Back to the drawing board for LaGuardia AirTrain

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Deni

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Article from NY Times, New York's new governor is putting the LGA AirTrain plans on hold and having a review done. Hopefully a better plan comes out of this because Cuomo's was terrible.

 

joelkfla

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Article from NY Times, New York's new governor is putting the LGA AirTrain plans on hold and having a review done. Hopefully a better plan comes out of this because Cuomo's was terrible.

That's good news and bad news.

Good news: maybe they will come up with something better.

Bad news: Does she have the political pull and chutzpah to see it through? Those were Cuomo's advantages.
 

Deni

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That's good news and bad news.

Good news: maybe they will come up with something better.

Bad news: Does she have the political pull and chutzpah to see it through? Those were Cuomo's advantages.
My guess would be probably not. But as much as I want a rail connection to LGA this seems like a huge waste of money for a plan that, in my opinion, doesn't improve access over the Q70-SBS and M60-SBS buses. My guess is it falls to the next gubernatorial term, and I don't think she'll be the one sitting in that office by then.
 

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They really need to revisit the idea of extending the Astoria Line to LGA, irrespective of whatever other scheme they want to think about.

A case can be made perhaps for extending the JFK Airtrain from Jamaica to LGA with a stop around Flushing Meadows interchanging with 7 and LIRR Port Washington Line, but that should be in addition to, not instead of the extension of N to LGA. Just IMHO of course.

It would also be kind of neat to take on the challenge of building a high level station on the Hell Gate Line right above the current Astoria terminal station of N with a transfer facility between MNRR and Subway there.
 

adamj023

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All that has to be done here is to build a ferry stop on the existing NYC Ferry system and build it by the Marine Terminal and connect it to a ferry station that has mass transit access, preferably by a rail and/or subway connection and add a short shuttle bus if necessary. Ferry system already has routes and boats so this can be integrated into the existing system for a limited cost. There was no reason to build a costly Air Train in the wrong direction which would NOT benefit the vast majority of travelers. The JFK Airtrain was an excellent project that was needed and one I have even used before as station is in the right location and benefits a much wider area. Not every airport is meant to be connected by rail or subway as bus and ferry are the options that make sense here. Most people using La Guardia are going to be using cars. The rest can come from bus and ferry and this is all it needs. There will be mass transit links to bus lines, subway and ferry and rail lines, just not all of them at the airport itself. Use tax savings for cancelling this plan and give it back to taxpayers.


East 90th street and/or East 34th street seem to be fine for connections to NYC Ferry to a new La Guardia airport ferry stop.
 
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joelkfla

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All that has to be done here is to build a ferry stop on the existing NYC Ferry system and build it by the Marine Terminal and connect it to a ferry station that has mass transit access, preferably by a rail and/or subway connection and add a short shuttle bus if necessary. Ferry system already has routes and boats so this can be integrated into the existing system for a limited cost. There was no reason to build a costly Air Train in the wrong direction which would NOT benefit the vast majority of travelers. The JFK Airtrain was an excellent project that was needed and one I have even used before as station is in the right location and benefits a much wider area. Not every airport is meant to be connected by rail or subway as bus and ferry are the options that make sense here. Most people using La Guardia are going to be using cars. The rest can come from bus and ferry and this is all it needs. There will be mass transit links to bus lines, subway and ferry and rail lines, just not all of them at the airport itself. Use tax savings for cancelling this plan and give it back to taxpayers.


East 90th street and/or East 34th street seem to be fine for connections to NYC Ferry to a new La Guardia airport ferry stop.
I like the idea of a ferry, if it can have adequate capacity. But buses just add to and get caught in congestion. And I think they have high labor costs per passenger mile, if you can even find enough drivers to hire.

I vote for a ferry with an Automated People Mover between it & the passenger terminal.
 

PVD

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The major problem with the ferry idea is that the majority of the ferry landings require you to transfer to a different means of transit when you get off. Operating costs of the ferries is very high.
 

adamj023

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NYC Ferry is operated by the city already. It has the boats, and ferry terminals already. There are no added operations costs more than any other route it already has. Just need to extend the existing shifts or add additional personnel and some negligible increase in boat fuel. You are only adding one ferry terminal and building out bulkhead, maybe some dredging work is possibly needed and maybe some bridge modifications or whatnot. The ferries aren’t an issue like container ships where the Bayonne bridge in NJ had to be increased more significantly in hight but even that project was doable. NYC Ferry charges same fare as a subway ride. As airports usually have higher fees for rail links they can increase the fee for the airport if they want or need to. Operational costs are already spread out by NYC Ferry for all their existing ferry lines and you are just adding one new ferry terminal. NYC Ferry’s footprint was built out over time. Most people transfer from existing airtrains to other forms of transit, as most people don’t live close enough to walk directly. Ferry’s themselves to add to the fleet are way less expensive than the air train project costs assuming they want to add to the existing ferry fleet.
 
