

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