NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Following CBS2’s reporting on ride share traffic and confusion awaiting passengers returning home through LaGuardia Airport, relief is now apparently on the way.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered state help to ease the headaches for travelers.
The order comes after CBS2’s Lisa Rozner uncovered how construction at LaGuardia is causing absolute chaos.
Standstill traffic and long lines are common.
“A couple of nights ago, people were abandoning their taxis, cars, to make it on time to the airport for their departures,” said Lyft driver Nabi Israfil.
Passengers could wait an hour to get a ride to leave LaGuardia.
“It has been a long day. I am really tired and I want to go home,” said Tarrytown resident Ruby Aluma.
Earlier this week, Rozner learned from Port Authority Police the pickup pandemonium and alleged aggressive hustlers are a growing problem during airport construction.
“I got a black car. It’s $95 plus tolls,” one driver told Rozner.
“What kind of license do you have?” she asked.
“It’s a government ID, a New York state ID,” the driver replied.
Now, New York State Police will be stepping in to help mitigate alleged criminal activity. After CBS2 demanded answers, a statement released by Cuomo Friday announced:
The Governor has directed the Port Authority to increase Port Authority Police presence at LaGuardia to ramp up enforcement of illegal livery cab activity and address traffic resulting from a combination of record summer passenger volumes and peak construction of the new airport. He has also directed the State Police to work with the Port Authority to provide additional assistance as needed.
“Knowing that we do bring money… this agency should provide proper services for us, and not treat us like we’re disposable,” said Uber driver Michele Dottin.
The Terminal B parking garage, where people meet app-based ride services, remains one of the biggest traffic-clogged conundrums. But the Port Authority says this system has actually helped with the airport’s traffic flow.
Don’t tell that to passengers and drivers.
“Last week, I was in this garage for 45 minutes before I could pick up a passenger,” said driver Joe Foresta.
“No one should feel unsafe, and no one should wait more than 20 minutes for an Uber to have it cancel and not have service to get another one,” said Greenpoint resident Nicole Rodriguez.
The Port Authority says the remote staging area is an emerging best practice at airports around the country, and so officials are evaluating whether to keep it this way, even after construction.
CBS2 plans to ask the governor if there is any alternative he would consider when we can get an on-camera interview.
Construction will last until 2021.