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Brooklyn lawmaker wants to resurrect Triboro rail line

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The rail line would connect the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

A decades-old plan to build a rail line connecting the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn—without having to pass through the island of Manhattan—has been resurfaced by a Brooklyn lawmaker.

As first reported by City Limits, state Assembly member Latrice Walker, who represents Brownsville, introduced a bill last week to get the MTA to conduct a feasibility study on the proposed Triboro Line, which would run 24 miles from Co-op City in the Bronx to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.

“I come from a neighborhood which has been subjected to mediocre transit service for years—Whether it be lack of updated infrastructure or a lack of accessibility residents in my community are tired of second-rate service,” Assembly member Walker said in a statement. “The Triboro plan is pertinent to my district because we do have working class commuting Brooklynites that shouldn’t have to pay two fares to work in Co-op city or Astoria.”

The plan by nonprofit Regional Plan Association (RPA), originally proposed in the 1990s, suggests using underutilized or abandoned rail rights-of-way (which are currently co-owned by several organizations, including Amtrak, CSX, and Long Island Rail Road), connecting with four commuter rail lines and 17 subway lines along its route. It would add two dozen new stations and according to RPA’s estimates, cost between $1 and $2 billion.

Courtesy of the Regional Plan Association (RPA)

“Transportation is the backbone of the region’s economy and the region needs to invest in new projects to modernize and extend regional rail networks in outer boroughs areas where transit is lacking,” Kate Slevin, senior vice president of state programs and advocacy at RPA, told Curbed in a statement.

Assembly member Walker’s bill calls for the MTA to explore the use of the Triboro rail line as “co-mingled public transit and freight line” and analyze the possible reduction of travel time and “increase in quality of life for outer borough residents.” The bill would also require the transportation authority to issue a report with the study’s findings within a year after the piece of legislation passes.