The MTA is gearing up to host a virtual public town hall on the Interborough Express project on Wednesday, where it will update the community about the progress being made on the plan that would connect the underserved areas of Brooklyn and Queens.
The meeting is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. and last for an hour.
Attendees will get the latest updates on the Interborough Express concept, including a critical Planning and Environmental Linkages study.
If constructed, the project would dramatically shorten travel times between Brooklyn and Queens, as there are limited public transit options along the proposed route. The plan also aims to reduce car usage between the boroughs.
Using the existing freight rail line known as the Bay Ridge Branch (an underused freight rail spur), the new 14-mile light rail line would extend from Bay Ridge in southern Brooklyn to Jackson Heights in Queens.
Along the way, it would make multiple stops — including in Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, and Elmhurst.
Crucially, the plan would connect to 17 different subway lines along its route, along with the Long Island Rail Road.
Utilizing light rail, as opposed to heavy rail or other transit methods, is the easiest and most cost-efficient way to make use of the Bay Ridge branch, according to the MTA.
Initial studies from the MTA indicate that it would serve up to 115,000 daily weekday riders by 2045, and have 5-minute peak and 10-minute off-peak headways, according to the MTA.
The projected total cost of the plan sits at around $5.5 billion — or $48,000 per-rider, according to MTA construction chief Jamie Torres-Springer.
With the Planning and Environmental Linkages study under its belt, the agency is hoping to begin construction on the repurposed train line in the coming years, and have the costs be covered under the MTA’s 2025-29 capital plan, as amNewYork previously reported.
Wednesday will provide an early chance to get progress updates on the proposal, and to provide feedback to MTA brass.
Interested New Yorkers can register to attend the event here.