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PVD

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NYC ferry is operated by contractors, not the city. Only the SI Ferry is city operated. They are heavily subsidized, it costs way more per ride than the fare.
 

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Not every airport is meant to be connected by rail or subway as bus and ferry are the options that make sense here.
The vast majority of US cities have no subway or other metro rail systems to connect with. Here we have a rare combination of a dense American city with a vast mix of passenger rail services and a very busy but underprovisioned airport and connecting them makes no sense? I've arrived at and departed from LaGuardia in weather that would make a clumsy combination of ferries and shuttle buses quite unpleasant so thanks but no thanks to that.
 
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adamj023

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NYC ferry is operated by contractors, not the city. Only the SI Ferry is city operated. They are heavily subsidized, it costs way more per ride than the fare.
The NYC Ferry is owned by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and is run by the contractor Hornblower. Mayor Bill De Blasio was heavily involved. He is also against the previous air train proposal and I think this would be a solution that would make sense.

The subsidies of the system are already in place and no additional significant subsidizes would be needed. The airtrain proposal was 2.1 Billion dollars. You could easily raise fare prices on the La Guardia ferry route and other routes in the system. Much cheaper cost to provide direct access to Manhattan and other parts including the Astoria Queens ferry stop and more.

i disagree with De Blasio on the subsidizes already in place but I would not dismantle the ferry system and I don’t believe it will be. Fares can be raised and routes adjusted but the link to La Guardia airport using the NYC ferry seems like the best option and is much better than a train or direct subway solution. Better transit links can be improved on the NYC ferry side in Manhattan for instance such as the second avenue subway project which runs close to some ferry terminals and a very small extension could be done specifically for the NYC Ferry terminal with pedestrian walkways underground to the 2nd avenue subway stations or other likeminded solutions. There are definitely solutions doable for a much lower cost using the existing NYC Ferry already in place.

Considering usage patterns of the NYC Ferry which was heavily utilized prepandemic, it seems more than likely this solution will be used by those looking to get to the airport and will avoid traffic jams as well. Woule transit times to get into Manhattan be quicker than going out of the way to willets point and using the LIRR Port Washington Line or overcrowded 7 Subway line?

Another ferry terminal may be needed and the only line that goes by close is the Hells Gate area where there are no rail stations. Manhattan does add some time to the ride. All are welcome to comment. Ferry solution is doable but also seems to have some barriers. Ferry seems somewhat better snd cheaper than rail based solutions if something can be worked out.

Closest space between Ferry and subway station seems to be at Roosevelt Island with an F connection, The ferry is on the opposite side and a little further away, Perhaps Roosevelt Island could have the boats directly to La Guardia Airport snd they can rework it so the ferry and subway statio are better integrated,
 
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Deni

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They really need to revisit the idea of extending the Astoria Line to LGA, irrespective of whatever other scheme they want to think about.

A case can be made perhaps for extending the JFK Airtrain from Jamaica to LGA with a stop around Flushing Meadows interchanging with 7 and LIRR Port Washington Line, but that should be in addition to, not instead of the extension of N to LGA. Just IMHO of course.

It would also be kind of neat to take on the challenge of building a high level station on the Hell Gate Line right above the current Astoria terminal station of N with a transfer facility between MNRR and Subway there.
Extending the Astoria line is my preference for sure. I do like the idea of also doing an AirTrain extension. There are definitely airlines that will route international itineraries with connections between those two airports so being able to make a faster and easier connection would be great.

A station above the Ditmars stop is a dream of mine. When I lived in NYC on the UES I had to work up at Albert Einstein med school a lot and it took me forever. If I could have taken the N and transferred to the MNRR right there then to the stop right next to the campus (which is actually one of the planned stops) that would have been heaven.
 

Deni

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All that has to be done here is to build a ferry stop on the existing NYC Ferry system and build it by the Marine Terminal and connect it to a ferry station that has mass transit access, preferably by a rail and/or subway connection and add a short shuttle bus if necessary. Ferry system already has routes and boats so this can be integrated into the existing system for a limited cost. There was no reason to build a costly Air Train in the wrong direction which would NOT benefit the vast majority of travelers. The JFK Airtrain was an excellent project that was needed and one I have even used before as station is in the right location and benefits a much wider area. Not every airport is meant to be connected by rail or subway as bus and ferry are the options that make sense here. Most people using La Guardia are going to be using cars. The rest can come from bus and ferry and this is all it needs. There will be mass transit links to bus lines, subway and ferry and rail lines, just not all of them at the airport itself. Use tax savings for cancelling this plan and give it back to taxpayers.


