Queens, NY – The Queens Public Transit Committee (QPTC) sent letters to outgoing MTA CEO and Chairman Thomas Prendergast and Governor Andrew Cuomo late last month in support of the study to implement QueensRail.
They were backed by local elected representatives Senator Joseph Addabbo, Senator James Sanders Jr., Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato, Assembly member Michele Titus, Council member Eric Ulrich and Council member Donovan Richards, all of whom provided their own letters in support of the study.
QueensRail, formerly known as the Rockaway Beach Line, was deactivated in 1962, but the right-of-way from Ozone Park to Rego Park remains intact. The MTA is currently studying this asset to determine the feasibility of using it as part of the public transportation system.
In its letters, the QPTC outlined why QueensRail is so important to the people of Queens, especially those residing in the southern part of the borough.
“Queens is widely known as a transportation desert,” said Philip McManus, president of the QPTC. “It is our responsibility to the city, ourselves and future generations to leave our transportation infrastructure better than how we found it.”
The QPTC provided counterarguments to those who would turn the asset into a park, in what is already a park-rich borough, explaining why the line should be used to address current and future public transportation needs.
Making use of the line would also improve access to JFK Airport, identified as a priority by the governor.
Mike Scala, first vice president of the QPTC, added: “We’re delighted to stand with our local elected officials in congratulating Governor Cuomo on the Second Avenue Subway and urging support of New York’s next big transportation venture, the implementation of QueensRail.”