For riders, transfers are key to new streetcar line


Mayor Bill de Blasio has given New Yorkers a bit more information regarding his proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar but has still not said whether there would be free transfers to buses and subways.

“The center of gravity is shifting more and more to the outer boroughs, and particularly to our two most populous boroughs,” de Blasio said Tuesday in Red Hook. “So we’ve got to answer that with a new kind of transportation and a new way to connect everyone.”

The mayor has still yet to address one of the key points to the streetcar proposal: Will you be able to get a free transfer from the streetcar to an MTA bus or train?

De Blasio said his goal is to integrate the 16-mile Brooklyn-Queens waterfront streetcar line into the transit system with “maximum transfers.” But, he said, “We’ve got to work that through with the MTA. There’s a lot of moving parts there. We will have to figure out whether we’re creating our own independent approach to a card or whether we’re doing something integrated with the MTA.”

It’s a point that would “make or break” the deal for many New York commuters.

“I’d still stay away, especially because of the lack of transfers. I have to cross multiple boroughs daily so if I use the streetcars and it doesn’t necessarily stop where I need to, it’ll just be wasting money for nothing,” said Alexis Rivera, a 20-year-old student from Jamaica, Queens.

“I think it’s a great idea, but very poor timing, especially with the planning to start building by 2019. The next two years are going to be pretty rough on the city, especially with station closures for over a year,” Rivera added. “Starting another project on the side, especially when those same routes are going to be filled with shuttle buses, would only make travel more difficult.”

Photo: A vintage streetcar was pictured in the city’s report recommending a new streetcar line. (

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