Trolley-ho! Advocates of Brooklyn–Queens tram line reveal life-size streetcar model

Transit system of tomorrow?: Supporters of the Brooklyn Queens Connector on Monday revealed a life-size prototype of the streetcars for the $2.5-billion light-rail system connecting Brooklyn and Queens, giving locals a glimpse of the future if the project is approved.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s the rail deal.

Proponents of the mayor’s plan to build a $2.5-billion trolly line connecting Brooklyn and the outer borough of Queens unveiled on Monday a true-to-size model of the system’s streetcars in front of a crowd of city officials and other local leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The reveal offered the group a glimpse of the future if the 14-mile Brooklyn Queens Connector is approved, according to a main supporter of the transit initiative.

“Today we’re providing New Yorkers with their first real taste of what the BQX would look and feel like, and calling on the city to bring light-rail service to areas long underserved by reliable mass transit,” said Ya-Ting Liu, the executive director of advocacy group Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.

Backers of the project showcased a 46-foot Citadis 405 car, which workers constructed in France before shipping it to Kings County. The vessel contained 23 seats for would-be straphangers in addition to padded rails that fatigued commuters can lean on, according to a New York Post report.

Mayor DeBlasio first announced the ambitious light-rail line — which would connect transit-starved nabes along the waterfront from Sunset Park to Queens and is still in its planning stages — last year.

Borough President Adams, who said he supported the Brooklyn Queens Connector in principle after Hizzoner proposed it, echoed that stance at the streetcar unveiling, noting how the service would bring public transportation to areas that need it most, but that sorting the plan’s finer points will be key to getting it off the ground.

“At my inauguration nearly four years ago, I laid out a vision for a new transportation link for Brooklyn’s waterfront, a line to connect historically underserved transit deserts. That vision is captured by the BQX proposal,” the beep said. “To be sure, there are key details that need resolution before this project can advance. I am confident that the city can work productively in a community-led process on issues such as route design, financing structure, and MTA fare integration.”

But some transportation experts blasted the idea following its announcement, claiming proponents market the trolley as a service for low-income residents in transit-starved nabes, but that it will actually benefit wealthy property owners along its proposed routes — which traverse Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Downtown, and Red Hook — and could require banning traffic on certain streets and building new bridges.

The pros also questioned the mayor’s claim that the tram will pay for itself via increased property taxes, arguing there would need to be a ton of new development in certain nabes in order for that to happen, and suggested the proposed funds for the project instead be invested in upgrading and expanding the city’s current transit system.

The Brooklyn Queens Connector proposal still faces a lengthy public-approval process. If it gets the green light, construction could begin in 2019 with service scheduled to start in 2024.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.
Updated 5:52 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Morris from Mill Basin says:
I love this idea. This will help all neighbors get around and explore each others communities. HUGS and KISSES
Nov. 15, 2017, 9:16 am
wow from Brooklyn says:
I'm in awe!

This is the greatest investment in transportation infrastructure of our time.

An easy step on, step off means of getting around the two best boroughs. A dedicated line unlike buses that get switched about or delayed. A prioritized system that will move forward when others have to stop. Clean air that we need more than anything.

The areas the BQX will serve will be "under served no more" and folks of all walks of life will be able to work and play together as they do in most other areas of our urban city.

Nov. 15, 2017, 9:37 am
mansteam from Sunset Park says:
This is another taxpayer gift to the real estate industry, particularly the "Friends of the BQX" which is underwritten by real estate interests.

NYC has subway signal problems that prevent people from getting to work everyday. This doesn't solve that problem one iota. No one will take the BQX to work. It's basically the same route as the G train, but slower! What's the point?

BDB says this streetcar will be funded by construction along the route. Finally we see REBNY and City Hall are basically the same thing. Our "progressive" mayor.

Real estate wants to turn Sunset Park into the "New Dumbo" complete with more hotels and luxury condos, as if New York didn't have enough of those already. This will assuredly drive all the immigrants out Sunset Park. Real estate does what it wants and you can't stop it. Donald Trump is our president. This is where we are in 2017.
Nov. 15, 2017, 10:34 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
I hate this idea because it's another give away to developers at tax payer expense. The fact is there are already good train and bus services in these areas. What about parts of Queens and Staten Island without decent public transportation? This street tram was cooked up by developers to increase their property values with taxpayers footing the bill. The people in favor should take their heads out of the sand.
Nov. 15, 2017, 10:34 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
What a massive waste. Just improve bus service on dozens of routes and make better connections to the subways and you'll improve life for more people than this boondoggle ever will. You'd think if these real estate developers were interested in helping the community, they'd lobby the city and state for these kinds of improvements rather than wasting all this effort on a shiny, low-capacity streetcar. Enough already.
Nov. 15, 2017, 10:45 am
Chris from Williamsburg says:
A massive giveaway to Real Estate interests that will do nothing to improve mobility in this city. There are dozens of truly underserved neighborhoods in this city that could use transit improvements. With the exception of Red Hook, every neighborhood along this route is served by multiple subway lines... and all are served by a ferry that de Blasio insisted on pushing through despite its massive subsidies and its inability to serve more passengers per day than an NYC bus route.

