In her State of the State address on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans for a new transit line, called the Interborough Express, which would connect neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens to as many as 17 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road. 

The route uses existing freight tracks that begin in Bay Ridge and pass through Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. 

In Bushwick, the Interborough Express would pass by the Wilson Avenue L Station. 

Credit: MTA

“It’s time to invest in the bold, cutting-edge infrastructure projects that will make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “New Yorkers deserve reliable public transit that connects them from work to home and everywhere in between. The Interborough Express would be a transformational addition to Brooklyn and Queens, cutting down on travel time and helping neighborhoods and communities become cleaner, greener and more equitable.”

“This project would smartly repurpose existing infrastructure to add mass transit and create access to jobs, education and opportunity for so many residents of Queens and Brooklyn,” acting chair and CEO of the MTA Janno Lieber responded. “I applaud Governor Hochul’s leadership, and we are enthusiastic to work with her and Federal and State partners to advance the Interborough concept.”

Already, Gov. Hochul is directing the MTA to begin the environmental review process for the Interborough Express, the first step in the program’s implementation. 

According to the governor’s office, the new service would improve transit access for about 900,000 residents of Brooklyn and Queens, many of whom work within the two boroughs and aren’t always efficiently served by the existing subway lines, which are often positioned towards bringing passengers to and from Manhattan. 

Each day, more than 100,000 commuters make daily trips across Brooklyn and Queens and often have to rely on buses. If established, the new train service would provide end-to-end travel time of less than 40 minutes, according to the governor’s office. And that’s the entire line, from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, Queens. Most trips would be much shorter.

Featured image: MTA

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