Support for
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,

Top Global Airports For Transit Access

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


New York area airports continue to lag behind their international and national competitors when it comes to modern, efficient mass transit access, according to a new survey released today by the Global Gateway Alliance, comparing airport access at the world’s top 30 busiest airports for passenger traffic with those in the New York-New Jersey region. (Survey below)

The survey zeroed in on one of the most important aspects of the passenger experience: how passengers get to and from the airport. And by ranking categories including total travel time, cost, mode of transport, and number of transfers at the world’s leading airports, GGA was able to establish which of these offer 21st Century transit access, and which do not.

Madrid-Barajas Airport came in first, scoring 95 out of 100, for its airport link, with a journey time of 16 minutes from the city center and no transfers. Tied in second place were Amsterdam, Dubai and Frankfurt.

JFK Airport, tied with Denver, finished last with 30 points due to its 47-minute ride that included at least one transfer. At 40 points, its regional partners LaGuardia and Newark came in second to last place, alongside Los Angeles; Istanbul Atatürk; South Korea’s Incheon; and Soekarno–Hatta in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The survey comes on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing plans for a new AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport, the first direct rail access to the airport, and provides further evidence of the problem the region faces in moving passengers to and from our airports, which function as the largest aviation system in the country.

“Our survey demonstrates that Governor Cuomo’s proposal to finally bring train access to LaGuardia and the plan to extend the PATH directly to Newark Airport could not have come soon enough. But to truly be competitive, we need to bring more innovative access to all of our airports,” said GGA Chairman and Founder Joe Sitt. “The billions being invested in modernizing our airports simply won’t pay off without 21st Century transit access to move passengers to and from these hubs, and that ultimately means a one-seat ride.”

The GGA survey reveals that not only are more and more airports stepping up and investing in their infrastructure – over half of all surveyed airports offer passengers a one-seat rail ride – but also that their efforts have been effective – the average travel time is just over 30 minutes. Because the bottom line is: the fewer the transfers and the lesser the travel time, the more appealing the access route is to the luggage-laden passenger.


  • The top five airports are all located abroad, with Madrid in first place, and Amsterdam, Dubai and Frankfurt tying for second.
  • The highest ranking US airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, ranking third.
  • The airport with the fastest travel time is Shanghai Pudong at 6 minutes, with the world’s first commercial Magnetic Levitation train that covers a distance of 19 miles. That train arrives at a Financial Center in Shanghai, where a transfer is available to access other central areas and downtown districts.
  • Denver, currently at the bottom of the survey, is constructing a one-seat rail line that is scheduled for completion in 2016.
  • LaGuardia is the only airport with a two-seat ride that included a bus.
  • The airport with the slowest travel time is Istanbul at 72 minutes.
  • While Houston offers a one seat bus ride, it has a journey time of over an hour and makes 44 stops before arriving in the City.
  • Over half – 56% – of all surveyed airports offer a one-seat rail ride and three quarters offer a one-seat ride either by rail or bus.

GGA STUDY: Airports Ranked by Mass Transit Access

GGA STUDY: Airports Ranked by Mass Transit Access


Download full version (PDF): Global Gateway Alliance Survey

About the Global Gateway Alliance
The Global Gateway Alliance, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, was established to address major challenges facing the metropolitan region’s airports and related infrastructure that, if left unaddressed, will serve as a major impediment to the long-term growth of New York City. 

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!


What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.


The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.