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 Dear Editor:

Our community has suffered through enough. We have been neglected by our city and state Governments for far too long. Something as simple as available and reliable transportation is not available for our community. Our community is already a ‘transportation desert’ and it will get worse, unless we act. According to Census ACS data 52% of Queens’ commuters travel via the MTA. That means the majority of our borough, especially many residents of our community, rely on unreliable transportation.

When the train or bus is not running on time, the MTA is marginalizing people who already have limited access to other boroughs, and therefore limiting access to jobs and food security. Lew Simon understood the need to create reliable transportation. That's why he fought for the ferry and supported the QueensLink. The QueensLink will reactivate the Rockaway Beach Line which has been sitting unused since 1962 and will put it back into service as part of a subway and trail project. This will finally link Queens and provide reliable transportation to Manhattan. The QueensLink will save the average commuter 125 hours a year or five  FULL DAYS. The QueensLink will do more than just provide reliable transportation; it will increase property value up to $75 Billion, increase personal income up to $13 Billion, create up to 150,000 new jobs, and not to mention fight climate change. By giving commuters a reliable option to get to work, it will reduce carbon emissions by providing transportation to 46,000 people daily or 1.6 Million people a year. The QueensLink can also create up to 33 new acres of park land, creating a space for the communities that the line passes. The construction of this project will cost $1.8 Billion with a total of $3.4 Billion. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will give New York State $9.8 Billion to spend on transportation and the state can apply for $23 Billion for new subway service. In conclusion, the QueensLink will benefit everybody whether you use public transportation or not. For more information, including artist renderings of the rail and trail project, visit QueensLink.org.

Jonathan Lazo

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