It’s off the rails.
The cost of the controversial LaGuardia Airport AirTrain project — which was originally priced at $450 million, then at $1.5 billion — is now estimated to be roughly $2 billion, Port Authority officials revealed Tuesday.
Officials insisted the 1.5-mile-long project will pay for itself — even as they simultaneously announced plans to increase fees on bridges, tunnels, railways and airport facilities.
But critics have panned the proposed service for its bizarre route, which goes past Citi Field instead of into Manhattan. And many travelers say they have no plans to use it.
“People like the privacy, the independence of being in their own cars,” said one commuter at the airport Tuesday.
“I’ll stick with my SUV. It’s worth it.”
In 2015, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo first proposed the route, his office said the AirTrain would cost just $450 million, but the authority said in 2017 that it would actually be $1.5 billion.
The latest estimate of $2.05 billion — which officials say reflects the going rate for new AirTrains — comes out to nearly $800,000 per yard.
The governor argues the AirTrain will provide traffic relief at the Queens airport, which is currently only accessibly by car, bus or foot.
Nearly 90% of travelers currently arrive by car compared to just 6% by public transit, according to Port Authority data.
But while half of LaGuardia travelers are Manhattan-bound, the train’s proposed route will carry travelers east to Willets Point — away from Manhattan — from where they will need to take the Long Island Rail Road or subway into the city.