The following statement can be attributed to the three co-chairs of A Better Way to LGA: Angela Pinsky, Executive Director of the Association for a Better New York; Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York Building Congress; and Tom Grech, President and CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
“Our coalition represents a diverse group of stakeholders and community members that, importantly, share one common thread: we all recognize the immense benefits that AirTrain LGA will bring to Queens and to New York City as a whole. AirTrain LGA represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring LaGuardia Airport — the only major East Coast airport without a rail connection – into the 21st century, and in doing so unlock the potential of more connected, less congested New York. New Yorkers and visitors alike deserve a Better Way to LGA and the solution is AirTrain LGA.
Currently, more than 90% of LaGuardia Airport travelers get to and from the airport by taxi or private vehicle. AirTrain LGA is projected to serve up to 10 million riders per year. In Queens, that translates to 28,000 cars off the road and onto public transit every single week, congestion relief for residents and businesses that rely on local deliveries, and 6,250 metric tons less in CO2 emissions from gridlocked vehicles.
Without a rail link, LaGuardia travelers face unpredictable travel times – a phenomenon so unpleasant and severe that a 2017 survey from the Partnership for New York City showed that in the preceding year, more than half of all business travelers made a conscious decision to avoid flying to the New York region for a meeting. This translates to a huge loss in economic activity – money that would be spent on travel, hotels and accommodations, and at restaurants and local businesses.
A Better Way to LGA will be attending the FAA-led Scoping Hearings and calling on the EIS to include robust engagement with relevant community stakeholders and evaluate the following areas:
- Placement of the transfer station at Willets Point as close as possible to the Long Island Railroad to ensure a fast and seamless transfer;
- Potential transfer, today or in the future, of LGA employee parking, passenger parking and/or additional car rental facilities at Willets Point;
- Impact on Grand Central Parkway and traffic if the AirTrain is not built; and ensuring that any options explored meet the criteria of providing a travel time between Midtown Manhattan and LaGuardia of 30 minutes or less.
- LaGuardia is already undergoing an $8 billion overhaul that will finally deliver the world-class airport that New Yorkers want and deserve – AirTrain LGA must be part of that vision.”