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February 7, 2016

New York mayor unveils $2.5bn Brooklyn to Queens light rail system plan

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a plan to build a new light rail system that links waterfront neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, US.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a plan to build a new light rail system that links waterfront neighbourhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, US.

The proposed $2.5bn Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) project is expected to be one of the largest urban streetcar systems in the US.

"Once completed, the BQX urban streetcar is expected to have a weekday use rate of almost 50,000 travellers."

The light rail system would run along a 16-mile corridor through Astoria, Ravenswood, Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Navy Yard, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Gowanus and Sunset Park.

After consulting with the communities along the corridor, the construction would start in 2019 and is expected to be completed by 2024.

Once completed, the BQX urban streetcar is expected to have a weekday use rate of almost 50,000 travellers.

The light rail network is also expected to have the potential to generate more than $25bn of economic impact for the city over 30 years.

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The mayor noted that the BQX has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and that project funding will come from issuing tax exempt bonds, which will be paid off by the increase in property prices along the corridor.

de Blasio said: "The neighbourhoods that run along the East River from northern Queens to Sunset Park are home to more than 400,000 people, including more than 40,000 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents."

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