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Flying LaGuardia This Long Weekend? Oh Dear.

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Missed flights, stranded shuttle buses, and children dragging their luggage on the highway are all hallmarks of The LaGuardia Experience, and we’re not out of the woods yet. According to the Port Authority, “peak construction” work and extremely high volumes of travelers will ensure that flying in and out of LGA will be hairier than usual this coming long weekend.

In a press release, the Port Authority says that they expect more than 100,000 daily travelers on October 10th, 11th, and 14th, earning them the dreaded moniker of “peak travel days.”

For context, there were 45 peak travel days this summer alone, all but ensuring a Summer Of Hell for The Worst Place In Queens.

LaGuardia‘s $8 billion renovation is one major factor making it exceedingly difficult to even get to the airport, forcing road closures and diversions. Another factor: Almost 90 percent of people traveling to and from LaGuardia take private cars, taxis, or shuttles.

To encourage people to take mass transit, the Q70 LaGuardia Link, which takes riders of the E/F/M/R and 7 lines to Terminals B, C, and D, will be free all weekend. Don’t forget to monitor wait times and traffic before you go, here.

The Port Authority says that they have “an around-the-clock operations center to monitor all aspects of airport traffic, implement roadway changes needed to improve traffic flow, mobilize tow trucks, and, on high traffic days, shift traffic lights on a moment-to-moment basis as needed.”

They also claim that things will get better, soonish.

“The first major arrivals and departures hall will open next year along with the vast majority of new roadways, which will significantly ease congestion,” the release states.

But work on the new Central Terminal Building at Terminal B to move the airport 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, freeing up air taxiing space at the tiny airport, is supposed to continue until 2022. Delta’s work on its own terminal won’t be finished until 2025.

We asked the Port Authority if there are plans to install dedicated travel lanes for mass transit, shuttles, or buses, but they haven’t responded yet. Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t seem too worried about it.

“No, look, what’s happening at LaGuardia is in some ways unavoidable,” Cuomo told WNYC this summer after a particularly miserable travel day.

“Now, people get out of the car. What happens is when they are in sight of the terminal and traffic is slow they get out of the cab and walk the remainder of the distance. Which is not advisable, but it’s not, it doesn’t totally violate what is expedient at the time either,” Cuomo said.

Getting to JFK and Newark via mass transit is easier, but it’s about to get more expensive. The Port Authority recently voted to raise AirTrain fares from $5 to $7.50, starting on November 1st, 2019.





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