Plans Follow Last Week’s Announcement of Rebranding of Q70 Airport Bus Service

Q70 LaGuardia Link Bus

Two weeks after Governor Cuomo’s announcement that the current Q70 route serving LaGuardia Airport would be relaunched in September as a Select Bus Service – with a distinctive new look – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced a new marketing campaign designed to raise awareness of the bus service that provides direct, non-stop service between LaGuardia Airport and two regional transit hubs in Queens that connect to five subway lines, Long Island Rail Road and seven bus lines.

Since its launch in September of 2013, the Q70 Limited bus route has seen customer demand more than double, with ridership growing from 2,100 weekday customers to an average of more than 4,300 weekday customers in 2016. Customers will continue to benefit from a free transfer to/from the subway – a benefit that 76% of Q70 riders currently use.

The improvements on the Q70 Limited route are part of Governor Cuomo’s plans to enhance the experience of bus customers, which includes rolling out more than 2,000 new state-of-the-art buses over the next five years.

“Raising customer awareness is a critical component to increasing ridership of this fast, easy way to get to the airport,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Governor Cuomo has made unprecedented investment in our infrastructure but has also challenged us to ensure that everything we do makes the system more intuitive and welcoming to customers. The LaGuardia Link rebranding is another way we can enhance that customer experience.”

LaGuardia Link Marketing Campaign

Elements of the new marketing campaign include advertising and LaGuardia Link promotion in media targeting potential Q70 bus riders while they make their airport-to-NYC travel plans in-flight, and again when they arrive at the airport. Media will include:

  • Backlit dioramas/carousels and wall wraps in baggage claim areas to target passengers arriving at Terminals A, B, C, and D;
  • In-flight Wi-Fi and video services, primarily with Southwest Airlines;
  • In-flight print publications on Delta, American, United, and Southwest and;
  • An extensive social media campaign targeting those planning travel to/from NYC using most popular planning sites, such as Expedia.

Select Bus Service (SBS)

As previously announced, the “LaGuardia Link” will also become a Select Bus Service (SBS) in September, offering convenient off-board fare technology that allows customers to pre-pay their fare and enter and exit through any bus door, eliminating the need to wait to pay at a single fare box and decreasing dwell time at stops.

LaGuardia Link’s New Look

The rebranding sets the Q70 apart from buses on other routes, alleviating any confusion customers or tourists may have as they look for the vehicles on the street or at the airport terminals. The “new look” Q70 buses are teal blue and dotted with silhouettes of planes and clouds, a playful riff on the route’s airport terminus. The buses also feature text on their front, back and both sides noting the “LaGuardia Link,” the icons for the five subway lines and Long Island Rail Road that connect to the Q70 via the Woodside LIRR station / 61 St-Woodside 7 station and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av 7EFMR station and a bus transfer hub. The LaGuardia Link will also continue to offer travelers convenient luggage storage racks.

LaGuardia Link Route

The Q70 offers a convenient option for customers going to LaGuardia Airport via a connection right outside two transit hubs in Queens: Woodside-61 St 7 station, where a LIRR transfer is available, and the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av 7EFM and R train station. From those stations the Q 70 operates non-stop to LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal (B), Terminal C, and Terminal D. Commuting times from midtown Manhattan to LaGuardia can be as fast as 35 minutes, and the connection to the bus is free for subway customers who use their MetroCard.

What Transit Advocates Are Saying

  • Joe Sitt, Chairman of Global Gateway Alliance: “By relaunching the Q70 as an airport express, the MTA is turning a regular city bus from LaGuardia's best kept secret into a recognized airport connection for millions of passengers. As a direct connection to Manhattan's most convenient airport, the LaGuardia Link will provide both locals and visitors alike with quick and easy access to the region's core at an affordable price, all while easing congestion on the roads. And with construction underway to overhaul LaGuardia, it's only right that the MTA is unveiling 21st century access to match."
  • John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance: "The new LaGuardia Link shuttle bus will be an easy, intuitive way for airport visitors to get to and from the subway. Now that we're offering a more convenient service, it's time to let the world know about it. If airport visitors know they can hop onto a direct link to the subway, I'm sure more and more people will choose transit on their trips to LaGuardia."