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New Ways to Head to Lga

MTA Proposal Includes Select Bus Service

A plan to increase public transit options to LaGuardia Airport with a slew of new bus routes was unveiled by city and state officials in a Friday, Oct. 12 press release.

At right, an MTA map of the proposal to increase service at LaGuardia Airport.

The city is proposing three new routes that could shave 10 to 40 minutes of travel time, increase the level of service in Woodside and Jackson Heights and offer a direct bus route from Astoria to the Bronx.

The plan would modify the M60 bus route, which travels from La- Guardia Airport through Astoria to Harlem over the RFK Bridge, by creating Select Bus Service on the route.

The service, which features dedicated bus lanes and express stops, can currently be found in Manhattan and Staten Island. The city’s four routes currently serve approximately 100,000 customers each day, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

“Select Bus Service improves travel times, enhances safety and increases ridership wherever we have installed it,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. “This new Select Bus Service to LaGuardia will not only cut travel time for people flying in and out of New York, but it will also benefit New Yorkers who commute to work at the airport every day from Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.”

In addition to the M60 route, the city is also proposing to extend selected trips on a proposed Select Bus route on Webster Avenue in the Bronx over the RFK bridge and to the airport.

Finally, the city is proposing the creation of a new bus route that would link LaGuardia Airport to the 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue station as well as the Woodside/61st Street Long Island Rail Road/MTA New York City Transit hub via the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

According to city projections, this would decrease the travel time between the airport and Roosevelt Avenue from 23 minutes to just nine minutes.

The MTA and the Department of Transportation plan to implement the new bus service by 2014.

“LaGuardia Airport is a transportation hub and a city unto itself that needs a better connection to the transit network and the region’s economy,” stated Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “These routes will open the terminal doors to new neighborhoods and bring more reliable local service to people across three boroughs.

“The MTA is always working to make it easier to get around, and faster rides to LaGuardia will be a huge benefit for our customers,” added Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “Select Bus Service to the airport will make LaGuardia more convenient for travelers as well as airport workers, and that means a boost for the entire New York economy.”

The process of defining and refining the three exact routes, stop locations and service features began on Thursday, Oct. 11 with a public meeting at Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights. As with Select Bus Service plans in other areas, a Community Advisory Committee made up of elected officials, community board leaders and other stakeholders would guide the planning and development of each route, the agency said.

LaGuardia Airport served more than 24 million customers in 2011 and employs some 8,000 people, many of whom rely upon public transportation to get to the airport, it was noted.

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