2018-02-14 / Front Page

Groundbreaking Findings in NYC DOT’s Lower Montauk Branch Rail Study

Community leader and former NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley announced on February 7 the findings of a comprehensive NYC DOT feasibility study to bring passenger service back to LIRR’s Lower Montauk Branch, which would provide increased transportation options to residents in the transit-strapped neighborhoods in Queens.

The year-long study, funded by the former Council Member through the City Council, confirms that it would not only be feasible to develop joint passenger and freight service on the branch but would also attract robust ridership of nearly 6 million users a year. The cost for passenger service is estimated at $1.1 billion and the study calls for a near-equal commitment to modernize and improve the freight operation. When comparing this proposal to the cost of the MTA’s Second Avenue 3-mile subway extension, this project could be achieved at approximately 90 percent less.

 “Too many of our Queens communities are transportation deserts,” said Crowley. “Our hard-working residents lack decent, local access to public transit, and then wind up spending too much time commuting on unreliable service.”

With the incorporation of this line as an NYC transit option the MTA would bring service to an underserved area while also relieving pressure on the nearby E train and L train, which are both operating beyond 100 percent capacity.

Crowley believes that this rail should be accessible with a NYC Transit Card and provide affordable transit access to the nearly 200,000 local residents who live within a short walk to the rail line. As the City and State negotiate a plan to fund the aging infrastructure the former lawmaker believes a plan must include additional service for the growing communities in Queens.

The plan known by local leaders as QNS Rail has been approved by all community boards throughout the right of way, including Queens Community Boards 2, 5, 6, 9 and 12 and was mentioned by Queens Borough President Katz in her recent State of the Borough address. The QNS Rail would better connect people to jobs and affordable housing, while taking advantage of currently operated tracks. The New York City Council allocated $500,000 in June 2016 to NYC Department of Transportation to study the line’s feasibility. NYC DOT contracted AECOM, USA to prepare the study.

To read the full DOT study go to www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/lower-montauk-final-report-jan2018.pdf.




Former NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley announced that according to an NYC DOT study, QNS Rail would be economically feasible and attract large numbers of riders.

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