Detail of a rendering of the proposed AirTrain system to LaGuardia...

Detail of a rendering of the proposed AirTrain system to LaGuardia Airport, which was scrapped in favor of improved MTA bus service. Credit: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Mixed views about AirTrain shutdown

I am happy to hear that the Port Authority has abandoned the plan to build a rail link connecting LaGuardia Airport to subway and Long Island Rail Road stations at Willets Point [“AirTrain to LaGuardia derailed,” News, March 14].

Beyond the high construction cost estimates, the focus should be on the real fatal flaw, using the Port Washington branch as the only direct LIRR service to the LaGuardia connector.

The story correctly noted that travelers heading to other Long Island points would have had “to travel east from the airport, back west on the LIRR to Woodside, and then back east again.” Transit customers want transfers minimized.

As a longtime transportation professional for the LIRR and a transit historian, I found those flaws to always be evident. At public meetings, I specifically decried the now-abandoned proposal for its lack of adequate direct LIRR connecting services.

I have used the current Q70 bus between Woodside and the airport, and it is quite satisfactory. Making the Q70 free was an easy first step. Additional funding to improve its operation is a great idea.

Hopefully, this whole episode will serve to enlighten our public officials to understand that providing transportation improvements involves far more than drawing lines on a map.

 — Andrew J. Sparberg, Oceanside

In her statement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “New Yorkers deserve world-class transportation to world-class airports.” She said the alternatives would provide “a clear, cost-effective path forward with an emissions-free solution for customers.”

LaGuardia Airport has turned into that world-class airport but has now been denied the world-class transportation that would complete the full vision.

Instead of those customers being whisked to the Long Island Rail Road or the No. 7 subway in an emissions-free train on a dedicated right-of-way, they will now have the less-desirable option of climbing into a bus that will chug its way through the local streets of Astoria to eventually reach the end of the N train.

Indeed, this news is unfortunate and shortsighted.

 — Kenneth Buettner, Port Washington

Former Gov. Andrew M. Andrew Cuomo proposes a poorly thought-out route for the AirTrain. Gov. Kathy Hochul opposes, then supports, then opposes it. Problem is, while a good bus route may be fine short-term, New York shouldn’t be the only major city without rail connections to a major airport.

Our roads don’t have good traffic flow. A team of experts, ignoring NIMBY hysterics, should design and specify a proper AirTrain — and keep the Port Authority and Hochul as far away as possible except for funding. Professionals should manage this project, giving good connectivity to the region via rail transit between the two major city airports.

 — Ron Troy, East Northport

It’s not so easy flying from Islip to Florida

As a frequent flyer departing from Long Island MacArthur Airport, I take issue with the travel article noting the ease and convenience of Southwest Airlines flights to Florida destinations [“4 warm destination for a Florida stay,” Travel, March 12].

Of the daily flights to five Florida destinations, only two offer nonstop flights, and only three of the 19 daily flights are nonstop. Almost every flight stops in Baltimore, many with long layover times, some lasting nine hours. It’s ridiculous.

Many times, almost all of the passengers on my flight leaving Islip continue to Baltimore and then on to Fort Myers.

Does MacArthur Airport want to increase the number of people using Southwest Airlines? Management should offer at least one direct flight daily to the five Florida destinations. These flights would likely sell out in a heartbeat.

 — Tim Ryan, Smithtown

Charging stations give boost to buy EVs

Further generous federal funding to build out a national charging network for electric vehicles will help remove the last roadblock for drivers reluctant to purchase one of these easy-care, easy-driving vehicles when the time comes for a new car.

This is especially true in areas of dense development where chargers are few [“$2.5B for EV chargers in underserved areas,” Nation, March 15].

Having owned an EV for five years, I can say this is the main hurdle probably keeping many people from purchasing one, especially those living in apartments, co-ops or townhouses.

Every EV on Long Island roads helps avoid fouling our already heavily polluted air. Toxins from tailpipe emissions are cited in respiratory ailments like asthma, heart disease and even low birth weight. Gov. Kathy Hochul needs to include EV charging as a slice of her state-funding pie.

 — Debra Handel, Shoreham

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