Hochul pulls plug on Cuomo’s $2.1B ‘wrong-way’ AirTrain
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul inheriting Cuomo’s problems: State minority leader
New York State Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt (R) on problems left behind by Andrew Cuomo.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has told the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to find an alternative to disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2.1 billion "AirTrain" pet project between LaGuardia Airport and eastern Queens.
"I have asked the Port Authority to thoroughly examine alternative mass transit solutions for reducing car traffic and increasing connectivity to LaGuardia Airport," Hochul said in a statement Monday afternoon — hours before elected officials representing the impacted section of Queens were set to hold a press conference against the boondoggle.
"We must ensure that our transportation projects are bold, visionary, and serve the needs of New Yorkers," Hochul said. "I remain committed to working expeditiously to rebuild our infrastructure for the 21st century and to create jobs – not just at LaGuardia, but at all of our airports and transit hubs across New York."
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"I don’t feel obligated to accept what I have inherited," Hochul added later Monday at a press conference in Brooklyn. "There were alternatives on the table that even the FAA said that people were saying people were not looking at as close as they should."
The AirTrain was a top priority of Cuomo, who pushed the project through despite opposition from some transit advocates and even officials at the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Authority, the bi-state agency that oversees the regional airports and would have built and operated it.
Critics including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) questioned the logic of the route, which would require Manhattan-bound riders to first travel east — away from the island — before connecting to the subway at Willets Point and then heading back west. They said it’s faster to take a cab or bus to Midtown and the cost doesn’t justify the number of riders who would use it.
In the last week alone, the AirTrain picked up newfound skeptics and opponents including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and two of the borough’s most powerful state senators, Leroy Comrie and Mike Gianaris.