As part of the groundbreaking of the new LaGuardia Airport on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Q70 bus would be rebranded as the “LaGuardia Link,” operating as Select Bus Service to the Queens airport.
The MTA will roll out brand new LaGuardia Link buses in September. They’ll be identifiable by a distinct blue and gray paint job, complete with airplane and clouds.
“Gov. Cuomo is upending years of conventional wisdom that said you couldn’t get to LaGuardia easily by transit,” said John Raskin, executive director at Riders Alliance, in a statement. His group and the Global Gateway Alliance had most recently advocated for the rebrand last fall.
The new Link, however, will not be free, as advocates recommended. Like the Q70, it will remain free for those transferring from the subway.
Riders will now have the benefit of the off-board fare payments employed at many of the city’s SBS routes to speed up bus service. The route itself will remain the same, with Links stopping at the airport terminals, the Woodside LIRR station and the Jackson Heights, Roosevelt Ave./74th Street Broadway subway stations on the No. 7 line.
“LaGuardia Link will make public transit a more intuitive, convenient option for anyone flying into or out of LaGuardia,” Raskin added. “This is a simple, cost-effective way to improve public transit access to the airport, and to encourage more people to consider transit when they’re headed to LaGuardia.”
The rebrand is part of the MTA’s $1.3 billion capital commitment to add 2,042 new buses, equipped with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports, to its fleet over the next five years. The first 75 buses have already been allocated to Queens depots.
“LaGuardia has the worst mass transit access of any of our major airports,” Joe Sitt, Chairman of Global Gateway Alliance, in a statement. “Both passengers and airlines agree that transit to and from the city’s airport is in desperate need of an overhaul. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction for millions of passengers.”