Free Bus Service To and From LaGuardia Airport — Until…

In order to relieve traffic congestion on roadways, if you are traveling to or from Fiorello LaGuardia Airport in New York on the bus route known as the LaGuardia Link Q70 SBS, you will ride for free, as the collection of the usual fare of $2.75 has been suspended through Sunday, November 26, 2017.

Free Bus Service To and From LaGuardia Airport — Until…

The Q70 LaGuardia Link SBS is operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York; and it provides non-stop express service between Terminals B, C and D of the airport with regional intermodal transit hubs in Jackson Heights and Woodside, Queens served by the E, F, M, R and 7 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road.

SBS stand for Select Bus Service, which allows buses to provide service for areas which have no subway service available. The goal of Bus Rapid Transit systems is to bring faster, more reliable and quality bus service to high ridership corridors. “In New York City, SBS improves speed and reliability through dedicated bus lanes, off-board fare payment, station spacing and transit signal priority (TSP). SBS also improves passenger comfort and convenience through enhanced bus stops that include shelters with seating, lighting and real time bus information.”

Summary

Despite its expense, I never really understood why a subway line was never built to serve LaGuardia Airport even though rail links to the airport have been proposed since as early as 1943; but according to this article written by Max Rivlin-Nadler of The Village Voice, a controversial AirTrain system similar to the one which currently serves John F. Kennedy International Airport is supposedly in the works to be in operation by the year 2023.

I have used the Q70 — the Q means that the bus route operates in Queens — before it was designated as a Select Bus Service in September of 2016. It was the least expensive but most crowded option of ground transportation; and the schedule was not the most convenient — but it certainly served its purpose for me whenever I used it.

Source: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York.

4 thoughts on “Free Bus Service To and From LaGuardia Airport — Until…”

  1. Jacob says:

    Speaking as a New Yorker – the reason there is no rail link to LGA is the same reason the first 3 stops on the 2nd Ave Subway just opened earlier this year despite being in the works since 1919. Because of property values and political opposition in the neighborhoods the train would have to run through it would pretty much have to be almost entirely underground which is prohibitively expensive to build (especially given the current state of the MTA’s finances.) Instead the only proposal being seriously considered is Andrew Cuomo’s AirTrain boondoggle which is pretty much the textbook definition of a vanity project as it would leave riders at the far end of an already overcrowded Subway line and further from Manhattan than they started.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I was born and raised in New York myself, Jacob; and I cannot argue with any of those reasons…

      …and the finances of the Metropolitan Transportation Association were never exactly great.

  2. JL says:

    Unless you happen to live/come from within walking distance of the bus route, or somewhere really far away that required bus-to-subway transfer already, a subway-to-bus transfer was always free. so this really doesn’t benefit/impact too many people. I imagine they ran their analytics, and realized they were collecting 90-95% “transfers” instead of actual fares. so cancelling it speeds up boarding without losing any real money.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I thought about that and remember that when I used the bus route myself, JL; but I did not know if anything changed since it was designated as a Special Bus Service line last year.

      Thank you for the clarification.

      As for me: I would rather walk — yes, I have walked even though a bus route serves that area — from near the airport to Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen in Rego Park and get myself a pastrami sandwich on rye bread:

      http://thegate.boardingarea.com/review-bens-best-kosher-delicatessen-in-rego-park-new-york/

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