Governor Kathy Hochul just announced that the Interborough Express project will move forward using light rail following a Planning and Environmental Linkages study.
The transformative transit project, announced in the Governor’s 2022 State of the State last week, will connect communities in Brooklyn and Queens to 17 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, significantly reducing travel times within and between the two boroughs along a 14-mile corridor.
“For too long, southern Brooklyn has lacked significant transit connections with other parts of Brooklyn, Queens, and beyond. With the Interborough Express on the horizon, that stands to change. The light rail capabilities to connect up to 17 different subway lines will be a game-changer for our neighborhoods here in southern Brooklyn, and I look forward to continuing to partner with the Governor, my legislative partners, and our community to get it done” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.
The engineering analysis outlined in the Planning Study strongly supports the MTA’s decision to choose light rail because it would provide the best service for customers. Key factors in this determination include the speed and capacity of light rail, as well as reliable service and a low cost per daily rider.
“Moving forward with Light Rail for the Interborough Express means better access to jobs, education and economic opportunities for some 900,000 New Yorkers in Queens and Brooklyn,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said.
“I want to thank Governor Hochul for her leadership on this exciting project and look forward to working with stakeholders and local communities to move the proposed project forward.”
The Planning Study indicates up to 115,000 daily weekday riders would use the 14-mile line with approximately 34.6 million riders annually. Travel times between Brooklyn and Queens could be quicker by 30 minutes each way, depending on travel distance.
The preliminary stations included in the Planning Study would connect the Interborough Express to 17 subway lines, including the 2/3/5/7/A/B/C/D/E/F/J/L/M/N/Q/R/Z lines.
These new stations would greatly benefit neighborhoods, such as 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.