Private company offers alternative to LaGuardia AirTrain



A private sector company is proposing a way to provide rail service to LaGuardia Airport and improve the Northeast Corridor and Empire Corridor railroads with higher frequency and better service.

In a letter sent to New York Governor Kathy Hochul and shared with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), AmeriStarRail proposes a three-phase approach that will eventually provide Metro-North passengers direct connections to JFK and Long Island Rail Road passengers with direct connections to LaGuardia.

The three proposed phases are:

  • Phase 1: AirTrain LaGuardia express trains operating within available track capacity of Route N from City Hall to Astoria where shuttles would connect customers to each LaGuardia terminal.
  • Phase 2: Build elevated tracks and two new stations to bring trains to each LaGuardia terminal and use the same technology currently used on AirTrain JFK.
  • Phase 3: Extend the AirTrain LaGuardia on the Van Wyck Expressway to connect to the existing AirTrain JFK in Jamaica.

“AmeriStarRail’s AirTrain LaGuardia/JFK system will provide Manhattan and the New York City area with a bigger, bolder, better way to finally bring rail service to LaGuardia Airport,” said Scott Spencer. , chief operating officer of AmeriStarRail. “The train is the most sustainable and climate-friendly means of transport. With the new AirTrain LaGuardia/JFK system, airport passengers/workers in the New York area and Queens communities along the route will have an innovative way to save the environment and ride the train.

The original proposal to connect LaGuardia by train called for a connection between New York City Transit Services and the Long Island Rail Road at Mets-Willets Point, which critics called too expensive and questioned traffic cuts project estimates.

In October, Governor Hochul asked PANYNJ to consider alternative options for the project. PANYNJ appointed a group of three transportation experts in November and tasked them with evaluating transit options to LaGuardia.

AmeriStarRail’s letter notes that its proposal is the result of “considerable time, effort and resources” and says the company is available to discuss with stakeholders once the plan has been reviewed.

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