East 90th street and/or East 34th street seem to be fine for connections to NYC Ferry to a new La Guardia airport ferry stop.
A ferry connection to the east side of Manhattan, really far from any subway stops (and no, the 2nd Ave subway I would not consider close when you have luggage), and being let off at the least used terminal at the airport helps almost no one. Even for the people who live near the ferry docks on Manhattan there would likely not be any time savings. There needs to be a rail connection to LGA.
 

adamj023

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Roosevelt Island is the only part that seems to have ability for a direct ferry to subway transfer that can be better integrated. But the 2nd avenue subway line does get close in parts to the Manhattan waterfront.

An extension to Astoria subway won’t get done nor will Willets Point so ferry still should be considered. Otherwise it will remain as is with bus as the mass transit connection to La Guardia airport. We will see what happens in future discussions.
 

Seaboard92

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See this is when I lived in a place like China they see a problem and they just build it. While there are several flaws to this method the one thing that isn't flawed is they get stuff done. I think one of our largest problems in transit projects is the consultant class. We get bogged down hiring all of these people to study stuff to death instead of just building the thing were trying to build. It's rail transport it's existed since the 1830s basically everything you need to know has already been researched and developed. Just build it. Yes it will annoy people but ultimately it is for the greater good. We used to be a nation that built things for the greater good. Now we can't seam to build anything that is productive and useful for a large amount of people.
 

adamj023

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Anyone comparing a rogue communist regime like China to the USA doesn’t understand what our country is about. Also to note, in China, a homeowner didn’t want a home demolished so in China they built the highway right around the house.


The Chinese are brutal and repressive.
 

joelkfla

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Anyone comparing a rogue communist regime like China to the USA doesn’t understand what our country is about. Also to note, in China, a homeowner didn’t want a home demolished so in China they built the highway right around the house.


The Chinese are brutal and repressive.
But the point about overanalyzing with multiple layers of consultants is certainly valid. Here in Orlando, they had to hire a 3rd consultant to settle a battle between consultants for opposing parties. Lots of money wasted.
 

saxman

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Extending the Astoria line makes the most sense but is being blocked by NIMBY's in the area. Seems so odd in a city with a huge subway system though.
 

jis

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The proposal was for an elevated line, so there would have been a lot of impact, both noise and visual.
Unfortunately, New Yorkers have essentially zero experience with modern elevated lines with sound barriers that are now all over the place in Asia. To a New Yorker an elevated line is like the 7 or the existing Astoria Line. So they are overly negative on elevated that is not really justified in the 21st century. This is a problem in the US in many walks of life not just elevated transportation infrastructures, and indeed it is part of the problem faced in the public minds by railroads in general.
 

jis

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If they must build an Airtrain like the JFK one, for La Guardia, it would make a heck of a lot more sense to build one over Grand Central Parkway - Brooklyn Queens Expressway - Broadway to Woodside LIRR. Provides the most connectivity. Makes way more sense than building one to Willets Point anyday which connects to basically infrequent LIRR service and 7, which is one of the more crowded lines in the system. Without Cuomo's railroading it is unlikely that anyone would have chosen that alternative anyway.
 
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adamj023

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Too expensive, and too complicated. If the ferry idea can’t make it, the best solution for a mass transit would be to improve existing bus connections. The Hell’s gate Amtrak line is the closest by Astoria Boulevard. That would be the best connection that could be made if an Air Train was somehow feasible requiring eminent domain and building a station there for the airtrain to the airport. There are four tracks and one could add a stop for the La guardia airtrain on that route. The air train would have to be built by Grand Central parkway and Astoria Boulevard. I don’t know if that is possible.


If they must build an Airtrain like the JFK one, for La Guardia, it would make a heck of a lot more sense to build one over Grand Central Parkway - Brooklyn Queens Expressway - Broadway to Woodside LIRR. Provides the most connectivity. Makes way more sense than building one to Willets Point anyday which connects to basically infrequent LIRR service and 7, which is one of the more crowded lines in the system. Without Cuomo's railroading it is unlikely that anyone would have chosen that alternative anyway.
 

joelkfla

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Too expensive, and too complicated. If the ferry idea can’t make it, the best solution for a mass transit would be to improve existing bus connections. The Hell’s gate Amtrak line is the closest by Astoria Boulevard. That would be the best connection that could be made if an Air Train was somehow feasible requiring eminent domain and building a station there for the airtrain to the airport. There are four tracks and one could add a stop for the La guardia airtrain on that route. The air train would have to be built by Grand Central parkway and Astoria Boulevard. I don’t know if that is possible.
The JFK AirTrain is actually a people mover, not a metro, so it is relatively light weight and has a very small footprint:
1635095580577.png

They could probably squeeze it into the median of GCP just like they did on the Van Wyck, relocating lanes in places.
 
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