Ocasio-Cortez Criticizes Cuomo’s Plan for a Rail Link to La Guardia , For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has made building major projects a centerpiece of his tenure, it is a signature plan — turning La Guardia Airport into a world-class, 21st-century travel hub.
That plan has been moving forward rapidly. But now, an influential Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is questioning why ,
The governor’s plan was the only option among dozens for getting travelers to and from La Guardia to have survived a federal review. Ocasio-Cortez, a vocal freshman in Congress who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx,
Cuomo declined to comment, referring questions to the Port Authority. Authority officials said Monday that they had not seen the letter from Ocasio-Cortez. Opponents of the La Guardia plan have criticized its indirect route, as well as its soaring cost.
The proposed 1.5-mile path of the AirTrain would take it along the south shore of Flushing Bay and around Citi Field in Willets Point, where there are stations for the 7 subway line and the Long Island Rail Road.
Those stations are further east than La Guardia, so travelers from Manhattan would have to go beyond the airport to head west.
When Cuomo broached the idea for the AirTrain in 2015, his office said that building it would cost $450 million. Two years later, the Port Authority had more than tripled that estimate to $1.5 billion. But in October of last year, the agency’s board authorized spending $2.05 billion on the project.
By then, a review of the project’s potential impact on the environment was underway. It is being conducted by the FAA because the Port Authority hopes to recoup some of the costs of the AirTrain through fees added to airline tickets.