BP Katz Calls Upon Amazon to Help Pay for Construction of BQX with “Fair Fares” and Free Subway/Bus Transfers
Also Urges Enhanced Service at Both LIRR Stations in LIC, New Municipal Parking
QUEENS, NY – In light of the New York City Council’s upcoming series of hearings, Borough President Melinda Katz, former Chair of the New York City Council Land Use Committee, stated the following in response to questions about Amazon and Long Island City’s infrastructure needs:
“Amazon’s pick of Long Island City is a game-changer for Queens,” said Borough President KATZ. “That said, the community’s significant concerns about capacity, equity and already-strained infrastructure needs are certainly valid, especially given the substantial tax incentives offered to Amazon.
“First, Amazon should help pay for the Queens-Brooklyn Connector, also known as the Brooklyn-Queens Connector. A substantial and meaningful investment by Amazon that helps ensure the feasibility of QBX would be a fair investment into its new home, and a welcome opportunity for a good corporate neighbor to directly benefit the existing, impacted communities of Western Queens. The company and the public sector must work together to make investments in necessary transit improvements that will support Queens residents.
“QBX should also include a free transfer to MTA subways and buses, as well as reduced ‘Fair Fares’ for lower-income New Yorkers,” Borough President KATZ continued. “To help alleviate the impact of the anticipated loss of thousands of parking spots from QBX, the City should aggressively explore creating new municipal parking options. Finally, to help alleviate overcrowding on our subway lines, the ‘Long Island City’ and ‘Hunterspoint Avenue’ LIRR stations should become full-time stations with enhanced service.”
Earlier last month, Borough President Katz stated the following on Amazon: “Long Island City – New York’s emerging tech hub – is ‘primed’ for Amazon. Amazon is a timely fit for the borough, given the Tech Plan we commissioned years ago funded by Governor Cuomo to create the city’s leading tech ecosystem, coupled with Mayor de Blasio’s $180 million in new investments for infrastructure improvements unveiled several weeks ago for schools, transportation and open space. With its organic growth, wealth of local talent and inherent global assets to foster innovation, Queens offers a dynamic mixed-use community where workers can live, ideas can synergize, and businesses can flourish. New companies should take note, however, that New York is a union town. I have full faith that the City and State will be able to resolve all outstanding issues including organized labor, infrastructure and capacity concerns.”
The Queens Borough President’s Western Queens Tech Strategic Plan (“Tech Plan”), unveiled in June 2018, offers a roadmap with six initiatives to support equitable job growth within the tech economy of Western Queens along the East River waterfront. The creation of the Tech Plan was first initiated by the Western Queens Tech Task Force in 2011 and funded by the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund. The Tech Plan can be viewed in its entirety here.
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