Governor Kathy Hochul announced in January 2022 that NYC was moving forward with plans to expand transit service between Brooklyn & Queens. The project, called the Interborough Express, would improve life for more than 100,000 commuters who make a daily trip between the two boroughs and connect as many as 17 subway lines.
Shortly after, the MTA released the Feasibility Study & Alternatives Analysis for the project — which consists of year-long study of solutions for the corridor as well as history, goals and viable alternative solutions — along with first-release renderings of what the transit line would look like.
Proud to announce that we’re moving forward with a huge New York City transit project: the new Interborough Express 🚊
This line will connect Brooklyn and Queens, shaving time off commutes and making it easier to connect to subway lines across the route. pic.twitter.com/MWkcFyen3z
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) January 20, 2022
The project would rely on the already existing Bay Ridge Branch freight rail line, and expand connection between Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, and more underserved communities that lack stations.
“This project would smartly repurpose existing infrastructure to add mass transit and create access to jobs, education, and opportunity for so many residents of Queens and Brooklyn,” said MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
According to the press release, the affected communities are home to around 900,000 people and 260,000 jobs, with immense growth expected within the next 25 years. Traveling between outer boroughs has long been a frustrating inconvenience as rail lines are mainly focused towards Manhattan. This project “would provide critical mobility, creating better links for travel to and from Manhattan as well as key connections among neighborhoods, across boroughs, and opening up new opportunities for reverse commuting into Nassau and Suffolk Counties.”
With this new line, end-to-end travel time could be cut down to less than 40 minutes. Moreover, it would save significant travel time for commuters who have had to rely on buses often facing heavy street traffic thus far.
It’s time to invest in the bold, cutting-edge infrastructure projects that will make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Yorkers, Governor Hochul said. The Interborough Express would be a transformational addition to Brooklyn and Queens, cutting down on travel time and helping neighborhoods and communities become cleaner, greener and more equitable.
The Interborough Express is also expected to work in tandem with the Bay Ridge Branch corridor that can service cross harbor rail freight. This collaboration would clear up truck congestion and fortify supply chains that have been struggling since the start of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, August 16th the MTA will host a virtual town hall about the Interborough Express, sharing an overview of actions that have already occurred and the Planning & Environmental Linkages study. Register for the webinar here.
Find out more on their website here.