Constantly frustrated when traveling between Brooklyn and Queens? Who else finds it ridiculous you have to head into Manhattan at times just to get around your own borough?! Well, plans for the Interborough Express (IBX), that will connect underserved areas of both Queens and Brooklyn, is one step closer to servicing future commuters.
What is the Interborough Express?
The Interborough Express, also known as IBX for short, is a proposed transit project that will connect 20 neighborhoods, according to NY1, between Queens and Brooklyn. It has three main goals: reduce travel times between Queens and Brooklyn, minimize congestion, and develop additional economic opportunities for surrounding residents.
“The Interborough Express is going to be a gamechanger for New York City, and as we move forward with this project, I want the entire community to be involved,” said Governor Hochul before a previous public town hall meeting on the project.
How does light rail transit differ from the subway?
Light rail transit (LRT), which will be the system used by the Interborough Express, can function on both dedicated tracks and on streets. The LRT cars are generally smaller than subway cars.
What is the status on the Interborough Express?
In 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the project was moving forward and that the MTA should begin the environmental review process. Since then, the MTA most recently held a public open house on the subject on January 18th, 2024. There, attendees discussed the project’s progress.
Where will the Interborough Express be constructed?
The Interborough Express will ultimately be constructed along the LIRR-owned Bay Ridge Branch and CSX-owned Fremont Secondary that already exist. The entire light rail project would span 14-miles, stretching from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, Queens.
What are the benefits of the Interborough Express?
As outlined on their website, the MTA promises additional benefits such as:
- A direct public transit option between Brooklyn and Queens
- Connections with up to 17 subway lines and Long Island Rail Road
- A faster commute — end-to-end rides are expected to take 40 minutes
- A new transit option in underserved locations where more than a third of residents are below the federal poverty line
How many riders will the Interborough Express service?
The proposed light rail would service 900,000 residents and 260,000 employees who work in the affected areas. MTA expects the Interborough Express to have a daily ridership of 115,000 people.
Although the proposal sounds wonderful, it’s still many years out from reaching fruition. The project still needs to complete its environmental review and determine its source of funding. Discover more about its planning and environmental linkages study here.