Brooklyn-Queens Connector Streetcar Builds More Buzz
With the announcement of Amazon’s HQ2 decision, the discussion surrounding the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) streetcar has resurfaced, since one of the two cities the company chose would be right along the proposed 11-mile route.
Because of its ability to connect the two boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens without having to pass through busy Manhattan, and its route providing service to 400,000 New Yorkers who live along the waterfront (saving a lot of them 20 minutes of commute time), and its power for bringing in $30 billion (that’s billion with a b) of economic growth, support continues to grow for this project.
For example, Friends of the Brooklyn-Queens Connector has a growing base of supporters (ahem, sound familiar?), and the new Amazon announcement has some community leaders calling for the company to help pay for the streetcar.
No word from Amazon yet about whether that will come to fruition, although access to public transportation was a major part of the company’s HQ2 proposal. And, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is pushing for it. As part of its agreement with the city, Amazon will make PILOT payments (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) that will go into an infrastructure fund, which could likely help prepare roads for a streetcar.
Next steps for the BQX include an environmental impact study of the streetcar, to be launched early next year.