A faster commute is in the future for Woodside and Jackson Heights straphangers traveling to LaGuardia Airport, the city’s top transit leaders announced last week.
Three Select Bus Service routes — said to bring faster and more reliable service to the boroughs with its streamlined stops and pay-before-boarding feature — are slated to be launched from Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, beginning as soon as next year, officials said.
“Select Bus Service improves travel times, enhances safety and increases ridership wherever we have installed it,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “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.”
There are currently four existing Select Bus Service routes in the city — two in Manhattan, one in the Bronx and one in Staten Island, according to the MTA.
The M60 Select Bus Service route — via 125th Street in Manhattan — is being proposed as one of the new routes, as is one from Woodside and Jackson Heights, via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The third being explored is a Select Bus Service route from Webster Avenue in the Bronx, said officials, who are looking to connect the three boroughs and improve local bus service in all three areas.
“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,” said Department of 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 borough’s northwest airport is currently only directly served by five bus routes, including four in Queens and one in Manhattan that authorities say is often choked by traffic and crammed with commuters. The fast-track bus routes, they say, are expected to shave off 10 to 40 minutes in travel time.
City officials — who are also looking into implementing bus-only lanes in some areas and installing technology that would keep buses from getting stuck at traffic lights — say they are still in the public meeting process of refining the three exact routes, its stop locations and service features.