The Real Deal New York

Streetcars don’t pay for themselves: De Blasio says BQX will require assist from DC

Mayor previously stressed that project would be funded by local taxes
April 06, 2018 04:30PM

Rendering of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector and Getty Images)

It appears the city won’t be able to go it alone when funding the waterfront trolley between Brooklyn and Queens.

For the first time, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday acknowledged that the $2.5 billion Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) would require federal funding, the New York Post reported.

“It’s a big, complicated endeavor and it’s certainly going to require some federal support as well,” the mayor said during his weekly appearance on WNYC.

Up until now, the mayor has asserted that the streetcar — which will run from Astoria to Sunset Park — is a city project, which would be funded through taxes from increased property values along the line. Administration officials wouldn’t specify when the mayor determined that federal funding was necessary for the project.

Earlier this week, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen cast some doubt on the project’s future, noting that the city still needed to determine “whether or not this is the right use of capital money for a transportation project,” the Daily News reported. The mayor announced the project in February 2016, but the city fell behind in kicking off a public review process for the streetcar. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel