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BQX Car Prototype Unveiled at Brooklyn Navy Yard

BQX Prototype (Risa Heller Communications)

Nov. 13, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

A prototype of a BQX car was unveiled today at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s New Lab technology space in a bid to bring the 14-mile Brooklyn-Queens connector closer to reality.

The prototype shows the car that would carry passengers through the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) a light-rail route along the waterfronts of the two boroughs, with end points at Astoria and Sunset Park.

The prototype, made up of two cars, one of them the driver’s cab, measures 46 feet in length and 8.7 feet across. The inside shows red seats, rails to lean on, and a sleek banner showing the route’s stops. The car’s higher capacity, street-level boarding for people with mobility challenges, and open-gangways were touted by Friends of the BQX, the non-profit in support of the project, as features that make the BQX “the optimal transit mode for this corridor”.

The interior of the BQX prototype (Risa Heller Communications)

“Today we’re providing New Yorkers with their first real taste of what the BQX would look and feel like, and calling on the city to bring light rail service to areas long underserved by reliable mass transit,” said Ya-Ting Liu, Executive Director of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, in a statement.

The Friends of the BQX and other advocates called on de Blasio to put the project at the forefront of his new term as mayor.

The BQX, first introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in February 2016, is still in its early stages of planning, and currently undergoing a feasibility study that checks out the best routes and financing model for the project.

Proponents of the BQX say the street-car will provide relief to a congested transit system and provide a service to a waterfront increasingly growing in population, and bring business interests to areas along the corridor. Some city officials and community leaders say the rail will also provide a much-needed transportation option to neighborhoods lacking in them, including Red Hook and Astoria.

Skeptics, however, say that the project is unwieldy and only serves the real estate interests along the corridor. The light-rail, according to some, fails to provide a solution to transit issues in an area that is already served by multiple train and bus lines. Environmental concerns, especially concerning floods, are also raised with the BQX.

The prototype, manufactured by Alstom, a French company, was on display in Nice, France, before it made its way to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The project, currently estimated at a cost of $2.5 billion, is projected to serve more than 400,000 people living along the 30-stop route, and 300,000 who work along it. Around 50,000 riders are expected to ride the BQX, which will run 24 hours a day and at the same price set by the MTA to ride the train and bus.

The Friends of the BQX estimate that the light rail can be up and running as soon as 2024, and in an October event, de Blasio announced that the BQX would likely break ground in 2020.

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29 Comments

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Ugh.

This is just the dumbest waste of money to pad pockets of people who do not need any more padding. They also do not mention (unless I missed it) how many passengers these things will carry – will it be comparable to a subway train, or more similar to the smallish capacity of the ferries (which appear to follow a similar route). And how does this fix the congestion of transit that is in most need – you know the ones that go from Queens to Manhattan or BK to Manhattan? Being able to take a trolley version of the G train isn’t going to do anything for us when the L train goes down.

Reply
MRFACTS

Alstom is a French firm that has factories in NEW YORK STATE. Did you know that NY state is actually in America?!

Wow, you’re totally clueless about the things you rant about.

Reply
MRLIC

No I did not know that, why didn’t they build the prototype here instead of Nice France? It should have been mentioned in the article.

Reply
MRLIC

MRFACTS, woo- hoo you are right I did not know they had a factory here in the states. You are condescending. Why wasn’t the prototype built in the USA???

Reply
MRFACTS

Thanks for admitting you knew nothing about the issue before pretending you did. Perhaps if you had been informed that Trump was a sexual predator and greedy luxury condo developer, who’s policies hurt low-income families you would have honored your principles instead of voting for him like a hypocrite.

Reply
Anonymous

What does this do that a bus can’t other then cost more for laying tracks? It can’t be redirected off its route like a bus if the event arises. It can’t bypass traffic and gridlock. It’s low ground clearance will be a problem for even a small amount of snow. The cost is high. The cons just seem to outway the pros so what’s the point.

Reply
QueensMC

I can’t stand the bus. Been in NYC for 25 years and have taken the bus less than 10 times. It is slow and frustrating. They stop at stop signs, lights and are susceptible to traffic and delays. In Hartford Ct. they just built the CTfastrak bus system on old railroad tracks. It was supposed to be great and much cheaper. The costs were much higher than expected and ridership is way below projections. Bus stops were built and developers reaped the rewards. ALL politics and political decisions are dirty whether it is a bus, a trolley or a railless flying catamaran.

Reply
Frank

And yet many European cities chose to maintain streetcar networks. The good thing about BQX is that it will need dedicated lanes and push more cars off the roads it runs on. Now we just need congestion pricing, a gasoline tax of $1/gallon, and tolls on the East River bridges.

Reply
BUT REALLY

2017 – The World’s First RAILLESS Train FOR RAPID TRANSIT Debuts In China

2017 – Airbus will test its Vahana electric ‘flying car’ by the end of 2017.

2017 – Russia’s first DRIVER-LESS BUS, will be tested at the third Eastern Economic Forum.

2018 – Tesla to Build a Self-Driving, ELECTRIC Semi Truck

2020 – UBER Lunches FLYING CAR service in LA

2052 – After decades of road closures and non-stop construction that affects lives of locals – NYC finally lunches rail-tram! Hallelujah! Welcome to the future.

Reply
QueensMC

If you have not noticed. China has had the fastest growing economy for many years. China has boatloads of cash and is an underdeveloped country. America is overdeveloped and aging. We built amazing things too when we were the fastest growing economy in the world and when we spent our money here, in America. Do you see China fighting wars all over the world? Does China give billions of dollars a year to their “friends”? China has its issues but they make us look stupid when it comes to learning from their mistakes.

Reply
Fact check

“now I hear” “I’m sure” And the whispers MRLIC hears in his head continue! I hear it’s the greedy developers pushing this!! And the MTA, that isn’t even mentioned at part of this project, they are wasting all the monies!! And the Governor, yes, he’s stealing I tellz you, I’m sure of it!!! Those evil landlords chanted their incantations and performed their secret society rituals to bring about…a streetcar. Wah, wah wahhh…

Reply
MRLIC

Fact Check–Don’t you realize this is Developer funded Propaganda. The Friends of The BQX is chaired by Jed Walentas a Two Trees Real Estate Mogul. who owns property along the proposed route of the Trolley which is being backed by development forces. This I read in a article from March 2017 titled A Streetcar named our Ire, A June 2017 article said in a leaked memo from DumBlasio;s Office that said the project may not be able to pay for itself as originally planned. Why can’t the MTA give a Free Metrocard transfer???? This is all Developer BS. Gentrification will happen faster if this goes through. Look up these articles so called Fact Check.

Reply
MRIRONY

Gentrification like the kind that the luxury condo developer you voted for for president is causing?

Reply
Fact Checker

I enjoy how friends of BQX has promised jobs to lower income residents to gain their support. The reality of course is that none of the construction jobs will go to people in the community. The railcars themselves will be built in an overseas factory because we continue to decimate all industrial property within NYC. The only potential jobs will be for train operators and cleaners, which will not be very high paying and there is no guarantee any of those jobs will go to anyone leaving along the route.

Reply
MRLIC

Friends of the BQX=Developer Funded. The RE Developers run DumBlasio and the rest of the city POLS (City Council etc…) who rubber stamp just about everything developers want. PAY TO PLAY????? 2.5 Billion when the MTA will raise the built in fare increases again in 2019and every 2 years ongoing, now I hear possibly in 2018 also. MTA always puts the cart before the horse. MTA can’t fix what it has (Signals,track,etc…) but they want to replace metrocards $573 million for that. 2.5 billion for the BQX which will not be a free transfer on metrocard so far. Bus time, countdown clocks etc.. All these ideas are fine except the Developer BQX for heir own selfish purposes. The problem is with the ideas I mentioned is there I no money for them at this time. When you have the money implement them. Let the developers build the BQX if hey want to. Not the taxpayers. Congestion Pricing is another tax on working people, that is the same tired ideas they seem to come up wit, never any new ones. Gov. Corruption Cuomo wants Congestion Pricing so he can put hi hand in he cookie jar I’m sure.

Reply
MRIRONY

This is exactly the kind of greedy developer you voted for for president. Now you want to complain? It’s too late you hypocrite. You gave the developers more power, and look what they’ve done with it. I hope you’re happy.

Reply
MRLIC

MRIRONY, Trump is not developing here in LIC. Your same old tired theme is getting Tired. Go to a Hillary Rally or something if you can find one. The NYC Politicians starting with Guiliani , Especially KING Bloomberg and now DumBlasio have created this mess. (Don’t forget Jimmy Van Bramer) the Anti-American Pro Rich NYC Council especially Melissa MArk-Viverito who is also Anti-American. How about blaming them?????

Reply
MRIRONY

Prices are going up in LIC because luxury condos in Manhattan are too expensive. Do you seriously think Trump isn’t developing in Manhattan? How stupid can you be? It’s disgusting how little you care about the principles you pretend to stand for.

You voted for the greediest luxury condo developer there is, and he’s using his power to build more ivory towers for the rich, and giving tax breaks to the rich.

Hillary lost over a year ago, get over it.

Reply
MRLIC

If Trump is developing it doesn’t seem LIC is in his sights. Manhattan is already lost as is Brooklyn to Developers and Real Estate Moguls. LIC is fast becoming the next Manhattan. TF Cornerstone, Related Cos.,Rockrose, The Corcoran Group, LTM, these are the ones I can think of that are ruining LIC. We need Trump to protect the country from Illegals and Build our Military. That is why I voted for him. You should worry that people such as the Mayor and City Council are ruining our city with Pay to Play. Worry about that, won’t you.

MRIRONY

I agree with you MRLIC, Trump’s greedy developments in Manhattan have pushed out low income families and raised prices in neighboring areas like LIC. That’s why it’s so hilarious that YOU voted for him to help him do that

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