Will New York receive a downpour of federal funding to serve the ‘subway desert’?

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
MTA
If a major infrastructure bill is passed New York City could extend a transit line out to southeast Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Marc A. Hermann

New York’s “transit desert” could get a line that leads to the great oasis.

For the past century, officials have been calling for a subway line that serves southeast Brooklyn, and with the Biden administration talking about a multi-trillion-dollar “Build it Back” infrastructure program the extension could finally become a reality. Southeast Brooklyn has been called a “subway desert” for decades, and a new line would connect it to the main grid and lead riders in and out of New York City daily.

The plan has been to extend the subway down Utica Avenue to serve East Flatbush, Flatlands and Marine Park.

A study on the project could be in the works, one that also includes the use of buses and light rail. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) started holding public meetings about the proposal right before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

MTA’s B46 bus currently serves Utica Avenue, and before the pandemic 44,000 riders used the route every day. It was the busiest bus in Brooklyn and the third busiest in New York City.

The MTA says the study of the Utica Avenue expansion also will recommend projects for the agency’s next capital plan scheduled to begin in 2025.

President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also have talked about a $2 trillion green infrastructure plan to help the economy.

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