Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

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  by Rockingham Racer
 
Backshophoss wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:45 pm It' high time to CLOSE LGA,it's so out moded that there's no Fix . Move the traffic to JFK.EWR.Westchester County and that
air cargo airport near Fishkill. LGA is now useless.

I assume you mean SWF, and not POU. The Hudson Valley Airport has a runway that's only 5001 feet long.
  by Arlington
 
Backshophoss wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:45 pm It' high time to CLOSE LGA,it's so out moded that there's no Fix . Move the traffic to JFK.EWR.Westchester County and that
air cargo airport near Fishkill. LGA is now useless.
You seem to be arguing "it is so crowded, nobody goes there any more"

First, given that the airlines have spent / are spending something like $8b on new Terminal B and a new C (replacing C&D), (80% being the airline's financing) with leases through the year 2050, you're not going to find anybody in government or industry to close LGA, ever.

Acela basically killed the NYC-PHL/BWI/DCA local air markets, but demand from further away quickly rushed in to fill the void. In a world where HSR would take all traffic to BUF, SYR, ROC, and BOS (and throw in Richmond, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh), that lost traffic would simply be replaced with longer flights (which is exactly what happened when the Chunnel bumped LGW/LHR and CDG/ORY/BRU out of the biggest cross-channel markets: the gates are redeployed)

I think the most you say about LGA's being obsolete is that the 1.3m people who fly LGA-BOS should take Acela instead, as a very narrow example. but even that is just 5% of LGA's traffic--about 2 years' growth. If life were fair, the Port Authority would contribute $500m to speed NYC-BOS train service (so it could use those gates to accommodate "must fly" markets like Chicago and Atlanta) but that's about it.

In 2019, (according to https://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1)
LGA handled 28m passengers, up 2% (on 1.5% more departures)
EWR handled 32m passengers, up 0.5% (on fewer departures)
JFK handled 28m passengers, up 3% (on flat departures)
No way you're going to close 1/3 of the PANYNJ's capacity.

Meanwhile
HPN handled 1.6m (White Plains, Westchester)
ISP handled 1.5m (Islip, Long Island)
SWF handled 0.4m (Newburg area)

No way these are going to be able to pick up any of that slack...unless you're time horizon is really beyond 2050 and you have a plan to radically upsize these airports and radically improve access to the region's core.

Back to LGA. All 3 NYC airports are mostly growing by increasing the size of planes which is a pretty good formula for moving more people more reliably. The new LGA terminals seem mostly to have emphasized bigger seating areas so as to accommodate this trend.

Terminal A (the Marine Air Terminal, used by JetBlue for BOS and Florida flights) has been fairly sleepy the couple of times I've flown LGA-BOS on B6. (It has room to grow)

Terminal B (the "not Delta, not JetBlue" terminal) handled 15m and its rebuild will be completed in 2020. I couldn't find the design capacity for the new terminal, but the old one was 8 million, so a doubling of throughput will clearly improve passenger experience.

Terminal C is the Delta-paid (lease until 2050) and handles "Delta's 40%" of the market

We can differ on how to connect LGA to Manhattan & Greater New York, but I don't think there's room to argue that LGA isn't worth connecting.

I think AOC's point is that from her district (Greater Harlem), LGA is vastly closer than having to go "downtown and out" and that the error for the Gov's AirTrain is that to get to LGA his way is "too far out before turning north"
  by lpetrich
 
Arlington wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:33 am I think AOC's point is that from her district (Greater Harlem), LGA is vastly closer than having to go "downtown and out" and that the error for the Gov's AirTrain is that to get to LGA his way is "too far out before turning north"
That's essentially it - Willets Point is an eastward detour for most NYC residents, and the alternatives that AOC mentioned don't involve such a detour.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
lpetrich wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:13 pmGuess who has gotten involved.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY-14.
Can we be surprised, Mr. Petrich, that "impeach the Mother *", former counter attendant (or whatever the cute name some International coffee house chain dreamed up for such) is ranting about something she knows little about?

The Times afforded her a soapbox with their National coverage of the story.

Funny how I haven't been near LGA since '17. Two bus rides simply to pick up a rented auto - and then "how do I get out of this hole?" is too much for anyone coming to NY or region - even for me who grew up in the region (including being a resident of NYC during '61-62).
  by lpetrich
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:55 pm
lpetrich wrote: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:13 pmGuess who has gotten involved.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY-14.
Can we be surprised, Mr. Petrich, that "impeach the Mother *", former counter attendant (or whatever the cute name some International coffee house chain dreamed up for such) is ranting about something she knows little about?
It's Rashida Tlaib who said "impeach the m-f". AOC was a waitress and a bartender when she ran for office, but she had already been other things.

Why do you think that she knows little about this issue? I think that she has some legitimate questions.
  by Arlington
 
AOC's concerns are well-founded, I'd say. She's asking the right questions.

There are very few people--particularly from car-free households-- who would get more frequent or faster trips under the Governors plan which ties into the rail network both (1) too far east and (2) where service to Manhattan is too infrequent

See, for example, Yonah Freemark's analysis:
For LaGuardia, an AirTrain that will save almost no one any time

Image

With the killer slide being this one that shows that only Flushing Queens gets better service (a short fast trip gets faster...not exactly solving a real problem)

Image

Yonah Freemark concludes that maybe rail is the wrong mode here (which makes AOC's musing on water and bus particularly on-point)
In other words, the governor’s proposal and reasonable alternatives would do little to improve transit to LaGuardia. Very expensive alternatives, such as an express subway from Grand Central, would save significant time, but those are far more expensive than anyone in office appears willing to commit to at the moment. This suggests that perhaps a rail link to the airport — while a popular idea — may not be particularly effective in actually saving people time.
  by lpetrich
 
I decided to do some estimates.

The Staten Island Ferry travels for 5 miles (St. George's on SI - Whitehall on Manhattan) and takes around 25 minutes. That's 1 mile every 5 minutes or 12 mph.

For LGA, the easiest spot to start from is the south shore of Bowery Bay at the east end of that airport. For Manhattan, I looked along East River for ferry terminals:
  • Queens
    • Astoria - 4.6 mi - 23 min
    • Long Island City - 6.4 mi - 32 min
    • Hunters Point - 7 mi - 35 min
  • Brooklyn
    • India St. / Greenpoint - 7.8 mi - 39 min
    • N Williamsburg - 8.6 mi - 43 min
    • S Williamsburg - 9.4 mi - 47 min
    • Dumbo/BBP - 10.8 mi - 54 min
    • Brooklyn Bridge - 11.8 mi - 59 min
  • Manhattan
    • E 90th St. - 4.2 mi - 21 min
    • E 34th St. - 7 mi - 35 min
    • Stuyvesant Cove - 7.8 mi - 39 min
    • Corlears Hook - 9.6 mi - 48 min
    • Wall St. - 11 mi - 55 min
    • Whitehall - 11.6 mi - 58 min
So for Lower Manhattan, it would take about an hour to make the trip. This is for a nonstop trip, since each stop will add a couple of minutes.
  by lpetrich
 
I decided to check some San Francisco Bay ferries as a comparison.
  • SF - Sausalito (GGT): 30 min - 7.3 mi - 15 mph
  • SF - Larkspur (GGT): 30 min - 13 mi - 26 mph
  • SF - Vallejo (SFBF): 60 min - 27.8 mi - 28 mph
GGT - Ferry Schedules & Maps - Ferry | Golden Gate
SFBF - San Francisco Bay Ferry to Vallejo

The Bay Area has some fast ferries, but their cruising speed may not be very safe in the East River.

I turn to the land routes, using Yonah Freemark's image file.
  • Ditmars Blvd - 2.7 mi
  • Astoria Blvd - Grand Central Parkway - 2.5 mi
  • Jackson Heights - Brooklyn-Queens Expressway - GCP - 2.7 mi
  • Willets Point - Grand Central Parkway - 2.3 mi
The Q70 bus follows the JH - BQX - GCP - LGA route, and dedicated bus lanes may not do much for it.

Jackson Heights is IMO the best rail route. It is like the Willets Point one is mainly being constructed in freeway medians, and its subway/LIRR connections are less peripheral - no detouring required.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
There's a report out that AOC [who represents the whole area] is questioning the logic behind the current plan. Stay tuned.
  by ExCon90
 
One really ironic element in the Cuomo proposal is that not only is it out of the way for anyone coming from Manhattan, it's not even any use to those living in Nassau and Suffolk since it's on the wrong line for anyone not coming from Great Neck or Port Washington. Hicksville or Babylon to Woodside to Mets-Willets Point? And good luck getting on the 7 at Woodside with luggage ...
  by lpetrich
 
