Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State plan includes several consequential transit plans for New York City, though they are limited to reviews and studies of ideas that advocates and planning groups have been kicking around for decades, in some cases.
The most exciting thing in the plan to transit lovers will undoubtedly be the nod to the fabled Interborough Express: a plan to create an outer-borough subway line on existing freight tracks that could connect Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
Hochul says she will be directing the MTA to begin an environmental review of creating this Interborough Express between Bay Ridge, in southwest Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, in central Queens. This corridor alone connects 17 subway lines, as well as the Long Island Rail Road, and would serve the 129,000 residents who make daily trips within the boroughs. The MTA began a feasibility study for the line in early 2020, nearly two-and-a-half decades after the Regional Plan Association first proposed it.
"We need to reconnect neighborhoods that were severed by asphalt highways, disproportionately affecting neighborhoods of color," she said.
Hochul says she would also partner with the city on a feasibility study for covering sections of the Cross Bronx Expressway, a relic of Robert Moses-era highway building that has left the south Bronx one of the most polluted, and asthma-prone, areas of the city. Mayor Eric Adams has also suggested covering the expressway, a transit-cum-environment project that would likely be eligible for considerable federal funding through the infrastructure bill.
The State of the State plan also says Hochul will direct state agencies to develop a plan for reducing air pollution in Hunts Point, home to the city’s major wholesale distribution center for meat and produce, and where 15,000 diesel trucks come through to pick up food every day.