A dormant plan to connect Queens with the Bronx and Brooklyn via an above-ground passenger rail system has generated new attention after a Brooklyn lawmaker introduced a bill to study the proposal before the end of the legislative session last month.
The Regional Plan Association, an urban research and advocacy organization, first introduced the plan to build a 24-mile train route spanning from Co-op City in the Bronx to Bay Ridge via Queens in 1996. However, it wasn’t until last month that Assemblymember Latrice Walker introduced a bill directing the MTA to study the feasibility of “co-mingling public transit and freight service.”
Growing populations, changing employment hubs and the locations of hospitals and schools were also taken into account when deciding on potential stations, said Kate Slevin, senior vice president of state programs and advocacy at RPA.
Slevin said the project would not require tunneling along most of the route, though tracks would have to be upgraded in spots.
“A lot of the basic infrastructure and right of way is already there. It’s very hard to build new transit lines in New York. There’s not a lot of space,” Slevin told the Eagle.
Read more in the Queens Daily Eagle.