Last week, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley met with 20 community leaders in her district office, where the Department of Transportation (DOT) gave its first public stakeholder outreach presentation on the light rail proposal.
The councilwoman announced the light rail idea just over a year ago. The proposal would bring light rail commuter service to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Lower Montauk line, an 8.5-mile road from Jamaica to Long Island City.
According to Crowley’s office, the QNS Light Rail plan has received support from officials like Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng and others.
In the 2017 budget, Crowley also secured $500,000 for DOT to conduct a feasibility study of the potential line.
“This meeting marked a pivotal step in the process of making the QNS light rail a reality,” Crowley said. “Our borough is growing faster than city planners could have ever accounted for, and we need infrastructure that supports that growth.”
“Light rail would bring reliable public transit to transportation deserts, get countless cars off the road, boost our economy and help the environment,” she added.
The study, which is managed by DOT and conducted by AECOM, will look at the constructibility, costs, possible connections to existing transit, potential ridership, station siting, and perhaps most importantly, compatibility with existing freight use.
“Improving transit options in Queens means better access to jobs, shopping and services, and quicker routes to schools, home and loved ones,” said Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia.