Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Streetcars and Express Trains

Bloomberg's campaign released a transportation plan for NYC this week which includes details that would have a major impact on our area and the way we all get around. Some examples are:
  • Re-introducing Streetcar/light rail service to Red Hook and other waterfront neighborhoods
  • Adding express F train service - including stops at Bergen and Carrol using platforms that aren't currently being used and are below the current platforms
  • Extending V train service into Brooklyn
While these are all great ideas and would be a great improvement to our current transit options, they aren't exactly new ideas. All have been suggested in the past but went nowhere for one reason or another (for example, see some info about Streetcars in Red Hook at Forgotten NY or at the NYTimes).

Others are also questioning Bloomberg's ability to get these things done considering that he has limited control over the MTA (and how could we forget about the major funding struggles of the MTA as well?). His opponent Bill Thompson released a statement saying "[the plan] is full of empty promises and stolen ideas" (see NY1 story here).

Either way, it would be great to see any or all of these proposals come to life, so the trick will be to keep the issue alive long after the election is over - no matter who wins.

Some other coverage of this issue worth reading:

- Brookln Daily Eagle "Could Streetcars be Returning to Brooklyn?"
- Brooklyn Paper "Mayor wants F Train on fast track - but he doesn't control MTA"
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign "Bloomberg's Transportation Rhetoric and Reality"
- NY1 "Bloomberg Outlines Plan to Overhaul City Transportation"
- WNYC "Bloomberg the Candidate Unveils New Transit Plan"

EDIT 8/7/09: I neglected to include this NY1 video/article specifically on trolleys in Red Hook:
"Trolleys Could Make a Comeback in Red Hook"

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