Getting to LaGuardia Airport may soon take less time as the MTA is proposing several new Select Bus Service routes that would cut travel time to the Queens airport by up to 40 minutes. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.
A painfully local trip on the M60 bus across 125th Street is the only one-seat city ride from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport.
Back in December, NY1 showed you a typical rush-hour ride, the bus piled high with luggage and crammed with so many passengers that some get left behind at the curb, all for a trip that can take 1.5 hours.
"I would never take it," said one commuter.
There are other options but they cost much more than the regular bus fare of $2.25.
"If you take a taxi, it would cost almost $50," said said one commuter.
On Thursday, the MTA and the city announced plans it hopes will change all that by adding fast, new select bus service routes to LaGuardia not only from Manhattan but also from the Bronx and Queens.
Two routes are scheduled to be running by next year, one from 125th Street to LaGuardia and another along the Bx41 route along Webster Avenue in the Bronx to LaGuardia.
A new route in Queens, starting in Woodside, is scheduled for 2014. The MTA said it will reduce travel times by up to 50 percent.
"Riders would see improved times anywhere between 10 and 40 minutes, most notably 40 if you're taking the proposed SBS bus route from the Bronx to LaGuardia," said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
Select bus service is already operating on some city routes. It speeds things up by having riders pay their fares before getting on board, while having fewer stops, dedicated bus lanes and software that changes lights to give buses the right of way.
"Integrating traffic signal prioritization, which allows us to run buses through a corridor syncing traffic lights so they remain green while the bus goes through the intersection," Ortiz said.
Riders were delighted.
"Any improvement would be welcome," said one.
The MTA said it's working with the communities to iron out the details and will be presenting the budget for the board's approval in the next few months.