28 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 17, 2022 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Photo via governor’s offi ce
The Port Authority and Governor Kathy Hochul are now examining other options for a rail
connection to LaGuardia.
Story: ‘Hard to keep up’: Queens residents say they are
fearful to lose housing as a result of infl ation
Summary: With the rising cost of everyday goods like
groceries and gas, homeowners in Queens are afraid
that they are in danger of losing their homes.
Reach: 176,373 (as of 03/14/2022)
The train to the plane
Older New Yorkers may remember the catchy jingle for the MTA’s JFK Express, the longdefunct
special subway line through Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens that connected travelers
to Kennedy Airport.
“Take the train to the plane,” the famous refrain goes for the 1980s-era relic. In truth, you
couldn’t take a one-seat ride to and from the airport. You had to transfer at the Howard Beach
station on the A line to a shuttle bus that dropped you off at the terminal of your choice.
Th e JFK Express never made enough money or garnered enough riders for the MTA to keep
the line in existence, and it was phased out in the early 1990s.
Years later, the Port Authority built the AirTrain to connect JFK travelers to subway stations
at Howard Beach and Jamaica. It’s a great convenience for travelers looking to avoid a costly,
plodding cab ride on the traffi c jam that is the Van Wyck Expressway — but it still deprives
them of a one-seat ride to the airport.
Up until late last year, it appeared as if LaGuardia Airport travelers would be doomed to a
similar fate under a Cuomo-era plan to build an AirTrain from the northern Queens hub to
train stations in Willets Point. But the Port Authority and Governor Kathy Hochul ultimately
went back to the drawing board, and are now examining other options for a rail connection
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One idea makes all the sense in the world: extending the Astoria Line, which carries the N/W
train through northwestern Queens, about 2 ½ miles east along the Grand Central Parkway to
the airport. Building a new elevated structure above the Grand Central Parkway would provide
the path of least resistance for the government, as it would limit new land acquisitions for the
project. Th ere would be additional expense involved in constructing an at-grade section of the
subway near LaGuardia’s runways in order to accommodate low-fl ying aircraft .
Th e end result of such a project, however, would fi nally connect New York City’s most reliable
public transit system with a major airport. It opens the door for travelers in Queens, Manhattan
and Brooklyn to simply spend the $2.75 base fare for a fast, convenient, hassle-free, traffi c-free,
one-seat ride to LaGuardia.
Connecting the subway to LaGuardia would be a major boon for New York City tourism
and business. It’ll help ease congestion on roadways in and around the airport, and even make
the air a little cleaner as a result.
It’s time for the state, the MTA and the Port Authority to make this vision a reality. Th en
they can tell travelers to “take the train to the plane,” and actually mean it!