Goldfeder Applauds MTA Vision For Rockaway Beach Rail Line
Assemblymember Phil Goldfeder announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has released their Twenty-Year Capital Needs Assessment, which includes the restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line as part of their plans for the future. The Capital Needs Assessment is a blueprint which details the MTA vision to repair, rebuild and expand the NYC transit infrastructure between 2015 to 2034. Restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line would be a realistic, efficient and inexpensive option that would significantly improve transit options for Queens residents while creating jobs and helping the environment.
“This report is a huge step forward and I will continue to work closely with my colleagues, Governor Cuomo and the MTA until the Rockaway Beach Rail Line becomes a reality,” said Goldfeder. "The MTA has heard our calls for smart investment in existing Right of Ways to improve transit infrastructure, create jobs, while helping each family in Queens and across the city in their daily commutes.”
In their report, the MTA recognized the lack of available "travel corridors supporting radial routes linking existing subway, bus and rail lines. A possible option is the utilization of abandoned or underutilized Rights of Way (ROW) such as...the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch...Conversion of existing ROWs...could help reduce land acquisition and construction costs, and facilitate construction time in densely developed areas." 1
Assemblyman Goldfeder has made transportation and the restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line a top priority. In February of 2012, he called on Governor Cuomo to immediately restore the line to ease commutes for Queens residents and ease the burden for patrons at Resorts World Casino. In May that year, Goldfeder launched a petition that garnered nearly 3,000 signatures that were later delivered to Governor Cuomo, the Port Authority, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in support of bringing the line back to life. Additionally, Assemblyman Goldfeder continues to work with Congressmen Gregory Meeks (NY-5) and Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) to facilitate a portion of approved federal Sandy disaster aid be allocated to fund the restoration of the rail line and assist in recovery for residents.
Revitalizing the Rockaway Beach Rail Line would offer a permanent and viable transit solution for the millions of hard-working families all across Queens. It will help prepare communities to become more resilient for the future and allow small-businesses to rebuild and thrive, noted Goldfeder.
The Rockaway Beach Line, also known as the White Pot Junction Line, was created around the turn of the century and was owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road. It provided residents with safe, affordable and expedient access to other parts of the city and 40 minute commutes to midtown Manhattan. In the early 60s, parts of the railroad service were condensed, sectioned off and eventually closed. In the following years, the property was vandalized, encroached upon and has become a source of embarrassment for the families that reside in the area.
“The MTA is on the right track and I will continue to fight for full restoration to give our families the transportation we deserve,” said Goldfeder. “In today's difficult economy, complete restoration of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line would offer affordable, reliable transportation to those who desperately need it and prepare our city for future growth.”