- January 2022: Gov. Kathy Hochul directs the MTA to begin the environmental review process for the project.
- January 2023: Light rail selected as mode, planning report released
About the project
The Interborough Express is a transformative rapid transit project that will connect currently underserved areas of Brooklyn and Queens. It will substantially cut down on travel times between the two boroughs, reduce congestion, and expand economic opportunities for the people who live and work in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The project would be built along the existing, LIRR-owned Bay Ridge Branch and CSX-owned Fremont Secondary, a 14-mile freight line that extends from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, Queens. It would create a new transit option for close to 900,000 residents of the neighborhoods along the route, along with 260,000 people who work in Brooklyn and Queens. It would connect with up to 17 different subway lines, as well as Long Island Rail Road, with end-to-end travel times anticipated at less than 40 minutes. Daily weekday ridership is estimated at 115,000.
Using the existing rail infrastructure means the Interborough Express could be built more quickly and efficiently. It would also preserve the Bay Ridge Branch’s use as a freight line, providing an opportunity to connect to the Port Authority’s Cross-Harbor Freight Project.
After extensive planning, analysis, and public engagement, Light Rail was chosen because it will provide the best service for riders at the best value. It also announced a preliminary list of stations and advanced other important planning and engineering analysis of the project.
- A direct public transit option between Brooklyn and Queen
- Connections with up to 17 subway lines and Long Island Rail Road
- A faster commute — end-to-end rides are expected to take 40 minutes
- A new transit option in underserved locations where more than a third of residents are below the federal poverty line
In January 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the MTA to begin the environmental review process for the Interborough Express, and identify the best mode of transit for the project (heavy rail, light rail, or bus rapid transit).
In January 2023, the MTA announced the completion of the Planning Study, selecting Light Rail as the mode and advancing transit planning and engineering analysis.
The formal environmental review process will continue in 2023 and beyond.
Gov. Hochul has also directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to complete an environmental review for a cross-freight rail tunnel, which could potentially link with the Bay Ridge Connector freight line.