The time spent en route to LaGuardia Airport from Woodside keeps shrinking, and the new Q70 Select Bus has just sliced off more minutes.
The Q70, which began running last weekend, serves the Woodside-61st Street Long Island Rail Road and No. 7 station as well as the E, F, M and R subway stations at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue transit hub. It then runs non-stop to LaGuardia Airport via the limited access Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Grand Central Parkway.
On a recent trip, a Q70 took 15 minutes to reach the airport, leaving the 61st Street station in Woodside at 3:38 p.m., stopping at the Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights station and arriving at the Delta Air Lines terminal at LaGuardia at 3:53 p.m.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials suggest taking the No. 7 train from Midtown Manhattan to Woodside for a 35-minute trip to LaGuardia.
It replaces the Q33, which makes local stops, at the airport.
Although the new bus is officially Bus Rapid Transit, meaning passengers pay before boarding through any door and pay their fare at a curbside kiosk using their MetroCards, none of these features was yet installed on this trip. Nor is the right lane reserved for the bus BRT custom or censors, which prolong a green traffic light until the bus passes.
The Q70 operates 24 hours, seven days a week. It serves all central LaGuardia terminals except the Marine Air Terminal, which the MTA described as “lightly used and remote.”
The MTA said the ride between Woodside and LaGuardia takes between 10 and 15 minutes and from Jackson Heights to the airport runs 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day.
“This new service is a great example of how the MTA network uses buses, railroads and the subway system to serve our customers’ needs,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Combining bus and railroad service to reach LaGuardia Airport without a car is a fast and convenient operation that we are glad to provide.”
LIRR President Helena Williams said “the new MTA bus route from LIRR Woodside Station to LaGuardia Airport provides a great option for Long Islanders and New York City residents heading to the airport.”
Meanwhile, the MTA has given a 20 percent boost in service to the Q103, which serves the booming parts of Long Island City and Astoria.
The Q103 is the MTA’s fastest-growing bus line.
The increased attention from the MTA followed a campaign by the Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy agency, and state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) for transit improvements.
The area where service has been increased is near the East River waterfront and such cultural attractions as Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum as well as Queensbridge Park.
“As western Queens continues to include our city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods, we need to make sure public transportation keeps up,” Gianaris said.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledge
©2013 Community News Group
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