The commute to LaGuardia Airport might get a little easier with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support for a new AirTrain system connecting local train and rail service to the airport.
Almost 27 million people use the Queens airport every year, yet there is no connecting service between public transportation and LaGuardia.
“And that really is inexcusable,” Cuomo said at a breakfast meeting in Manhattan Tuesday.
The governor’s proposal, which would need to be approved by the state Legislature and coordinated between various state agencies, calls for AirTrain service to LaGuardia from the Mets-Willets Point train station, thereby connecting commuters using the 7 train and Long Island Rail Road.
Construction would call for 1.5 miles of rail to be built alongside Grand Central Parkway. Cuomo’s office anticipates a price tag of at least $450 million. State officials expect to pay for the project with its current $5 billion surplus.
The AirTrain servicing John F. Kennedy Airport was completed in 2003 after five years and cost $1.9 billion to build 8.1 miles of track in southeast Queens.
When the project might make its way through Albany and break ground is still unclear, the governor warned.
“At this point I would not venture a guess for the timing,” Cuomo said.
Previous proposals for connecting services to LaGuardia included extending the N and R trains through Astoria failed to gain traction.