Gov. Kathy Hochul has advised the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to search out an alternative choice to disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.1 billion “AirTrain” pet mission between LaGuardia Airport and jap Queens.
“I have asked the Port Authority to thoroughly examine alternative mass transit solutions for reducing car traffic and increasing connectivity to LaGuardia Airport,” Hochul mentioned in a press release Monday afternoon — hours earlier than elected officers representing the impacted part of Queens have been set to carry a press convention towards the boondoggle.
“We must ensure that our transportation projects are bold, visionary, and serve the needs of New Yorkers,” Hochul mentioned. “I remain committed to working expeditiously to rebuild our infrastructure for the 21st century and to create jobs – not just at LaGuardia, but at all of our airports and transit hubs across New York.”
“I don’t feel obligated to accept what I have inherited,” Hochul added later Monday at a press convention in Brooklyn. “There were alternatives on the table that even the FAA said that people were saying people were not looking at as close as they should.”
The AirTrain was a high precedence of Cuomo, who pushed the mission by means of regardless of opposition from some transit advocates and even officers on the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority, the bi-state company that oversees the regional airports and would have constructed and operated it.
Critics together with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questioned the logic of the route, which might require Manhattan-bound riders to first journey east — away from the island — earlier than connecting to the subway at Willets Point after which heading again west. They mentioned it’s quicker to take a cab or bus to Midtown and the fee doesn’t justify the variety of riders who would use it.
In the final week alone, the AirTrain picked up newfound skeptics and opponents together with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and two of the borough’s strongest state senators, Leroy Comrie and Mike Gianaris.
Hochul had beforehand mentioned she was in dialog with Port Authority Exeuctive Director Rick Cotton about the way forward for the mission.
The mission and its questionable route would entice simply 6,000 new each day transit riders, authorities watchdog Reinvent Albany and former metropolis DOT official Jon Orcutt present in a report launched final month.
That comes out to a whopping $350,000 per rider, the report mentioned — the costliest mission per-rider in historical past.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos, whose district encompasses a part of the proposed mission, referred to as Hochul’s resolution to hunt alternate options “great movement in the right direction.”
“The next step is to define with more clarity what this means in practice,” Ramos tweeted. “The sentiment of a review is appreciated. What my community and our coalition partners are calling for is a halt.”
One native elected continues to help Cuomo’s “wrong-way” proposal – longtime Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, who castigated his colleagues for turning towards the mission.
“To do nothing by blocking LaGuardia AirTrain, as some of my colleagues in elected office now want, means that we will have no opportunity for success and more and more cars on the roads and in and out of our community for generations to come,” Aubry mentioned in a press release.
A Port Authority spokesman referred The Post to Cotton’s feedback final Thursday defending the mission.
“The project has been subjected to an exhaustive and independent review by the federal aviation administration. It has approved the project and it has specifically analyzed all the alternatives,” Cotton mentioned. “We have been as responsive as possible to the concerns of the community. That has been a major element in the route of the AirTrain.”