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Best mayor, worst airport: Stop the silly trolley from Willets Point to LaGuardia

2019-06-17

The little train that couldn't. (Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo)

Thanks to Gov. Cuomo shoving the Port Authority, a brand new LaGuardia Airport is being built using mostly private money.

We give it high marks, with an F-minus for the PA’s very bad idea for a lousy little people mover from out-of-the-way Willets Point. The 1.5-mile, $1.5-billion trolley is routed to avoid anyone’s property, requiring a forever ride from Midtown to almost the end of the No. 7 line or use of the pokey Port Washington LIRR branch, which has only two trains an hour.

The Federal Aviation Administration is accepting comments and “will independently evaluate all alternatives brought forward and may identify new alternatives.” Our comment: Kill the zigging and zagging Willets Point Disney ride and extend the N train to the airport.

The PA carps that the one-seat ride subway option uses private property. Of three possible subway routes, two take zero private property; the other would need “portions of five privately owned commercial properties.” Not impossible, and neither are some engineering challenges in getting around the southern end of one runway. Figure it out.

Until then, the Port has smartly dropped the fare on the Q70 bus, which goes between LGA and the subway, for the summer. Make that permanent.