The proposed AirTrain LGA would provide a reliable, 30-min travel time from Midtown
Access is a key component of any world-class airport. Yet access to LaGuardia is a serious challenge with no direct rail link – the only major East Coast airport lacking one – and travel times by car are only getting worse. The proposed AirTrain project would provide a convenient, easy-to-use rail connection that offers travelers and employees reliable, predictable travel times to LaGuardia Airport. The Port Authority’s preferred alternative would have two on-airport stations and would include critical connections to the Long Island Rail Road and the New York City Subway, to provide a 30-minute ride from Midtown Manhattan.
Travel to and from LaGuardia Airport is unpredictable and the situation is getting worse. Reliable mass transit options do not currently exist, leaving customers and employees vulnerable to heavy roadway traffic congestion.
- Today, LGA passengers and employees depend on roadway-based vehicles for their trip to the airport. Nearly 90% of passengers arrive to the airport by private vehicle
- 50% of LGA passengers are coming from or going to Manhattan; with more than 25% of all LGA passengers coming from or going to Midtown
- A mere 6% of LGA passengers take public transit in the form of one of five bus routes, none of which are direct from Midtown
- Congestion in the NYC region has increased and airport travelers have had to adjust travel patterns accordingly by allotting greater time for their trip
- With only roadway connections to LGA, access is dependent on unreliable traffic conditions
- Vehicular travel times between Midtown Manhattan and LGA vary greatly by day, with four-year taxi travel time data showing that travel times generally ranged between 35-80 minutes
- Travel time has increased from year to year, a trend that is expected to continue
- As one example of recent trends, the number of extreme travel days (when at least one trip took 70 minutes or more) from LGA to Times Square increased from 21 in 2014 to 114 in 2017 (more than five-fold increase)
- The proposed AirTrain LGA would provide convenient, predictable, and reliable access to LGA for its customers and employees that complements existing mass transit services and does not contribute to roadway congestion
Port Authority Studies
- The Port Authority has conducted substantial planning work in its development of the proposed AirTrain project, including a ridership study and an analysis of alternative options for addressing the need for improved access to LGA. Those options include a No Action alternative, Transportation Systems Management, Transportation Demand Management, Use of Other Airports, Off-Airport Roadway Expansion, Bus (Exclusive Roadway), Ferry Service, Rail or Subway Extensions, Fixed Guideway (e.g. AirTrain) and Emerging Transportation Technologies
- The Port Authority’s proposed project is subject to the applicable environmental review processes and further approval from the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
- The EIS for the LaGuardia Access Improvement Project will be led by the FAA and developed in accordance with federal regulations: NEPA, CEQ Regulations, and FAA Orders 1050.1F and 5050.4B
- Further information on the EIS process will be provided by FAA once the formal process begins
- The EIS will study all applicable environmental impact categories as prescribed in FAA order 1050.1F, including but not limited to:
- Air quality, visual impacts, noise, traffic, socioeconomics, natural resources, historical/cultural resources, land use, and others.
- The FAA study will evaluate permanent impacts and temporary impacts during construction
- The FAA will provide updates and information to keep the public and interested stakeholders apprised of the progress of the EIS process online via a publicly accessible website
The FAA will conduct an environmental review process that will include public outreach and request for comments and feedback about the proposed project. There will be ample opportunities for the community to learn more about the proposal and to provide comments during public scoping hearings and federally required comment periods.
Progress to Date:
- October 2018 – EIS begins with an RFP for consultant to work with FAA during environmental review
- June 2018 – New York State Legislature defines the potential corridor for Air Train project
- November 2017 – Phase II LGA Air Train Planning Authorization approved by PA Board
- February 2017 – Phase I LGA Air Train Planning Authorization approved by PA Board
- July 2015 – Announcement of Airport Advisory Panel Recommendations for LGA