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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