Ahead of a busy travel weekend in New York, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is trying to relieve the massive traffic tieups that have snarled the highway and sent travelers hiking on foot through slush and ice.
And with nearly 300,000 passengers expected to use LaGuardia airport this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, a better plan can’t come soon enough.
The Port Authority is implementing a plan to relieve some of that pressure this President’s Day weekend, including offering six days of free bus service to the airport from Queens’s county train and subway stations, as well as giving passengers discounts on parking in the airport’s long term lot and free parking in a satellite lot.
LaGuardia has been a problem for passengers flying in or out of the airport ever since construction started on its $4 billion renovation last June. Travelers in the know have been switching to JFK whenever possible, but last weekend, after a foot of snow canceled Thursday flights, the traffic and congestion caused thousands of travelers to miss their flights. Hundred just got out of their cabs and walked the half-mile from the airport entrance to the main terminal; just as many walked out.
This weekend, private car services and for-hire vehicles, including Uber and Lyft, will be able to pick up passengers in front of the terminal on the airport’s arrival level. Terminal B’s taxi stand has been moved to the west end of the terminal to allow for easier off-airport access.
Passengers should still allow an extra 90 minutes to get to LaGuardia and check with airlines first to ensure flights are leaving on time, the Port Authority said. Those who can should make public transportation the first choice.
Back in June, authorities broke ground on a $4 billion renovation designed to finally bring LaGuardia into the 21st century. “The greatest city in the world—and New York is—needs and deserves the greatest infrastructure in the world,” former vice president Joe Biden said at the time.
The project calls for terminals A and B to be completely demolished and rebuilt as “state of the art” facilities; the airport to be moved closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will increase flight operations by 240%; a new roadway network and 3,000-space parking garage; AirTran and ferry service; and a new central terminal building.