If it isn't enough that flying in or out of LaGuardia Airport subjects you to dubious offerings of Auntie Anne and malfunctioning flight information screens, just getting there is an unmitigated disaster, with no direct subway or train service in sight. But with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Line on tap for the city, one airport advocacy group says it's time to improve the connection between LaGuardia and greater NYC—they're petitioning the Department of Transportation to get the airport hooked up.
As it stands, your best chance of getting to LaGuardia sans a pricey cab ride is to hop on the MTA's Q70 Limited-Stop Service Bus, which runs every 12 to 30 minutes and connects to the LIRR at Woodside and the E, M, F, R, 7 trains at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave. You can also hop on the M60 Bus, which services Upper Manhattan and Queens, and will be launching select bus service to LaGuardia with limited stops sometime this spring. But the Global Gateway Alliance says that's not enough, and they sent a letter [pdf] to the DOT and MTA yesterday urging the agency to link LaGuardia to the BRT Line.
"Right now, mass transit to and from the airport takes too long. As an example, GGA recently calculated average commute times to LaGuardia from Midtown and Downtown Manhattan hubs, and the average time was an hour via public transportation, including multiple transfers; triple the amount of time it took to arrive by car," the Alliance's board members wrote. "[T]o be a world class, 21st Century airport that serves all its passengers, LaGuardia must have viable and modern mass transit."
The Global Gateway Alliance's proposal suggests creating an “AirBRT” or “RapidAir”-type bus, one that would pick up passengers at the end of the N line at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard and shuttle them to nearby LaGuardia. "The short distance between the N and the Central Terminal Building presents the opportunity for the elements of a BRT line that aren’t allowed by longer bus routes throughout the City - a dedicated lane, tickets purchased off the bus, and one or no stops along the route," the board members noted.
This speedy bus vision isn't the only beautiful pipe dream concocted by The Global Gateway Alliance—earlier this year, the group's renderings for a far less Gehenna-esque LaGuardia popped up on the NY Post's site. Sadly, those bright lights and useful escalators will never be, and we can all go back to avoiding Terminal C like the plague.