Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo and Vice President Biden announced a $4 billion plan to transform LaGuardia from a pile of crumbling drywall to a state-of-the-art airport—that plan includes Cuomo's earlier proposal for a $450 million AirTrain connection at Willet's Point. And though it's nice that Cuomo's so invested in our public transportation system, transportation advocates say the connection's just going to clog up the 7 train.
The 7, like many of this city's beleaguered subway lines, is pretty crowded, and people are pretty concerned about unleashing hordes of lost tourists on the line. “Any proposal that adds passengers to the 7 line should take into consideration the maximum capacity at which ridership is currently at,” Queens Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer told the Daily News.
Transit advocates are particularly concerned about the connection being at a stop so far out. "To put a new group of airport-bound travelers and their luggage on the already-overcrowded 7 line for 20 stops would be a disaster," Andrew Albert, chairman of the Transit Riders Council, told amNY. "You think the 7 is crowded now? Just wait."
Overcrowded train aside, a connection at Willets Point is kind of useless anyway, since the stop is actually farther from LaGuardia than most points in Manhattan. And of course, the connection is only helpful if the 7's running between boroughs in the first place...