When grassroots transit riders advocacy group Riders Alliance made a case for a free shuttle bus to-and-from LaGuardia Airport last fall—bright blue and clearly marked, equipped with airport maps and airline directories on the interior—the MTA dismissed the concept as economically infeasible.

"We wholeheartedly disagree with the premise that this could all be done at no cost to the MTA," said spokesman Kevin Ortiz, in response to the alliance's suggestion that a free shuttle could increase ridership along the route by nearly 20%.

"If ridership would continue to grow on the route to the level they claim, we would have to add service, and that costs money," Ortiz added. "And where would we find the buses?"

But new service along the Q70 line this spring will make trips more frequent, if not free of charge. In a few months, Q70 buses will start running every 8 minutes during peak commuting hours, every 10 minutes on weekends, and every 20 minutes overnight.

"We always want to better serve our customers by strengthening service whenever we have sustainable resources to do so," said MTA Bus Company president Darryl Irick in a statement.

According to the MTA, the Q70 currently runs every 12 minutes during rush hour, every 15-20 minutes during early morning and late night hours, and every 30 minutes overnight. (Granted, that's the official estimate).

The bus carries passengers directly to LGA from the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave E/F/M/R stop or the Woodside LIRR stop, making no local stops—the best public transit option for New Yorkers who couldn't find an affordable flight out of JFK. (The only other public transportation options to LGA at the moment are several local Queens buses, and the M60-SBS bus, which runs select from West 106th Street over to Astoria and on up to the airport.)

According to today's release, the MTA is also "actively working" to bring select bus service to the Q70 in 2016, ideally reducing travel times to LGA—35 minutes at best, according to the MTA—with off-board ticketing.

"I consider this a down payment on the real changes that have to happen in order to make public transit an easy and intuitive way to get to the airport," said Riders Alliance Director John Raskin in a statement.

Indeed, MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg also suggested on Friday that the MTA is no longer quite as wholeheartedly opposed to the concept of a free LaGuardia shuttle as it was last fall. He confirmed that the MTA will consider the policy recommendation this summer as part of its annual assessment of fares and tolls.