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Could New York's LaGuardia Airport finally be getting a rail link?
It appears such a plan is in the works, a move that would end decades of talk about connecting the airport to New York's extensive rail system.
That comes after New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday revealed plans to build an elevated "AirTrain" rail link that would run from the airport to a rail transit hub about 1.5 miles from LaGuardia. The Willets Point Station, which would be expanded under the proposal, sits near the Citi Field baseball stadium and would offer links to New York's No. 7 subway line as well as to the Long Island Rail Road commuter rail line.
"You can't get to LaGuardia by train. That really is inexcusable, and that is going to change," Cuomo said in a speech to the Association for a Better New York business group, according to The Associated Press.
The rail link would be built in the same style as the existing AirTrain operations that connect New York's two other big airports to the region's rail network. The JFK AirTraintakes fliers between the airport and the Long Island Rail Road as well as to several of the city's subway lines. The Newark AirTrain provides a link between the airport and both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains. Riders can take New Jersey Transit trains into Manhattan as well as to many points in New Jersey.
The governor's plan for the LaGuardia rail link was short on other specifics, but Cuomo's office projects it would cost about $450 million and that it would be completed by 2020. AP notes the cost would amount to "about $300 million per mile" and adds that "a start date for construction has not been set, and the Legislature must sign off on the project."
This article first appeared on www.usatoday.com
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