Lawmakers: ‘Triboro Plan’ would make outer borough rail travel smoother

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Lawmakers are trying to get the MTA to move ahead with a plan that would make moving around the outer boroughs by rail a smoother process.

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benedetto says he is supporting a proposal that would use 24 miles of already existing train tracks to connect commuters in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and possibly Staten Island without ever stopping in Manhattan.

The so-called "Triboro Plan" was developed by the nonprofit Regional Plan Association. It gained steam this summer when Brooklyn Assemblyman Latrice Walker drafted a bill asking the MTA to study the feasibility of using freight lines for passenger service as well. On Wednesday, some of her colleagues echoed her call to action.

In the fall, the MTA announced plans to look into whether to restore passenger trains to the Bay Ridge branch, which connects Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to Ridgewood, Queens.

An agency spokesperson told News 12, "We anticipate starting the study in the coming weeks. The focus of the study is on Brooklyn and Queens, but it will look to possible future extensions to the Bronx.”

The Regional Plan Association estimates the Triboro Plan in its entirety would initially serve 100,000 commuters each day and cost between $1 billion and $2 billion.

Advocating lawmakers are hoping to pass Walker's bill in Albany, as well as write a joint letter to the MTA, expressing their hopes that the agency gets on board with the Triboro Plan.

 

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