You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

The Ditmars area needs more to attract people to visit and spend money here. Money talks and this will happen no matter what “old” Astoria thinks. This will be the only one in NYC and many will seek to ride it. It will be iconic and worth a post on social media.

I like carrots in me

This is a disaster waiting to happen. The city can’t even devise a proper. Ike lane never mind a trolley We are about to get
” F ¥ € £ € D royally

Michael Boylan

Trolley cars were removed in the 1950″s for fast moving buses. This is a backward waste of money. New bus route can be put in without such expense and upheaval with slower traffic flow.


This is not the same. Light rail has a higher capacity and it’s own “right of way”. I am just pointing this out. I am not saying it is the right decision.

Buses are not as comfortable or as big as these light rail systems.

I think we should start digging more tunnels for a long term solution.


The business in Astoria will benefit from this. So many more people will visit and I can see more developers opening more shops on ground levels throughout the Ditmars area. This is why Astoria Park is being revamped also.


I have feeling he might be another bloomberg 3 term mayor bill de blasio but this will cause traffic and destroy taxi business it will raise taxes and put ppl out of work. Typical liberal bullshit.


If this destroys the taxi business then it was clearly needed,

Did you factor in the people that it will put to work? Can you post your analysis?

Nectarios A Lafharis

Let me give you logic you will cost 10,000 jobs to create barley 450 jobs you tell me and dont forget it will be a slim pick while others will be on the streets


If having a street car would put 10,000 taxi drivers out of work then clearly we needed a street car!

Are you not following that logic? If people choose to take the street car over the Taxi then the market decided they want a street car.

Base on your logic we should get rid of the subway system because it takes customers away from the Taxi drivers.

me fail English?

So a project that will add 86,000 jobs by 2045 will put people out of work?

A project that provides an alternative to driving a car will increase car traffic?

Typical Trumpeter logic.


Yes i voted for someone that has balls not one that sold uranium to our enemies trying to take out christians and make the capital a sharia law capital. I want a president that respects our military our vets not one that oh those uneducated dummies like they call them deplorable or clingers. Clingers are the ones that want politicians to give them freebees with out earning anything to stay home while others risk their lives for your very own freedom.


As soon as 2024. When De Blasio is long gone mad will not have to answer to anyone
This makes developers richer


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

3 men sought for armed robbery in East Elmhurst home invasion near LaGuardia Airport: NYPD

The NYPD is looking for three men who allegedly robbed an East Elmhurst man of tens of thousands of dollars during a home invasion early Monday morning.

Police from the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights responded to a 911 call of an armed robbery at a townhouse located at 108-09 Ditmars Blvd. near 29th Avenue just south of LaGuardia Airport.
The victim had pulled up in front of his home just before 2 a.m. when he was approached by three suspects. One of them pulled out a firearm and forced him inside the townhouse where they stole around $30,000 in cash and a safe that contained an unspecified amount of jewelry, before exiting and driving off in a silver four-door SUV, police said.