Off the tracks?
May 10, 2017 | 11661 views | 1 1 comments | 599 599 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor,

The recent release of a February 2017 internal City Hall memo reveals that the proposed financing of a Brooklyn-Queens street car, known as BQX, by capturing a piece of rising property values that would result from new construction will not work.

This financing model, known as "value capture," was supposed to have paid for 100 percent of the project.

In 2015, The Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector released a study claiming it could be built for $1.7 billion. IN 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio said $2.5 billion. In less than one year, the price tag went up by $800 million.

The mayor's plan to finance the project through a percentage of new property taxes was always robbing Peter to pay Paul. This would reduce the amount of money available for police, fire, sanitation and other essential municipal services.

The mayor promised riders would pay the same $2.75 fare as those using the subway or bus, including a free transfer. He has failed for over two years to identify how the city will provide the MTA with tens of millions in additional operating subsidies on a yearly basis to cover the cost of lost revenues.

Given the increasing uncertainties of project financing and growing costs, it appears that a new limited-stop bus route along the waterfront would make more sense.


Larry Penner

Great Neck
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May 12, 2017
I agree Larry: At least put use the $2.5B in use for millions of New Yorkers, rather than the for the privileged thousands of New Yorkers along the waterfront, where there are a lot of North-South public transportation options there. An ultimate boondoggle waiting to happen.