EAST ELMHURST — The Q70 bus to LaGuardia Airport is getting a new name and look to help straphangers find the right bus to catch a plane, the governor's office announced Tuesday.
The bus — which connects the airport to the Long Island Rail Road, as well as the 7, E, F, M and R trains — will be re-branded the "LaGuardia Link," officials said. It will also become part of the MTA's Select Bus Service, in which riders pay ahead of time at a streetside kiosk to eliminate a long wait when buses arrive. It should be ready to roll by September, officials said.
"LaGuardia Link will make public transit an intuitive, convenient option for anyone flying into or out of LaGuardia," Joe Raskin, the Executive Director of Riders Alliance, said in a statement.
The group released a study last fall that found the bus route only drew 1.2 million annual riders in 2014, compared with more than 5 million on the M60 bus from Manhattan, according to data from the MTA.
Part of the problem, they found, was the Q70 suffered from poor signage that confused riders.
They also suggested ditching the fare on the bus since most people connect with a free transfer from the subway — but the MTA did not take that suggestion.
“The best mass transit option to LaGuardia shouldn't be a secret, but for too long that's what the Q70 has been," said John Sitt, chairman of Global Gateway Alliance.