Mostly it serves as an exercise at diverting money from public transit serving working class commuters being pushed farther and farther out from Manhattan, to the property developers gentrifying the New York waterfront, and who were allowed to do so without any sort of meaningful infrastructure investment there.
I live in Greenpoint and have no need for this, the G and the ferry are good enough to get me to any of the points along the proposed line. If they really want this they could just allocate a dedicated bus lane that could potentially double as a bike lane.
A "great transit equalizer" would be an expansion of the M to LaGuardia and the N/W to the Bronx.
There were some rumors that Andrew Yang might run for governor in NYC, would actually be interesting to see him run for Cuomo's seat. A competent governor would unify the MTA, NJ Path and LIRR under one system and potentially add a few extra stops in Queens.
Yup. The article is extremely superficial, and ignores the many obvious flaws in the BQX proposal.
It reads more like marketing material for the property developers that everyone knows are the real backers of the project - rather than a news article.
And the BQX… goodness gracious, what a dream. It would take me to the bouldering gym up in Queens, or the one down in Gowanus, most of my local hangouts, even my hair stylist…
All that said, building a light rail line for a target audience of ME is utter insanity. The BQX is dumb as hell, and will never get built.
It's also much more pleasant (and healthier) ride than the subway. One of the negatives of life in NYC is the significant amount of time spent underground (or on buses, swimming in the exhaust and street noise). Ferry trips provide a significant respite from all of that.
So it's a "sunk cost" but adds value overall. Though I realize this is a nuanced value proposition. And that valid questions can be raised about which communities are getting the most benefit from the service.
It's also great for tourists. I take everyone who visits me from out of new york on it and it's always a hit.
(A downside from a personal perspective - the Greenpoint-Dumbo trip is fine, but the reverse trip can be pretty brutal, especially in the peak of summer, when the boats often reach capacity before they even make it from Wall St.)
The subsidies are bad but it's a net positive for the city and I'm sure a fare hike wouldn't hurt it too much.
I used to take an empty bus (in heavy traffic) down Metropolitan ave from Kew Gardens to Bushwick before and it really convinced me that the city should consider getting rid of the fares, at least on busses in the outer boroughs. The amount they spent to install the new select bus service ticket machines must have been insane, and now they're spending $250 million to clamp down on fare evasion.
> "Longer trains are not in the cards however. The report notes: "Given that increasing the length of G trains to 600 feet at current ridership levels would be a misallocation of NYC Transit resources and could lead to reduced service frequency and crowded transfers, other means were examined to address concerns associated with short trains."
And yet, it sounds like they want to spend billions on this streetcar project.
Having said that, the routes aren't excessively overlapping. The proposed BQX hugs the water, whereas the G train goes inland quite a ways north of Prospect Park.
"Bus lines can’t attract value based financing or more employers and jobs to the corridor. An urban light rail requires tracks and more permanent infrastructure, and will generate more investment and value since unlike a bus line, it can’t be easily rerouted or canceled."
"Buses are run by the MTA. Even if a bus line made sense for this corridor, the city would not be able to add one without funding and approval from the MTA. The BQX can be done by New York City alone, without the complications and political issues that comes from projects requiring coordination among city, state, or federal agencies."
An urban light rail requires tracks and more permanent infrastructure, and will generate more investment and value for real estate insiders and friends of the admininistration.
See the movie "Chinatown".
Compared to any other developed nation, subways in NYC are an embarrassing joke.
But there is no amount of money the MTA can’t waste. The MTA is a bloated, incompetent, and completely unsalvageable organization. The subway system in NYC will never be fixed, properly upgraded, or properly maintained while the MTA is in charge.
At minimum the actual construction and maintenance wings should be privatized.
The Bay Area Caltrain was actually private until fairly recently (1985), when the operator gave up and the state took it over.
However, even the state doesn't want to operate it, and there was a review around 2010. But Stanford University weighed in (over 10,000 riders/day) and the review stopped.
You would have to look at the numbers for NY.
Note that the "MTA" was originally two private entities that ran out of money building the system.
And the bulk of the NYC subways were built and operated by competing private companies for decades. That stopped when first the city regulated them to the point that they could not make improvements, and then the city nationalized them.
Downtown Brooklyn ("DoBro" if you're a millennial real estate agent) is already the most well-connected neighborhood in Brooklyn by a huge margin.
Also how can you write an article like this and not include a map?
So, there is an existing alternative that doesn’t involve absolutely fucking up traffic, and...? People aren’t using it.
So, this sounds like bullshit.
The reality is that if this route is such a good idea, it could be a bus route today. I have never been on a tram like this and thought "wow, we're making really good time along these city streets". It's just an overpriced bus.