The Brooklyn-Queens waterfront could see a $1.7 billion streetcar line come to fruition if its supporters get their way. The New York Daily News recently revealed new details of the proposal, which would see a 17-mile route connecting 10 neighborhoods in the two boroughs. According to the study, the “Brooklyn-Queens Connector” could serve an estimated 15.8 million passengers a year by 2035. That is, of course, if the project can garner enough support to break ground in the first place.
Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector is a nonprofit group that formed to push for a streetcar line that would connect the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts. According to the Daily News, the group is composed of transit experts, community leaders, and business moguls like Doug Steiner of Steiner Studios, investor Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, and Helena Durst of the Durst Organization real estate firm. The nonprofit commissioned a study that supports a streetcar line connecting 10 neighborhoods along the 17-mile stretch of waterfront land between Sunset Park and Astoria.
The Brooklyn-Queens line is expected to cost $1.7 billion to implement, and annual operating costs are estimated to run up around $26 million. Despite the hefty bill, the planners think the streetcar line will bring in $3.7 billion of new tax revenue “generating more than enough value to pay for its own construction,” according to the study.
In order to move forward, the project will need a great deal of support, but the mayor’s office already seems willing to consider it. “We’re always open to new ideas that can help build the 21st century transportation system New Yorkers deserve,” said Wiley Norvell, spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
If approved, the streetcar line could break ground as soon as 2019.
Via NY Daily News
Images via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector