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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Gov. Cuomo proposes 'AirTrain' to LaGuardia


As part of his six-point plan to improve New York's infrastructure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this week proposed the creation of an "AirTrain" that would connect MTA New York City Transit's (NYCT) subway system and MTA Long Island Rail Road to LaGuardia Airport.

Under Cuomo's proposal, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) would construct the AirTrain at an estimated cost of $450 million. The train would connect to NYCT and LIRR at Mets-Willets Point Station, according to the proposal, which is posted on the governor's website.

Cuomo's infrastructure plan includes other investments to expand access to public transportation. In addition to the AirTrain, the proposal calls for construction of four new stations for MTA Metro North Railroad in the Bronx and an extension of the railroad's access to Penn Station. The estimated cost for the effort is $1 billion, with the state funding $250 million.

Additionally, Cuomo called for investing $750 million into MTA's capital plan, including the purchase of 900 new subway cars.

In response to Cuomo's proposals, MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast and PANYNJ Executive Director Patrick Foye issued a joint statement saying that their organizations are working closely to "establish the scope, schedule and management of the LaGuardia AirTrain," as they did to create the AirTrain to JFK International Airport.

"We will build this project in a cost-effective way that minimizes disruptions to nearby communities as well as airport operations, and we can get it done within five years of obtaining all necessary approvals. Both our organizations recognize the importance of these infrastructure projects and congratulate the governor on his foresight," the executives said.


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More News from 1/22/2015