The Jewish Voice commends Mayor de Blasio on his support for an innovative solution to the perpetually underserved public transit system. A plan for a shiny new street car, or ‘Tram,’ to connect NYC’s long Island Shoreline seems a surprisingly worthwhile and economic solution to the near-non-existent connection between the two most populous boroughs outnumbering the other three boroughs combined by one and a half million.
The so-called “Brooklyn-Queens Connector” would link Sunset Park and Astoria by rail.
Some decisions by the city and the MTA have fallen far short of our approval and a continued series of disastrous fare hikes and draconian service cuts have led to accusations from various quarters of mismanagement, incompetence or worse. Some years ago, NY State Senator Andrew Lanza called the MTA’s Plan to Increase Tolls on the Verrazano Bridge ‘Highway Robbery.’
It bears repetition that The Editorial Board of the Jewish Voice is very selective about what government expends and we generally support those that allow the city, boroughs, residents, neighborhoods and businesses to have the freedom to thrive.
The astronomical sums that we see government spending are hard to fathom; seeming more like a nightmare about buying overpriced appliances with missing warranties.
But rather than Serial Numbers, government routinely gives us ‘Surreal numbers,’ whose vastness is meant to hide the actual costs in tax dollars to John Q. Why-are-my-taxes-so-high?
Still, the two and one half Billion Dollars may turn out to be some of the best-spent and efficient transit funding in a long time. De Blasio noted "This is about equity and innovation …. we are mapping brand new transit that will knit neighborhoods together and open up real opportunities …"
This is quite correct. Industrial powerhouses along the shoreline would be brought together by the plan, bringing the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Astoria and other together burgeoning areas of residential and commercial growth. It would also become a vital artery linking an already-extant 30 bus routes, 15 subway lines and 19 ferry landings by its projected completion date of 2024.
And, quite importantly, it will always cost the same as the subway.