Tuesday, October 16, 2007
FBO: 'The City that Hates You (Part One); aka Stern Warning to New York City's Airports for Self-Absorbed Ground Transport Fares'
Seeking out cultural diversions, and trying to garner press coverage for failed bands, has led the Failed Bands of Oklahoma semi-permanent headquarters to be moved to the middle of the media-world: New York City. But press trips, on behalf of failed bands, is starting to add up. And the FBO has sighted the problem: extortionate and unfair ground transport fares to reach NYC's three airports -- JFK and La Guardia in Queens, and particularly in Newark in New Jersey.
No major city on earth charges worse fares to reach their airports than Newark charges New Yorkers to reach its airport.
A dozen miles west of Midtown, the AirTrain link charges $15 per person for the 20-minute trip. It's priced to punish airport goers. If you get off at the station before the airport, it's only $4 one way; if you exit one station after the airport it's $5.50. Clearly the pricing punishes Manhattanites wanting to give a little tax money to their neighbor New Jersey by flying out of Newark.
THE FBO BANS THE NEWARK AIRPORT
JFK, the international airport in Jamaica, Queens, is not much better. Until a highly costly 'improvemnent,' of adding an AirTransit train between the airport's eight terminals, it was possible to subway from Manhattan to the airport for $2. Now subway riders -- taking the heart-breaking 75-minute ride to the airport parking lot, must shell out another $5 to transfer to the free airport transport to reach their gate.
Like Moscow, La Guardia -- also in Queens -- has no direct rail/subway link with the airport, despite being closer to Manhattan than any airport!
THE FBO PUTS QUEENS AIRPORTS ON A MONITORED WATCH LIST
How does this compare with world airports? Not well. In Tokyo, passengers can make the 40-mile trip to Narita on a Keikyu train for $4. In London, just how on the tube for the 15-mile trip to Heathrow ($8 one way). Paris' commuter train -- the RER -- charges $11.50 for the trip. Moscow's airport is severed from Red Square by any rail/subway links, but you can bus to the nearby subway then subway in for about $5. San Francisco's airport is reached directly by its BART commuter train -- about $5.
Unless New York City revisits this problem, the FBO will consider relocating its semi-permanent headquarters.