In his recent Dispatch, “End of the Line,” Larry Penner cites the figures in the recent study of the Rockaway Beach Branch Line (RBBL) as being cost prohibitive.
It should be noted that the study included replacing all of the bridges along the line without a comprehensive engineering analysis. From my observation, some of those bridges may only require minor retrofitting, thereby reducing the cost estimates.
Penner mentions as an alternative extending E Line service out to Rockaways as was done during the 1970s. At that time, local service was provided at that time by the A Line which was much less frequent than the current local service on the C line.
Therefore, there is no additional train capacity in the Cranberry Street tunnel during rush hour, and during non-rush hours ridership would not justify the extra service.
Additionally, there's the bottleneck issues between the Lafayette Avenue Station and Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station as the C local train switches over to the A tracks, an additional hindrance for adding more trains.
Penner also argues the lower level of the Woodhaven LIRR Station should be reopened instead. The MTA should reactivate the Rockaway Beach Line up to the Woodhaven Junction Station with both the upper and lower stations reopened in the first phase of the project.
Elected leaders in South Queens should meet with Resorts World Casino to determine if they might consider helping subsidize part or all of of the cost for this major transit improvement, as it would eliminate the need for the current shuttle bus from Downtown Jamaica to the casino.
Queens Public Transit Committee