The last time there was a big announcement about the Brooklyn Queens Connector (or BQX) streetcar was 2018, when the timeline and price of the project increased. Now, next steps and a set plan of action are in motion.
The BQX has been the talk of NYC (or the outer boroughs, at least) since it was first announced by Mayor de Blasio in 2016. After two years of studying potential routes, running tests and talking with consultants, the city released an updated plan (in 2018) for the proposed Brooklyn-Queens Connector that will eventually run along the East River, connecting Astoria, Queens to Red Hook in Brooklyn.
Tthe NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Corporation) has a new website dedicated to the streetcar project, which you can see here. The first concrete steps involve the draft of an environmental impact statement (DEIS), which they say will be completed by 2021.
Also, the first public community meetings have started taking place in Downtown Brooklyn, Red Hook, Astoria, Williamsburg/Greenpoint and Long Island City. You can see the full schedule on their website here.
The streetcar is scheduled to start running along the waterfront in 2029, five years later than the original projection of 2024. The price of the infrastructure project is currently estimated at $2.73 billion, up from the original $2.5 billion. The city is hoping that $1 billion of that money will come from the federal government.
“The BQX is one of the biggest, most ambitious projects in a generation,” the mayor said in a statement. “It will be a challenge, but New York City is taking it on.”
The revised plan details a streetcar system that is smaller than the original proposal but with a much larger price tag. There are now a proposed twenty-six stops along the 11-mile route.
We’ll see if this streetcar will ever become a reality or if it will go down in history as that other streetcar, once desired…
Featured image: BrooklynQueensConnector.nyc
Also published on Medium.