Laguardia-LGA: Airtrain or Astoria Line N, Q Train Extension

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby Head-end View » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:01 pm

Dj, what would you suggest as a good alternative configuration?
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby NJT Rider » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:40 pm

Run it to Jamacia and establish a LGA & JFK connection. Follow the median of the Grand Central to the Van Wyck to Jamacia.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby railfan365 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:15 pm

Better than the governor's proposal, one of 2 alternatives: 1. Build a spur off the Queensboro IRT to LaGuardia that will be part of the subway or 2. spend the money on Phase II of the Second Avenue.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby Crabman1130 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:11 pm

NJT Rider wrote:Run it to Jamacia and establish a LGA & JFK connection. Follow the median of the Grand Central to the Van Wyck to Jamacia.

That makes too much sense. So it will never happen.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby djlong » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:57 am

Head-end View wrote:Dj, what would you suggest as a good alternative configuration?


It's been a long time since I lived in NYC - and even then, it was Staten Island.

However - the guy who wrote that article gave some twitter space to a fairly reasonable article in FAVOR of the governor's proposal:

https://www.vanshnookenraggen.com/_inde ... will-work/

In short, the article submits that it's not a savings in TIME that is more important - what's more important is making a trip to the airport EASIER. There's NO fast and AFFORDABLE way of getting to LGA. In addition, this proposal would benefit the development of hotels and more in the Willett's Point area (now the home of chop shops and other 'light industry'). He goes on to say that the proposal isn't perfect, but has a lot going for it - to say nothing of being relatively cheap ($450M) with a funding source (foreign bank settlement with NYC).

There's also the thought that this could be a leg that would encourage an eventual AirTrain all the way from LGA to JFK, allowing the two airports to work together.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby railfan365 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:14 pm

Anthony Wiener actually came up with a decent proposal: Extend the Astoria Branch to LaGuardia Airport.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby Head-end View » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:15 pm

Yes, I've always thought extending the Astoria line was a reasonable idea, but building another branch of the Airtrain from Jamaica Station to LGA is a good idea too. Let's do both!
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby Kamen Rider » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:37 am

The options of building an Airtrain westward or extending the N have a few engineering challengers that the Willets point route skips over.

Airtrain west to Astoria Blvd, following the GCP, would need a way to get around the Hell Gate Bridge approach, which at that point is too low to the ground for the line to get through.

Both Airtrain and the subway extension would need a way to go around the south end of Runway 4. This would require a whole lot of extra work.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby Head-end View » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:19 pm

The Airtrain would have to have a flyover above the Hellgate Br. approach unless it went up the middle of the GCP all the way to the airport.

Re: runway-4, a similar issue existed in Mountain View near San Jose Calif. when they built the light-rail past Moffett Field. The answer was for the ROW which runs at ground level to go into a depressed cut for about a quarter-mile as it went past the runway. So either that or into a tunnel to an underground airport station at LGA.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby MattW » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:37 am

NJT Rider wrote:Run it to Jamacia and establish a LGA & JFK connection. Follow the median of the Grand Central to the Van Wyck to Jamacia.

How many people are actually transferring between LGA and JFK? I could see it from a maintenance perspective perhaps, enlarge one shop instead of building a second one, but that's about it.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby zerovanity59 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:29 am

MattW wrote:
NJT Rider wrote:Run it to Jamacia and establish a LGA & JFK connection. Follow the median of the Grand Central to the Van Wyck to Jamacia.

How many people are actually transferring between LGA and JFK? I could see it from a maintenance perspective perhaps, enlarge one shop instead of building a second one, but that's about it.


I was on a overbooked flight in Newark and they made an announcement of an offer for a plane out of LGA and a monetary voucher for a future flight. No one took the offer. I imagine the same occurs with LGA and JFK.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby railfan365 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:45 pm

zerovanity59 wrote:
MattW wrote:
NJT Rider wrote:Run it to Jamacia and establish a LGA & JFK connection. Follow the median of the Grand Central to the Van Wyck to Jamacia.

How many people are actually transferring between LGA and JFK? I could see it from a maintenance perspective perhaps, enlarge one shop instead of building a second one, but that's about it.


I was on a overbooked flight in Newark and they made an announcement of an offer for a plane out of LGA and a monetary voucher for a future flight. No one took the offer. I imagine the same occurs with LGA and JFK.


On this subject, I was on a couple of flights years ago that were scheduled to land at LaGuardia and redirected to Idlewild.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby SemperFidelis » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:21 pm

Must have been MANY years ago to be diverted to Idlewild Field. Last time I heard it called that was when Kruschev was due there on Car 54.

I would imagine a direct link between the two would benefit the PA as the two fields could then operate in conjunction with one another. Having flown into both, I'd imagine having those aircraft with shorter landing and takeoff requirements routed via LGA would be beneficial, leaving more slots for the heavies at JFK.
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby lpetrich » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:43 am

Alon Levy slammed the proposal: Authoritarian Leaders and Agenda Setting | Pedestrian Observations
Such is the power of a governor who’s accountable to nobody: he proposes a scheme, and even the criticism is on the governor’s own terms of providing service to LaGuardia.