de Blasio doesn't care about the mobility of his constituents -- just the contributions he gets from developers.
Nov. 15, 2017, 12:07 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I can never keep straight which is the stupider idea that wastes more money, this or the ferries.
Nov. 15, 2017, 12:33 pm
Sparkle from Bay Ridge says:
Why do people keep trying to change things, to improve things? Why can't people just leave things alone? Why can't we stop things from changing? I don't like change. I don't like things to be different. I want things to stay the same. I want Morris to join me is screaming invective at whoever is behind this. Grab these people and hug them tight while I shout a stream of complaints directly into their ears.

Why can't UPROSE stop this project? UPROSE is against any change. I love UPROSE for that.
Nov. 15, 2017, 1:48 pm
mansteam from Sunset Park says:
Hey Sparkle from BAY RIDGE...let's see you support a subway line going to Staten Island? How about some Bay Ridge upzoning? How about we extend this BQX to Bay Ridge? No? How about you support a bike lane on the Verrazzano?

Easy to lob haymakers from your comfortable NIMBY neighborhood.
Nov. 15, 2017, 2:24 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
Sorry Sparkle. I am on my meds today. Very mellow. Sending HUGS to everyone!
Nov. 15, 2017, 5:27 pm
Sparkle from Bay Ridge says:
Mansteam, you and I think alike. I don’t want to see ANY changes or improvements. None. I want everything to stay just the way it is. I love it that way. Perhaps you and I can get together with others to shout at the people behind these changes.
Nov. 15, 2017, 7:09 pm
Don't Believe the Hype from Queens says:
Personally Scarlet, I don't give a darn.

Who in carnation really cares about why something that we need happens. Do we care about the corruption in the creation our road system or do we sit in traffic, or who got what what to create the subways or do step and sniff through the shyt to ride them, or about how the tire companies killed our efficient street cars of the past to create our current bus system or do we wait & wait & wait for them to arrive.

I don't really care how we get there, as long as we get there. And if a few pockets get filled along the way, what else is new.

And if SIP doesn't want it because there afraid of the change that's coming, they can stop it for themselves, but not for the rest of us. And when the change comes whether they like it or not, they'll hate the people before them that stopped it while the sit and wait, and wait, and wait for the bus.
Nov. 15, 2017, 10:03 pm
Fred says:
I like the new Morris. I don't like the BQX.
Nov. 15, 2017, 10:24 pm
mansteam from sunset park says:
Sparkle....your sarcasm is unclever and boorish, but sticking with it is the only way you'll get practice.
Nov. 16, 2017, 7:03 am
Sparkle from Bay Ridge says:
Mansteam, Morris and I will give you a huge hug. But I want you to know that I stand with you against progress.
Nov. 16, 2017, 11:58 am
Please do... from The Area says:
I so hope that this happens. From the moment I heard of this it was like a dream coming true. It's like Wonka Land!

All this stupidity about who's behind it and how it will displace people has to stop.

It's pollution free Transportation that's easier to use and more reliable than anything we have or can hope to expect in the future.

Incase any of these naysayers didn't notice, we are choking on carbon and heading for complete traffic stoppages. We will be displaced by quality of life issues if we don't get this transit alternative to the systems that are failing us now.
Nov. 16, 2017, 2:38 pm
Thomas Edison from Menlo Park says:
Unless it's solar powered it's not pollution free. It is merely generating pollution wherever the power plant is located instead of along its route.
Nov. 16, 2017, 5:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
What will it take to kill this idea already? Most of the streets where it's planned to go on aren't even wide enough to support it. Also, it's almost no faster that taking the bus. Overall, this just feels more like an unnecessary boondoggle, plus it will most likely lead to increased traffic. Just think of why the Vision 42 Tram didn't happen, and you will see why there is no reason for BQX Streetcar.
Nov. 16, 2017, 5:49 pm
David Weinkrantz from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Who funds Friends of the BQX Connector?

Does it file a Form 990? Other?

Does it file under 501-c-3? 501-c-4?
Nov. 17, 2017, 6:05 pm
Tyler from pps says:
I'm so glad Tal was kind enough to transmit these thoughts from the basement of his mom's house in Pleasantville. Where would we be as a society without him?
Nov. 22, 2017, 12:34 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: