AirTrain Will Finally Connect LaGuardia to Subway
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to construct an AirTrain to connect LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan, Gothamist reported. “You can’t get to LaGuardia by train today,” Cuomo said. “And that really is inexcusable. That is something we’re going to correct over the next several years.”
Cuomo said the AirTrain will connect with the 7 train and the LIRR at Willetts Point. The train will run about 1.5 miles along the Grand Central Parkway, “in an area that we believe won’t create an undue burden to any of the neighboring structures, and create a ‘one ride’ from the subway system or the Long Island Railroad to LaGuardia, which is truly long overdue.”
Cuomo also said the state is planning a high-speed ferry terminal to connect LaGuardia to Manhattan, as well as a hotel business center and retail shopping at the airport.
The AirTrain to JFK opened in 2003 at a cost of $1.9 billion.
The Governor did not disclose the timetable or cost of the project, but he indicated that some of the cost of the AirTrain could be funded by the $5 billion New York State took in last year through settlements with foreign banks. The MTA is currently in the final stages of locking in its $32 billion Capital Plan, and faces a $15 billion budget gap.
Asked last year about the possibility of connecting the airport to the subway, an MTA spokesman said, “We have nothing in our plans right now to bring rail service direct to LaGuardia. Right now, we’re building the Second Avenue Subway, digging in Long Island and the East Side, finishing the 7 Line extension. We’ve got lots on our plate.”
The MTA had no comment on Cuomo’s recent announcement.
Lawmakers Call For Bulletproof Windows
in All Police Cars
In the wake of the murder of two NYPD officers in their car in Brooklyn, state politicians are calling for the installation of bulletproof window in all police cars, the New York Daily
Republican Assembly members Jim Tedisco and Nicole Malliotakis and Senators Marty Golden and Phil Boyle announced that they are drafting legislation that would mandate bulletproof glass in the windows of squad cars at departments across the state. They say that part of the $5.1 billion state surplus should be used to pay for the vehicle upgrades.
“We provide police offers with bulletproof vests to protect them when they are on the streets patrolling,” said Golden, a retired NYPD officer. “We should give them equal protection when they are in their patrol cars.”
Politicians Push for Verrazano-Narrows
Bridge Toll Discount
In the wake of the recent increase in bridge and tunnel tolls and bus and subway fares, State Senator Marty Golden and Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis are renewing their
call to grant a discount to Brooklyn residents on the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll, the Brooklyn Eagle reported.
The politicians are reviving a plan they first proposed last year that would allow Brooklyn residents who drive on the bridge three or more times a month to receive discounts on the toll similar to the discounts that are offered to drivers on the Port Authority-operated
crossings separating Staten Island and New Jersey. The discount program was created in 2012, and grants reduced toll rates to drivers traveling over the Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing and the Bayonne Bridge three times or more a month. Golden and Malliotakis said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) should follow the Port Authority’s lead and adjust the tolls on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
On Jan. 22nd, the MTA’s board voted to increase the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll from $15 to $16, and to raise baseline subway and bus fares from $2.50 a ride to $2.75. The board also announced plans for increases on the city’s bridges and tunnels. The new rates go into effect March 22nd.
The MTA offers a toll discount on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to drivers who have E-Z Pass, but Staten Islanders receive a larger discount than drivers from other boroughs. Staten Islanders who have E-Z- Pass and who make three or more trips a month on the bridge will pay $6.24 a trip when the toll increase becomes effective in March, saving nearly $10 off the $16 toll. All other drivers with E-Z- Pass will pay $11.08 a trip.