The $2.5 billion, 16-mile route would function along several waterfront communities starting in Sunset Park through Gowanus, to Williamsburg and ending in Astoria, Queens.
“These findings echo what we’re hearing loud and clear in communities throughout the corridor—that New York’s 100-year-old Manhattan-centric transit system doesn’t meet their needs and that there must be a better way to get around,” said Ya-Ting Liu, executive director of the Friends of the BQX.
Liu believes the streetcar is a solution to provide Brooklyn and Queens residents access to good-paying jobs and more reliable public transit for underserved communities, but some residents disagree.
Residents fear the mayor’s proposed trolley plan could generate more gentrification in their neighborhoods with higher property values, making it difficult for low-income families to make ends meet.
“Who the hell goes from Red Hook to Astoria? You could have a bus,” said community activist and Fort Greene resident Lucy Koteen during a visioning session in June. “It’s going to encourage development along the line because now they have this fancy new system.”
Here’s the support/opposition breakdown by the New York City Council districts:
- District 22, 79 percent support, 17 percent oppose
- District 26, 63 percent support, 25 percent oppose
- District 33, 74 percent support, 14 percent oppose
- District 34, 73 percent support, 11 percent oppose
- District 35, 72 percent support, 18 percent oppose
- District 38, 79 percent support, 16 percent oppose
- District 39, 74 percent support, 15 percent oppose
Global Strategy Group conducted the survey. The streetcar would be funded from real estate tax revenues and is backed by former Metropolitan Transportation Authority chiefs, according to a Friends of the BQX spokesperson.