Traveling from Queens to Brooklyn via the NYC Subway can be described as a backwards log jam, more on that later. The engineers, architects, and construction workers who built our intricate subway lines never anticipated a weekday daily ridership of over five million.
Your options for city commuting are simple. Relocate to better subway lines or move outside the city; maybe to Long Island, Greater NY, or Connecticut where more expensive and less frequent transit options exist. So here is what is being done and what is being considered as the masses deal with commuting frustrations.
Options you may have not considered:
Up until the 1800’s, ferries were the only way to get around Manhattan. After the construction of city bridges, trains and tunnels, ferry transportation largely faded, not able to keep pace with a speedier MTA NYC Subway system, it wasn’t practical.
Today the NY Waterway the largest ferry and excursion fleet in NY Harbor according to their website has carried over 65 million passengers since 1986. Today’s daily ridership is approximately 30,000, just 5 percent of the enormous NYC Subway ridership. Skeptics and serious New Yorkers still don’t consider the water ways a viable daily-commuter option. The ferries may remain a tourist attraction or a weekend yacht excursion for commuting New Yorkers.
What the Mayor is doing:
It’s clear Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the city’s transportation issues at a crawling pace, or maybe it just feels that way. At the cost of overcrowded subways and fare hikes that have steadily increased in recent years, New Yorkers are relocating to commute less frequently and to commute on the city’s best subway lines.
This Fall the city announced plans for a Queens-Brooklyn Inter-Borough street car that will run on main streets, not underground like traditional New York subways. Construction on the project is not projected to start until at least 2018, and would take about 5 years according to de Blasio. The plan sounds better than the current alternative, an every 15-minute lonely G-train from Brooklyn to Queens or make a pit stop up Manhattan’s East Side 4-5-6 train.
What could be revolutionary:
Transforming the five-boroughs into a biking community, Fuhgeddaboudit. But that’s exactly what’s happening as mayor de Blasio plans to add 15 miles of protected bike lanes to NYC streets by the end of 2016 according WNYC. Right now, it’s not breaking news that will change the NYC commuting landscape to the friendliest biking city worldwide, like Copenhagen or Amsterdam, but it’s where many city progressives want to move towards.
While we are on revolutionary road, some of the greatest bike lane skeptics is our cities Department of Transportation truck drivers who, as they say “move the economy,” are slammed with parking tickets and the bike lanes may make it worse. Our cities transportation does need a revolution, so let’s hope it comes with Amazon delivery drones.