Any travel involving LaGuardia Airport is rarely pleasurable: getting there by public transit is an ordeal, and the notoriously delayed, rundown terminals make for a grim experience. Governor Cuomo has proposed fixing this by building a shiny new terminal, plus an AirTrain to connect LaGuardia to Willets Point (a plan that's been roundly disparaged for its cost and the fact that it won't save anyone any time). Yesterday, Cuomo was joined by LaGuardia superfan Vice President Joe Biden to break ground on the new terminal, and though the governor touted the still-mythical AirTrain (which he says will help deliver passengers to a similarly mythical new Penn Station), he also announced a far more efficient and low-cost transit improvement: starting this fall, the "LaGuardia Link" shuttle bus will carry travelers to and from nearby subway stations.

This won't be a brand new service, but rather a rebranding: the Q70 bus already runs nonstop between the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue E, F, M, and R station and LaGuardia, and it also connects to the Woodside-61 Street 7 station, where transfer to the LIRR is available. However, signage for the Q70 doesn't currently identify it as a convenient route to the airport, and the trip can take longer than it should, as passengers boarding by the subway stops wait for everyone to swipe their MetroCards.

Starting in September, the route will become a Select Bus Service, so that passengers will pre-pay at the stop and dwell time will theoretically cut down significantly. It'll also be explicitly branded as a LaGuardia shuttle, with a fancy new logo to boot.

The idea is quite similar to last fall's proposal from the transportation advocacy group Riders Alliance, which recommended replacing the Q70 with a free shuttle to and from LaGuardia. That report noted that currently, just 12.5% of customers travel to that airport by public transit, but of the 250 passengers surveyed at baggage claim, 49% of those who don't currently take public transit to the airport would reconsider if a free shuttle were available.

The LaGuardia Link is notably not free, which isn't particularly surprising given how vehemently the MTA shot down the Alliance's recommendation in the fall, stating that it "wholeheartedly disagree[d] with the premise that this could all be done at no cost to the MTA." The MTA didn't respond to a request for comment on Cuomo's latest plan.

Despite the remaining fare, Riders Alliance welcomed Cuomo's announcement yesterday, calling it a "simple, cost-effective way to improve public transit access to the airport, and to encourage more people to consider transit when they're headed to LaGuardia."

The broader LaGuardia overhaul, featuring a new central terminal, is estimated to cost $4 billion, and an additional $3 billion in airline investments is expected to cover the redevelopment of terminals C and D—Delta representatives said yesterday that they're in "advanced discussions" with the Port Authority on that matter. The new central terminal is expected to open in 2021.

Biden, who infamously compared the airport to a third world country in 2014, was more tempered in his praise of the overhaul: he said that "the greatest city in the world—and New York City is, it's not hyperbole—needs and deserves the greatest infrastructure in the world...you don't make any small plans, and you can't in the Empire State, you can't think small."