The future of the $2.7 billion streetcar connecting western Queens to
the Brooklyn waterfront will be up to the next mayor of New York City,
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.
The coronavirus pandemic and fiscal constraints have significantly
delayed the timeline of the project, dubbed the Brooklyn Queens
Connector or BQX.
The city had just begun the environmental review process for the
11-mile streetcar project in
February but the pandemic brought the
process to a screeching halt. It was scheduled to begin scoping and
public hearings in May and June, but has been delayed indefinitely.
Yesterday, de Blasio said the next administration will decide the fate of the project, as his term ends in 2021.
“We’re going to continue to do the work to prepare,” he said at a
press briefing. “The decisions will have to be made by-and-large in the
next administration given the time that’s been lost here.”
The project also comes at a time when New York City faces a
multi-billion-dollar budget hole due to economic fallout from the
At the end of April, de Blasio said he was unsure
whether the city had the funds to cover its share of the costs — given
the budget crisis. He said that “substantial federal funding” was needed
to make the project a reality.
Critics of the BQX argue that the project is not worth the
multi-billion dollar cost. Many transit advocates say the money would be
better spent on improving MTA buses and bus lanes, which cost much