I Wanted To Take Public Transit To LaGuardia But It Didn’t Make Sense

by joeheg

When Sharon and I travel to New York we try to take public transportation wherever available. That might mean taking the Subway or LIRR to Manhattan when flying to JFK, the NYC Ferry to Brooklyn, or the Staten Island Ferry to visit Sharon’s old hometown.

However, LaGuardia Airport is one NYC airport that’s not connected to the rest of the train or ferry networks. Despite being the closest airport to Manhattan, there are no direct rail links from LGA to the rest of the city.

New York has been trying to figure out a way to link the airport to existing rail lines with a monorail, similar to the JFK Airtrain, but the 2 billion dollar project has currently been put on hold.

In response to the inaction of connecting LaGuardia to the rest of the city’s rail lines, the MTA has eliminated fares on the Q70 bus (also called the LaGuardia Link), which connects the airport to/from the subway at the 74th Street-Broadway/Jackson Heights Roosevelt Avenue station and the LIRR from the 61st Street Woodside Station. The Q70 bus is designed for airport trips and is equipped with luggage racks.

On our most recent hurricane-delayed trip to New York, we rushed to drop off our luggage and get to our Broadway show. We took an NYC taxi from the airport to our hotel and the fare was $37 after tip.

The next day, I had time to get back to the airport. I looked for the best public transit route from the Lower East Side to LaGuardia. I found that I’d have to take two subway trips to reach the link to the Q70 bus to LGA. This may have been due to the subway repairs happening during our trip. It would take over 1 hour to get to the airport and I’d have to take another airport bus to get from Terminal B to Terminal A for my Spirit flight. The trip admittedly would have only cost $2.75.

Could I have taken the subway across Manhattan to catch the bus to the airport and another bus to my terminal? Of course, I could have. But I didn’t want to spend an hour getting to the airport when a Uber took 15 minutes.

Another thing to consider when taking the subway is there could be a delay and there’s nothing you can do but sit and wait. The longer the trip, the higher the risk.

Taking the bus to the subway makes more sense if you’re staying in mid-town or above. There are several lines traveling from the Q70 stop in Queens to Manhattan and the trip is only 20 minutes.

However, it’s much quicker to take a taxi or Uber if you’re staying downtown. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth the money and convenience to save some time.

I want to take the LaGuardia Link bus from the airport to the subway. With the limited duration of the trip, tight schedule and where we were staying, it just didn’t make sense compared to the ease of taking a Taxi or Uber. Maybe next time.

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derek October 12, 2022 - 6:50 pm

This may be why airports spend billions of dollars. A bus is far cheaper to buy.

I took the bus to LGA before the pandemic. It was fast. In fact, the driver was driving so fast and without stops that everyone had to hold on. The bus goes to a subway station which an express stop.

A NYC bus cost about $500,000 to buy. AirTrain costs about over $2B, which is the cost of about 4,000 buses. In contrast, the LaGuardia bus line possibly needs about 4 buses to operate a frequent schedule. When a train car needs replacement, it costs more than $3,000,000.

Richard October 12, 2022 - 9:10 pm

The bus transfer is super easy…it’s not a big deal

William October 13, 2022 - 1:36 pm

You could of taken a train or bus to 125St Lexington Ave for the M60 bus to LaGuardia Airport.

Stu October 13, 2022 - 4:31 pm

As I live up in Carnegie Hill in the East 90’s, I tried the M60 bus which runs from LGA over to 125th Street. It’s also billed as an “airport link”.
First of all, by the time the M60 arrived at our LaGuardia bus station, it was already PACKED with airport workers. Then, on the way over to Manhattan, it made every local stop in Queens to board and discharge locals. There was only standing room available!
Now the worst part.
It let us off at 125th and Lexington Avenue.
The subway was too edgy and dangerous there to even consider.
So we gathered up our suitcases right there in the middle of Harlem, and had to trudge one block south down Lexington Avenue to 124th Street to wait (forever) for a downtown bus.
All the while, we were accosted and hustled by drug-infested savages trying to grab our suitcases. We kept getting asked to buy drugs–or else. One junkie prostitute kept pulling down her (it’s?) leotard exposing her vagina and trying to solicit. Unquestionably, that is THE WORST area any of us have ever experienced!
And of course, not one policeman was anywhere near; I guess they were busy attending to all the crime rampant on the route of the M60.

Juan Don October 30, 2022 - 12:15 pm

Wow, you know this is New York City right? “The subway (125th St.) was too edgy and dangerous there to even consider.” “We were accosted and hustled by drug-infested savages” Perhaps consider relocating to “The Villages”, a safe, Disney project in a Florida Swamp where you can take your golf cart anywhere (Except, of course the airport.) I’ve taken the Q60 bus many times, so convenient and relatively quick. They’ve even reduced the number of local stops to speed it along. It’s definitely one of the MTA’s success stories.

Vidiot October 14, 2022 - 12:53 am

There are other options, such as the M60 – take the N train to Astoria Blvd or catch it on 125th St.

B Wilson-Sampson October 18, 2022 - 10:07 pm

What N tran on 125th Street ? Are you ok & it doesn’t exist . Also , you do not know the stories of the prostitutes & drug addicts . You ate stupid for calling them savages . They are human beings like the rest of us , just mis- guided in the wrong direction. You are a savage for calling them such a thing . You need to check yourself out . Who died and made you GOD almighty ? We are sll dust and filthy rags in the site of GOD .None of us are better than anybody else . We should be our brothers or sisters keppers and the world would be better , if we had love ; compassion . Thank- you very much .
Mrs. BW – Sampson – NY

Xnuiem October 18, 2022 - 5:23 pm

I took an Uber on June from Union Square to LGA. It took over an hour and was $150. Craziness.

James Cygnus October 19, 2022 - 5:05 am

Easiest solution is to just avoid NYC completely

Adam Chasseur October 19, 2022 - 2:31 pm

Uber is perfect from LES, or close by, on a weekend morning, cause the manhattan bridge leads right into BQE. But try midday or rush hour, from a lot of manhattan, and it would take an hour and cost more. So you found an exception.


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