Jan 6, 2022
All aboard the Interborough Express? Hochul pushes new Brooklyn-Queens rail line
In her State of the State address, Gov. Hochul proposed a 14-mile rail line to connect underserved borough neighborhoods and Queens
If Governor Kathy Hochul has her way, Brooklyn could be getting a transformative new 14-mile rail line that would connect several of the borough’s outer neighborhoods and run all the way into parts of Queens.
She announced in her first State of the State address on Wednesday that she will direct the MTA to “immediately commence an environmental review” of a stretch of underutilized freight train tracks that passes through a long list of Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods: Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.
Many of those underserved areas are deemed “transit deserts” because of their lack of quick transportation options. The line—which will consist of either a train, light rail or a rapid bus system—would serve an estimated 129,000 riders who travel within or between the boroughs every day. Hochul is calling it the “Interborough Express.”
“This historic project would improve transit service and job access for underserved communities in Brooklyn and Queens, serving a corridor that is currently home to 900,000 residents and 260,000 jobs, with expected growth of at least 41,000 people and 15,000 jobs in the next 25 years,” Hochul said. “Stronger rapid transit in Brooklyn and Queens is long overdue.”
Here’s what the proposed route looks like:
Today @GovKathyHochul announced her transformational vision for Brooklyn and Queens.
The Interborough Express, running along 14mi of existing freight tracks, would stretch from Bay Ridge to Jackson Hts and could connect up to 17 subway lines + @LIRR, serving ~1M riders daily. pic.twitter.com/Tg2C1u3Mcd
— MTA. Wear a Mask. Stop the Spread. (@MTA) January 5, 2022
The project is a shorter version of something proposed by the nonprofit Regional Plan Association in 1996, pitched then as a 24-mile “Triboro” line that would have gone on into the Bronx. Last year, the MTA began looking into the feasibility of using the freight tracks for public transit, and that study involved a slightly longer track that would have ended in Astoria. And other similar initiatives have been announced in the past and stalled for years—including a proposed $2.7 billion streetcar line along the Brooklyn and western Queens waterfronts.
But Hochul’s announcement drew new waves of nearly unanimous excitement from officials and New Yorkers. State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, a Democrat who represents the 22nd District in southern Brooklyn called the idea “a game changer” to the New York Post.
A few other local reactions:
— The Angry Ruko 🏳️⚧️ (@The_Angry_Otaku) January 6, 2022
This project would be truly transformational for NYC! Travel between boroughs can be difficult especially outer Brooklyn and Queens. https://t.co/3xO6wRhz8N
— Jerome Alexander Horne (@jahorne) January 5, 2022
— Pizza Trike (@PizzaTrike) January 6, 2022
— greg💫 (@AwayGoalRule) January 6, 2022
interborough express really coming through for the queens / south brooklyn long distance relationships
— ❄️ midwinter kay ❄️ (@unit01barbie) January 6, 2022
One point that dampened the enthusiasm for some: no concrete timetable for the project has been announced yet.
You might also like
Bushwick’s popular taco spot Sobre Masa expands to add coffee and retail
Food & Drink
Food & Drink