New York state lawmakers have introduced legislation allowing land to be acquired in order to build a rail link to LaGuardia International Airport, similar to the AirTrain lines now serving JFK and Newark Liberty International Airport.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the bill introduced in the state legislature would authorize the use of public land for the LaGuardia AirTrain, which would connect the airport to the Long Island Rail Road’s Willetts Point station, allowing for a public transit route to destinations in Manhattan.
Plans call for construction on the $2 billion rail link to commence in 2019, with completion of the project in 2023. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the project is essential for “transforming LaGuardia into a world-class transportation gateway.”
The legislation would allow planners more flexibility in determining the route of the AirTrain, after some Queens residents complained that initial plans would bring the rail line too close to their homes, Curbed New York reports.
Some community groups have complained that the rail line would negatively affect local quality of life while yielding no economic benefits.
“State legislation currently being discussed would define a corridor within which an AirTrain could be potentially constructed in the future and would allow for alternatives within that corridor to be considered as part of an extensive environmental review process with required public involvement,” the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a press statement.