Study proposes a $1.7B Brooklyn-Queens waterfront streetcar

Project aims to improve transit in boroughs' booming neighborhoods

Brooklyn-Queens Connector
Rendering of Brooklyn Queens Connector and map of streetcar route (credit: Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector)

It’s no secret that the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts are teeming with development. Now, a proposed $1.7 billion streetcar route promises to improve transit and accessibility through the boroughs’ waterfront neighborhoods.

The Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector – a nonprofit whose members include experts, community leaders and developers like Doug Steiner, Fred Wilson and Helena Durst – commissioned a study that details sleek new streetcars running through 10 neighborhoods along a 17-mile waterfront stretch between Sunset Park and Astoria.

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The Connector hopes to link those neighborhoods to the outer boroughs’ new job hubs, which aren’t always conveniently linked to the Manhattan-centric subway system, according to the New York Daily News.

The Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts are expected to see significantly more residential and office development in the coming years, and the study estimates 15.8 million passengers on the Connector annually by 2035.

The project carries a $1.7 billion price tag and would require an estimated $26 million in annual operating costs, but planners believe the streetcar would be financially viable – bringing in $3.7 billion of new tax revenue. The project could break ground as early as 2019, according to the study. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi