April 28, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that the Q70 bus to LaGuardia Airport will be free for all riders starting Sunday.
The Q70 bus, which operates 24 hours a day, connects LaGuardia Airport to the 61st Street–Woodside station with its only stop being the Jackson Heights 74th Street station. Once the bus arrives at the airport it drops passengers off at Terminals B, C and D.
The bus service is currently free to ride on select weekends, holidays and for two hours after swiping a MetroCard.
Hochul said the MTA will scrap the $2.75 fee entirely from May 1 in order to make it easier for travelers and to boost ridership—thereby helping the environment.
“This not only adds cash back into riders’ wallets, it serves as an attractive, cost-efficient and greener option to travel to LaGuardia while we work on longer-term solutions,” Hochul said at an MTA board meeting Wednesday.
The scrapping of the bus fare is seen as a stopgap measure as the state looks to provide a more efficient public transit connection to LaGuardia.
The Port Authority, with the support of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, originally planned to construct a 1.5 mile AirTrain from Willets Point to the airport, which Hochul put on hold in order to study other options.
The state is now reviewing 14 potential proposals including the AirTrain. These involve subway extensions, light rail routes, new bus routes and ferry service.
Nevertheless, the announcement to offer the Q70 for free was welcomed by leaders of the public transit group Riders Alliance, which has been advocating for the fare to be removed for years.
Danny Pearlstein, the director of policy and communications at Riders Alliance, called the announcement “historic” and said it will encourage more residents to use public transportation.