The MTA will make the Q70 bus free starting Sunday, directly connecting between LaGuardia Airport and the 74th Street-Broadway/Jackson Heights Roosevelt Avenue station.
The free Q70 announcement follows a New York Daily News Op-Ed calling on the governor to continue the free fares, which are deployed during peak travel times, like during the recent Passover, Easter and spring break travel weeks.
“I thought that made a lot of sense, that this Q70 bus could be this interim means to let people know that that this is a good way to get from the airport to the next station, 10 minutes away,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.
The governor announced the decision at an MTA board meeting on Wednesday. It was the first time a sitting governor had ever been to an MTA board meeting, an MTA official confirmed.
She said the plan was a temporary move, however, while her office and the Port Authority continued to analyze the 14 different options to improve transportation to and from LaGuardia after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2 billion AirTrain plan was scrapped.
The advocacy group Riders Alliance had been calling for free Q70 bus service at least as far back as 2015.
Improving the Q70’s route with a dedicated bus lane is one of the 14 options under the Port Authority’s consideration. The proposal also includes transit signal priority — which would turn red lights to green when the bus approaches — as well as adding a stop at Terminal A.
The Q70 bus route, which is nicknamed the “LaGuardia Link,” also connects to the Long Island Rail Road from the 61st Street Woodside Station.
The MTA noted that the Q70 bus is equipped with luggage racks, and runs 24 hours, with buses stopping at Terminals B, C and D.
The Port Authority recently held a publuc workshop about transit options to LaGuardia that were being considered. The agency hasn’t said when it will make a decision about which form of transportation it favors, or whether there will be multiple ones considered.