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The project would be built along the existing Bay Ridge Connector, a 14-mile freight line that extends from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, Queens. It would create a new transit option for close to 900,000 residents of the neighborhoods along the route, along with 260,000 people who work in Brooklyn and Queens.
New York, New York – On January 5th, New York Governor Kathy Hochul gave her first State of the State address in which she announced plans of building what will be “The Interborough Express.” The new transportation system would connect Brooklyn and Queens using 14 miles of existing freight tracks, while still maintaining the passageway for freight use; including a The 14-mile-long route is a shorter design of the 24-mile Triboro RX proposal formerly introduced by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) in the mid 1990’s. A considerably bigger project that runs all the way up into the Bronx and through Co-Op City.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will have to study and examine the project to make the decision of building either a bus transit, heavy rail, or light rail. “I will direct the MTA to immediately conduct an environmental review to get the project rolling down the track”, said the Governor.
When implemented, the new system would shorten the time traveled from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Jackson Heights, Queens, serving up to almost 1 million riders daily. “The goal is for travel time to be less than 40 minutes.”
The Interborough Express Project benefits
- A direct public transit option between Brooklyn and Queens
- Connections with up to 17 subway lines and Long IslandRail Road
- A faster commute — end-to-end rides are expected to take 40 minutes
- Projected initial ridership of 74,000 to 88,000 weekday riders
- A new transit option in underserved locations where more than a third of residents are below the federal poverty line
- Shorter construction time, since the project will use an existing freight right-of-way
Along with transit service, the existing Bay Ridge Branch corridor can accommodate cross-harbor rail freight, significantly reducing regional vehicle congestion and expanding goods movement capabilities, thereby bolstering supply chains still recovering from the pandemic.
Transportation planners believe that cross-harbor rail freight and passenger service on the Interborough Express can operate cooperatively, which might transform the region.
For the residents of this corridor, traveling from Queens to Brooklyn is a long journey since existing subways head towards Manhattan. Further, this transformative project would allow New York citizens to connect to the two boroughs without having to pass through the traffic of the city as it will connect to up to 17 subway tracks.
The Interborough Express will aim to improve transit and job access to under-served communities “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.”
“This would now give people a chance to go from one neighborhood to another without having to rely on a car, without having to take a subway to downtown Brooklyn” says State Senator Andrew Gounardes.
Governor Huchol did not provide an exact date of when the Interborough Express could be built and ready for public use. However, it is estimated that it would come into existence faster than equivalent projects since it will be constructed over current infrastructure.
A first female governor of New York, and a member of the Democratic party, Hochul promises New Yorkers that economic recovery is in the near future. “we’re investing millions of dollars to transform the downtowns of our cities in the magnets for new jobs and opportunities”, said the governor. Further, Hochul announces plans to reverse the damage of neighborhoods that were disconnected by asphalt highways, impacting communities of color. Projects such as the Kensington expressway in Buffalo, I-81 in Syracuse, the inner loop in Rochester, and the crossroads expressway are all part of the recovery plan. “Infrastructure is all about connections, and we need to reconnect neighborhoods.”
Further information describing the benefits of the Interborough Express can be found in the 2022 State of the State Book, available for retrieve using this link