At an expected cost of 2.5 billion, the newly proposed Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan is the most ambitious to date urban engineering project of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
The line, which was announced in the mayor’s State of the City speech last week, will travel along the East River waterfront for 16 scenic miles. It will be part of the roads already in use, and will flow along with the regular automobile traffic.
The location is key: the area which will be served by the streetcar is undergoing rapid development, and it is relatively far from traditional subway lines.
The price tag is another selling point, as it is substantially lower than building a new underground subway line. There will be some bumps along the way to a functioning streetcar system, as Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development acknowledged that there are “some significant engineering challenges when you are putting a modern system like this in a very old city.”
“The old transportation system was a hub-and-spoke approach, where people went into Manhattan for work and came back out” Ms. Glen said. “This is about mapping transit to the future of New York.”