Complete with ignoring other transit-extension possibilities, the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway. He concludes
In such a climate, as soon as we talk about tweaks to Cuomo’s plan, Cuomo’s already won; whatever happens, he will reap the credit, and use it to buy political capital to keep building unnecessary megaprojects. Even trying to make the best of a bad situation by making the airport connector better is of little use, since Cuomo will support the plan that maximizes his political capital and not the one that maximizes transit usage even within such constraints as “must serve LaGuardia.”

This is evident in his response to criticism among transit activists. After listing the many pundits and activists who oppose the plan, Capital New York included a response from the governor’s office, which said, in so many words, “our plan is better because it doesn’t go through populated neighborhoods, where there would be NIMBYs.” What those of us who want good transit view as a feature – connecting to underserved neighborhoods and not just to the airport – Cuomo regards as a bug. A plan that included additional stops in Astoria might well attract community support, while still offering much faster trip times to Manhattan because of the direct route, but would rely on non-airport ridership, which Cuomo doesn’t care about, to keep the cost per rider reasonable.


Yonah Freemark: For LaGuardia, an AirTrain that will save almost no one any time « The Transport Politic (djlong's link titled) shows a map of the proposed route and two alternatives:
  • LGA - Grand Central Pkwy. - 20th Ave. - 30th St. - Astoria-Ditmars Station at the end of the N line
  • LGA - Grand Central Pkwy. - Brooklyn-Queens Expwy. - Jackson Heights (N line) or Woodside (N line, LIRR)
Distances:
  • LGA - Astoria: 3 mi
  • LGA - Woodside: 3 mi
  • LGA - WIllets: 2 mi (Governor's one)
  • Woodside - Jamaica: 6.5 mi
  • Jamaica - JFK: 4.5 mi
The Astoria one was proposed in the 1990's, but local NIMBY's objected rather loudly, and it was dropped in 2001. The Woodside and WIllets ones will mostly go in freeways, and those routes may avoid provoking NIMBY opposition.

YF estimated the travel times for each of these routes to various NYC destinations, and he found that the Willets one is slower than most of the others for most of the destinations that he considered. It seems to me a needless detour, and that a Woodside route would be better.

If some local transit agency seeks Federal money to build it, then the Federal Government will want an alternatives analysis, and I think that the Willets route would lose in it. But by avoiding Federal funds, one may be able to avoid such an official analysis.
The fact is that the governor of New York State, like most people in elected office, doesn’t take transit much and certainly isn’t reliant on it; to put matters bluntly, in a transit-oriented city like New York, he’s a member of the economic and social elite. This elite is unprepared to take advantage (or, in many cases, even know about) bus services that exist, and can only envision taking a train in one circumstance: When traveling to and from the airport. For him, a train to the airport is a must, even if it doesn’t actually improve transportation objectives and even if it isn’t the top priority compared to other options in a constrained spending environment.


Benjamin Kabak: Out of nowhere, Cuomo announces an AirTrain to Laguardia :: Second Ave. Sagas shows a map of the Willets route. His criticisms:
  • The Good: A Rail Connection to Laguardia
  • The Bad: The Routing -- a detour
  • The Ugly: The Money -- the MTA wishes to spend $32 billion on various projects, but it has located only $17 B. This leaves $15 B, and that's not including this AirTrain. Its expected cost is $450 million, but big projects tend to suffer from overruns.
  • The Unknown: What Happens Next

Cuomo promises to fix an 'inexcusable' LaGuardia problem | Capital New York shows a map of the line at the Willets Pt. - Mets 7 subway and LIRR stations. It will go near the 7, and both stations will be connected with a passenger bridge. That bridge will be 1000 ft long. With a walking speed of 2 mph, it will take 6 minutes to traverse it.

Planes, Trains And Taxis: When To Take Public Transit From The Airport | FiveThirtyEight lists transit vs. car times between various city centers and airports. Transit access is usually but not always slower.

Finally, John F. Kennedy International Airport - Wikipedia has a history of that airport's names.
  • 1943: Idlewild (unofficial; after a golf course whose land was taken over to build that airport)
  • 1943: Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport
  • 1948: New York International Airport, Anderson Field
  • 1963: John F. Kennedy International Airport (a month after its namesake was assassinated; this name displaced Idlewild)
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Re: La Guardia AirTrain proposal.

Postby SemperFidelis » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:31 pm

WAY off topic, but i'll keep it brief and never stray again...

I mentioned Kruschev in my previous post. American Experience, a superb show on PBS, has an hour long special about Kruschev's trip to America during Ike's last year as President. There is some really good footage in it of the trains both the Premiere and the President used to travel around the country. Pretty sure it was all Union Pacific and PRR, but might have been some Southern Pacific, too. Worth the watch.

Back to Air Train.
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