LaGuardia Airport gets free bus connection starting in May

April 29, 2022
MTA will continue to waive fares for the Q70 LaGuardia Link bus service at the direction of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

How to improve transit connections to New York’s LaGuardia Airport has been a much-debated topic and, starting May 1, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is betting an offer of a zero-fare transit connection to the airport via the Q70 bus will make the journey a bit easier.

The governor says she has directed Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to suspend fares on the Q70 LaGuardia Link bus as an immediate incentive to encourage transit use to get to the airport. MTA previously offered zero fare on the Q70 route during select holiday weeks. The bus route connects with subway and Long Island Rail Road customers. MTA says the Q70 runs 24 hours a day and operates every 10 minutes during the day. The vehicles operating on the route are equipped with special luggage racks for people traveling to and from the airport.

"While we continue working to create a world-class transit option that's worthy of a whole new LaGuardia Airport, we're taking action right now to make it easier to get to the airport by making the Q70 bus service free for all riders starting May 1," Gov. Hochul said. "This not only adds cash back into riders' wallets, it serves as an attractive, cost efficient and greener option to travel to LaGuardia while we work on longer-term solutions."

Those “longer-term solutions” could include one of 14 alternatives currently being evaluated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). A proposed $2.1-billion LaGuardia AirTrain had been progressing amid strong opposition. Gov. Hochul directed PANYNJ to examine alternative transit connections to LaGuardia to ensure the best option is selected to deliver an enhanced transit connection to LaGuardia.

PANYNJ Executive Director Rick Cotton welcomed the governor’s decision to waive fares on the Q70 bus.

"Since 2016, the Port Authority has partnered with the MTA for free fare days on the Q70 during periods of peak travel. Meanwhile, the Port Authority is working expeditiously to complete the governor's request for a thorough review of potential alternative mass transit options to LaGuardia Airport, which is focused on 14 alternatives that were presented to the public last month,” said Cotton.

New York area rider advocacy group Riders Alliance has been advocating to make the Q70 LaGuardia Link zero fare for years calling the line “a simple connection to the subway and Long Island Railroad that encourages air travelers to take advantage of” the city’s transit network.

“There could be no better illustration of how the governor runs our transit system than Gov. Hochul's decision to make the Q70 bus free,” said Riders Alliance Policy and Communications Director Danny Pearlstein. “Riders Alliance organizers and canvassers will be at bus stops and on station platforms this spring and summer, spreading the word and building power with riders so we keep winning transit improvements like the free Q70."

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.