Download the report here:

 

 

In 2019 the MTA released their Rockaway Beach Branch reactivation feasibility study. The study found that restoring service on the line is possible but their cost estimate of between $6 and $8 billion looked wildly out of line with similar projects. QueensLink has commissioned a study by the transportation firm TEMS to determine why these numbers seemed so high. Additionally, the official report did not go into detail about the potential economic benefits of building the line.

The purpose of this report was to 1) analyze the cost estimates of the official MTA feasibility study and 2) determine the economic return of such and investment.

 

The official cost estimate of $8.1 billion was inflated using non-standard contingency and Year of Expenditure Escalation calculations (based on FTA guidelines) and higher Professional Service fees. A more accurate estimate puts the cost at $3.4-$3.7 billion.

Based on similar projects, notably the Purple Line outside of Washington, D.C. and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in New Jersey, over the course of the lifetime of the project the QueensLink could: create up to 150,000 new jobs (short term construction and long term growth), create up to $13 billion in personal income from new economic opportunities, and create up to $75 billion in property value along the route.

Note: This report is only the first phase of a much larger, in depth report. A Phase 2 report will take a closer look at alternatives, TOD potential, a more accurate construction cost estimate, and potential funding strategies.