The first was the creation of a full citywide ferry system and the second was the announcement of a Brooklyn-Queens streetcar. While it's a start, it's not nearly enough for the transit-starved communities of Queens and Brooklyn.
The streetcar is expected to serve an extremely small portion of waterfront residents in the two boroughs. Obviously, any additional help is welcome, but a small portion of the is benefitting when their commute times are already much lower than those in south Queens or other portions of the city.
The other big improvement is a full-time, year-round citywide ferry service, which could be in theory a huge boost to portions of south Queens. It has to be right however, and that includes making it accessible.
Dozens of Rockaway residents packed a Far Rockaway charter school gymnasium last week to harp on exactly that point: make the ferry accessible and they'll provide ridership. They wanted a shuttle bus that extends to both ends of the peninsula giving everyone access.
New York City should take it one step further and by any mean necessary – whether it's an additional local ferry or shuttle bus service – all of the communities on Jamaica Bay should have an easy transit option to get to the ferry's Beach 108th Street landing point.
If the ferry is serving all of the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Broad Channel and even Howard Beach, a huge portion of the underserved Queens population will have even more access.
With an accessible ferry, the transit troubles of south Queens – and hopefully the rest of the city - will be out of the way and the streetcar combined with citywide ferry service will make it much easier for residents to move freely around the city.