Less than a week after LaGuardia Airport experienced one of the worst traffic jams Queens has ever seen, the Port Authority has come up with a plan to keep travelers moving during the busy Presidents’ Day weekend.
Beginning today, Thursday, Feb. 16, and continuing through Tuesday night, Feb. 21, the LaGuardia Link (Q70) limited bus line between Woodside and the airport will operate for free. During this same period, those who must drive to the airport can park their vehicles in the airport’s Long-Term Lot (P10) for $18 a day, less than a third of the cost to park in daily and hourly lots located next to the airport terminals.
The plan was developed by the Port Authority in consultation with Sam Schwartz Engineering to help accommodate travelers flying into and out of LaGuardia during the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend. It came about after the airport experienced a traffic nightmare last Friday, Feb. 10, when LaGuardia had more flights than normal because of the previous day’s snowstorm.
Because more travelers were arriving and departing at LaGuardia last Friday and the ongoing construction of the airport, it took hours for drivers to reach the terminals. Some travelers heading to the airport by cab and were stuck on the Grand Central Parkway got out and walked up the parkway’s exit ramp to LaGuardia to make their flights. Buses serving the airport were also diverted due to the extreme volume.
The Port Authority anticipates the airport will see nearly 300,000 passengers this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and it encourages this weekend’s travelers to use public transportation. The free LaGuardia Link connects riders from the Woodside-61st Street station (where the 7 train and LIRR lines are available) and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue stop (where the 7, E, F, M and R subway lines connect) with LaGuardia Terminals B, C and D.
Several other bus lines serve LaGuardia Airport, including the Q47, which emanates from Glendale; the Q72, which operates out of Rego Park; and the M60, which passes through Astoria and East Elmhurst.
If you don’t want to use public transportation to get to LaGuardia, the Port Authority advises travelers to use car, van and share ride services. To keep traffic flowing, the airport has shifted its ground transfer locations; the taxi stand is now on the west end of Terminal B, and private and for-hire vehicles will be directed to pick up passengers in front of Terminal B on the arrivals level.
Drivers who are planning to park and fly, and want to use Long-Term Lot P10, should enter the lot at the 82nd Street Bridge rather than using the 94th Street Bridge.
However you get there, the Port Authority urges travelers to allow for an additional 90 minutes of travel time. They should also check with their carriers before leaving home to ensure their flights are on schedule.
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