Will The BQX Streetcar Save Time On Your Commute? City And Other Data Disagree

Will The BQX Streetcar Save Time On Your Commute? City And Other Data Disagree
Image via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.
Image via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.

There are new details on the proposed BQX streetcar intended to link the waterfront from booming Sunset Park to Astoria, but there are some questions about just how much time riders would really save.

A new study by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which evaluated the 2015 Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector study, claims the BQX, estimated to cost $2.5 billion, would lead to significant time savings for an estimated 45-50,000 daily riders upon its planned completion in 2024.

However, Politico raised an eyebrow with some of the the city’s findings:

The BQX would, the report says, reduce travel times dramatically, though some of the travel calculations used to arrive at that conclusion have raised eyebrows.
The report calculates that the streetcar would cut 34 minutes from what it describes as  61-minute public transit trip from Williamsburg to Astoria.
But Google Maps puts the existing public transit time at somewhere in the 25- to 45-minute range.
Similarly, it argues that traveling from Queensbridge to the Navy Yard now takes 59 minutes, while the streetcar would take 27.
But Google Maps puts the trip by F train from Queensbridge South to Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 45-minute range.
The city counters that its numbers are based on “transit desert” areas along the corridor.
Rendering via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.
Rendering via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.

Additionally, the study cast doubt on the necessity of the necessity of extending the BQX out to a planned stop near the Barclays Center.

“The spur to Atlantic Terminal unnecessarily complicates the operating plan and duplicates existing transit routes,” says the report.

Map via the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.
Map via the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.

The report also found that the following planned stops will be in 100 year flood zones: Old Astoria, Hunters Point, Newtown Creek, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Red Hook, and Sunset Park West.

A series of “visioning sessions”, intended to gather public input on the BQX, will begin on May 9th, according to Politico New York.

However, a date has not yet been selected for Fort Greene.

“We have not yet selected a date for a meeting with the Fort Greene community, but look forward to meeting with the people of Fort Greene in the coming months,” according to NYCEDC Spokesperson Ian Fried.

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