Sat, 01 Apr 2023

New York cancels planned LaGuardia airport light-rail train

Robert Besser
16 Mar 2023, 23:05 GMT+10

NEW YORK CITY, New York: New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that after a study found the costs of a proposed light train had risen over budget, the state will cancel the project, which would have connected to the city's LaGuardia Airport.

Instead, the study proposed upgrading the current bus service.

The project, backed by previous governor Andrew Cuomo, was put on hold by Hochul in late 2021 and was estimated to then cost $2.1 billion, though it has now risen to least $2.4 billion.

Hochul said she was grateful an expert panel provided "a clear, cost-effective path forward with an emissions-free transit solution."

To start the process to fund improvements to the bus service, the Port Authority will file a planning authorization request with the board for approval in the next 60 to 90 days.

In a 450-page report, the panel said the Port Authority should instead improve existing municipal bus services and add new non-stop airport shuttle service and dedicated bus lanes.

The report estimated the expanded bus service to cost under $500 million, compared to $2.4 billion for the light train project, which would have taken six to seven years to complete.

Connecting the airport by subway would also cost some $6.2 billion and take around 12 years to finish.

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