Travels to LaGuardia Airport may become faster come next year.
The city and Metropolitan Transit Authority announced improvement plans earlier this month in an effort to provide faster, more reliable and more affordable public transportation routes to LaGuardia Airport.
“LaGuardia Airport is a transportation hub … that needs a better connection to the transit network and the region’s economy,” New York City Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a press release. “These routes will open the terminal doors to new neighborhoods and bring more reliable local service to people across three boroughs.”
Queens will offer a new route on Brooklyn-Queens expressway to shorten the ride to the airport. Those traveling from the Bronx will benefit from a Select Bus Service extension of the Bx41 line from Fordham Plaza across the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, which will significantly decrease the travel time to the airport, the press release said.
Currently, travelers from Manhattan can take the M60 to LaGuardia. But due to traffic and stop lights, the bus has often been clocked in at a speed of 2.7 miles per hour, according to a press release from the Office of the Mayor. The M60 bus line will begin using Select Bus Service to prevent buses from getting stuck at traffic lights. The service includes bus-only lanes, pay-before-boarding, streamlined stops and transit signal priority technology.
The plans will begin to take effect in 2013.
Gallatin sophomore Tanya Neufeld, who took public transport from LaGuardia airport last Wednesday, said she is thankful for the changes to come.
“It took over an hour, you needed exact change for the M60 from the airport to Harlem then you had to walk two blocks to take the train downtown,” Neufeld said. “The easier trip to the airport would be a godsend because LaGuardia is the nearest airport but getting there is so complicated that I usually end up taking a $30 cab [ride] instead. It would help me save money and time.”
Sharr Prohaska, a professor in the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, lauded the plan.
“Getting to the airports can be a challenge especially during rush hours and/or in bad weather,” Prohaska said. “Unfortunately, many visitors do not understand the obstacles and end up missing their flights. This is a great alternative, and I think many people will be very pleased to have the option.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 22 print edition. Lesley Greenberg is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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