The Plan

BQX map picture-001The sixteen mile plan with Sunset Park at beginning of the line and Astoria at the end.

In his annual State of the City speech, Mayor de Blasio spoke enthusiastically about his effort to reimagine the city’s waterfront and proposed the reinstallation of a whole new modern fleet of streetcars. Dubbed the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), the streetcar line would run from Sunset Park to Astoria, along the waterfront. The new overground system would traverse transportation-starved communities like Red Hook, which has long been cut off from the rest of the city’s vast transit system, along with underserved areas with forthcoming city-backed development plans such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Sunset Park waterfront.

Instead of taking detours or traveling in and out of Manhattan, passengers will be able to travel from Red Hook to Long Island City in about 25 minutes compared to the 45 minutes to an hour it would take via subway, or from Greenpoint to DUMBO in about 27 minutes. The trolleys would travel at about 12 miles per hour.

If approved, construction would begin in 2019 with service starting in 2024 at the earliest. A detailed plan of the route has yet to be published, but officials stated that the streetcars would travel periodically, both on the same roads as cars as well as in separate lanes with physical barriers between the streetcar and other forms of traffic.