NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Could a light rail system be on its way to Queens?

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley believes a light rail system between Glendale and Long Island City may help speed up an increasingly sluggish commute for those traveling into Manhattan from Queens.

“People have to take a bus to get to a very crowded train and then into the city which sometimes takes over an hour to get four, five — or less than ten miles,” Crowley said.

Tracks and infrastructure along the proposed route are currently being used to transport freight. Crowley said that using the tracks to implement a light rail system instead would help get Queens commuters into Manhattan faster and more efficiently.


“We have this railroad that is existing right of way with a good track in excellent condition,” Crowley said. “It’s like right now having a roadway with no vehicles on it. It’s completely a waste of infrastructure.”

Crowley estimates the project would cost less than $20 million dollars and would be more cost-effective in the long-term, because light rail cars last longer than buses.

“A brand new bus costs roughly nearly a million dollars, and it only lasts about 13 years,” Crowley said.

Light rail systems are similar to tramways or streetcar transportation, but often operate at a higher capacity to accommodate more commuters.

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