LaGuardia Airport (LGA) has been in the midst of a much-needed rehab since 2016. Construction-related traffic woes had gotten so bad in 2019 that people were actually leaving their cars and walking to the airport.
LGA’s new Terminal B finally opened in 2020, and it truly is beautiful. However there’s still a ton of work to do at the outdated airport, and construction isn’t scheduled to be complete until 2026.
Despite the ongoing construction, the one thing that LGA still needed was rail service. The airport is almost 80 years old and is one of the few major airports without any connection to its city’s trains.
That’s about to change.
According to the Associated Press, the FAA has given final approval for a monorail to connect LGA to the trains that service Manhattan.
The monorail will be an elevated link, 1.5 miles long, connecting the airport to a train stop next to Citi Field (that’s where the New York Mets play). That station is serviced by the Long Island Railroad, as well as the No. 7 subway line (the 7 train goes across most of Manhattan via 42nd Street, which means it connects with lots of other trains at the Times Square station and is only 8 blocks north of Penn Station. Click here for an NYC subway map – the 7 train is purple).
After considering other forms of transportation, including ferry service, improved bus service and an extension of the existing subway directly to the airport, the monorail to City Field was thought to be the best option because it will provide “a time-certain transportation option and supplemental access” to the airport and will reduce vehicle traffic, as per a recent FAA press release.
“LaGuardia Airport is the only major airport on the East Coast without a rail mass transit link, and it is way past time for that embarrassment to end,” the Port Authority of NY & NJ said in a statement. “The LaGuardia AirTrain will provide a sustainable and reliable travel option and will remove millions of vehicles from congested highways and local roads each year.”
Preliminary construction on supporting infrastructure is expected to begin this summer, as per the Port Authority. The project, which is expected to cost $2 billion, is expected to take several years to complete.
Feature photo: Doug Kerr / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary