New York Governor Kathy Hochul made one of the most short-sighted decisions in the city’s history: She decided to cancel the construction of a rail link to LaGuardia Airport.
LaGuardia is used only for domestic flights and is the only major airport on the East Coast of the United States that is not connected by train.
As you know, the other major airport, John F. Kennedy Airport, was connected by rail a few years ago.
The governor justified her decision by saying that the cost of its construction, estimated at $2.4 billion, was too high. Notably, when it was first proposed by Andrew Cuomo in 2015, the cost was $450 million.
Experts who were asked to study the feasibility of the project concluded that the most advantageous solution is to connect the airport with … buses.
But sometimes not everything can be assessed with pencil and paper.
The renovation of LGA, which President Biden described as “third world” when he was vice president, cost $8 billion.
America was once the country that led, by far, the entire world in infrastructure projects but now has nothing to compare to the trains of Europe and China.
It is only now beginning a race to upgrade its infrastructure after Congress passed a massive program – over $1 trillion.
For example, anyone who drives in New Jersey or uses the train knows about the long delays on the bridge and tunnels. It’s the same on Long Island and everywhere else. Not to mention in the streets of Manhattan.
That the governor is depriving people who can’t take a taxi, or who want to avoid the incredible hassle of driving to LaGuardia -have you taken the Grand Central lately?- of the option of the train is a tragic decision.
If the cost of a rail link to the airport has increased five times in eight years, imagine how much it will cost when some politician with a vision finally decides to make it happen.
One wonders what makes some politicians make such short-sighted decisions.