AOC is right: The LaGuardia AirTrain is a worthless white elephant - the New York Post
If reducing traffic is the goal, just shore up dedicated bus lanes, as AOC and the Manhattan Institute’s Connor Harris each advise.
Best mayor, worst airport: AOC is right, there is a better way for LaGuardia transit - New York Daily News
Twenty years ago, there were sane plans to extend the N train from Astoria to the airport. That’s off the table because it would require acquiring about five private properties (whose residents will be richly compensated). Private property isn’t stopping Cuomo from pursuing an expanded Penn Station; why is it scaring him here?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Have the pigs started flying yet? The Daily News, the NY Post, and I are actually in agreement about the same subject (AirTrain) on the same day! Someone play the numbers 😂 https://t.co/woOnNyBOX3" / Twitter
  by andegold
 
Pure fantasy - Feel free to ignore, or move to a new topic if more appropriate:

Was any thought given, in whole or in part, to the following combined scenarios:

When the SAS/Q reaches 125th St have it turn right instead of left and head towards LGA. (Perhaps leave the SAS as planned heading west and create a new line from Inwood going cross-town at 125th and running out to LGA and beyond.)

Extend the N/W to LGA (I know this has been discussed extensively).

Have the M turn north at Steinway to meet up with the Q/N/W at LGA.

Rather than terminate at LGA extend the line to Willets Point, Main St, or some new yard/destination in an unserved part of Queens.

This would give better access to LGA to folks above 96th St in Manhattan, provide parallel access on two trunks in Manhattan below 59th (including a third trunk with same platform transfer between E and M), provide additional local service and LGA access through Northwest Queens, provide LGA access from the East, provide a relief valve for Flushing Main St crowds, and finally, provide the PA with access to remote parking lots which is apparently what they really want from the eastern approach.

How many tens of billions would that cost? Does the geography allow for it to be done (either above or below ground? I confess that this is basically just drawing lines on a map with no knowledge of geographical facts on the ground. I used to envision the N/W extending over the bay above ground and water but with this plan I see it all coming together underground.
  by andrewjw
 
andegold wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:36 pm Pure fantasy - Feel free to ignore, or move to a new topic if more appropriate:

Was any thought given, in whole or in part, to the following combined scenarios:

When the SAS/Q reaches 125th St have it turn right instead of left and head towards LGA. (Perhaps leave the SAS as planned heading west and create a new line from Inwood going cross-town at 125th and running out to LGA and beyond.)

Extend the N/W to LGA (I know this has been discussed extensively).

Have the M turn north at Steinway to meet up with the Q/N/W at LGA.

Rather than terminate at LGA extend the line to Willets Point, Main St, or some new yard/destination in an unserved part of Queens.

This would give better access to LGA to folks above 96th St in Manhattan, provide parallel access on two trunks in Manhattan below 59th (including a third trunk with same platform transfer between E and M), provide additional local service and LGA access through Northwest Queens, provide LGA access from the East, provide a relief valve for Flushing Main St crowds, and finally, provide the PA with access to remote parking lots which is apparently what they really want from the eastern approach.

How many tens of billions would that cost? Does the geography allow for it to be done (either above or below ground? I confess that this is basically just drawing lines on a map with no knowledge of geographical facts on the ground. I used to envision the N/W extending over the bay above ground and water but with this plan I see it all coming together underground.
Unless you're extending the Astoria Line (where you'd want to go down 20, 21, or Ditmars to avoid branching), the cleanest way west from LGA by far is along GCP. If you draw a line down GCP / Astoria Boulevard into Manhattan, you come out somewhere between 86th and 96th Streets. Running up to 125th and then back down to Astoria would be extremely indirect and inefficient, not to add require a long, twisting tunnel. Providing Upper Manhattan-Queens access is admirable, but providing it from the SAS would be pretty inefficient, and extremely costly. If money is no object, I'd argue that a crosstown line running under Central Park somewhere and then under Roosevelt Island to Astoria would get a lot of traffic, and if you want a *really* long-term plan, connect it south under 10th avenue all the way down to the L, providing new Far West Side north-south service as well.

If you have Astoria to LGA running, extending a branch from QB Local seems redundant - it would reduce transfer opportunity at Jackson Heights, and doesn't provide much more connectivity than the NW + 7 do to Manhattan. It seems much cleaner to build an LGA-Jackson Heights line as the northern end of a Bay Ridge Branch line, running over existing BQE and GCP ROWs (dipping into the median in a trench where necessary for the runways). This provides most of the same Eastern Queens connectivity, but without Eastern Queens riders doubling back, providing transfer at an express station, and also providing Brooklyn access. Both of these proposals (Astoria to LGA and Bay Ridge to LGA) would require minimal tunneling or disruption, and come in at a much lower cost.
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