Governor Kathy Hochul and Metropolitan Transportation Authority Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber today unveiled the results of a yearlong study assessing feasibility of the Interborough Express, the transformative transit project which would connect communities in Brooklyn and Queens to as many as 17 subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, and significantly reduce travel times within and between the two boroughs.
"Infrastructure is all about connection, and with the Interborough Express we can connect people to their family and friends while also improving their quality of life," Governor Hochul said. "The Interborough Express will connect Brooklyn and Queens, not only shaving time off commutes but also making it easier to connect to subway lines across the route. With the completion of the feasibility study, we can move forward to the next phase of this project and bring us one step closer to making the Interborough Express a reality for New Yorkers."
The feasibility study's results indicate that it is indeed physically feasible to accommodate passenger traffic alongside the existing freight rail traffic, that there is significant demand, and that Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, and conventional Heavy Rail are all options in terms of the possible modes of transit.
As announced in Governor Hochul's 2022 State of the State, the MTA's next step is to conduct required state and federal environmental review processes, which will also include public engagement to gather input from communities, elected officials, and other key stakeholders to further the process of determining the most appropriate mode of transit.
The Interborough Express would use the existing right-of-way of the Bay Ridge Branch, which is a freight rail line that runs through Brooklyn and Queens, connecting ethnically and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Ridgewood, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. The project would include several new connections in neighborhoods that currently lack efficient connections to each other, and in some cases, to Manhattan.
— Press Release from Office of the NYS Governor