Sen.: ‘nerd Bus’ Is a No- Brainer

Links Campuses In Bk., L.I.C.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer called on the MTA to connect its proposed Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Williamsburg Waterfront bus routes to Cornell’s tech campus hub, first at its temporary location in Google’s NYC headquarters in Manhattan, and then to Roosevelt Island, where Cornell is planning to construct its new major technology campus hub.

The proposal, dubbed the ‘Nerd Bus,’ would connect all points of Brooklyn’s fast-emerging tech boom, including the existing tech hub in DUMBO with emerging centers in Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, north to the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City where many tech employees live and work, and to the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

“New York is seeing a major tech boom, with Brooklyn and Long Island City leading the way, and now the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is going to be a game changer that further cements New York’s position as a leader in tech,” said Schumer. “You don’t need a PhD to know that connecting these neighborhoods through a ‘Nerd Bus’ is a no-brainer. The only thing separating these neighborhoods in New York City is a lack of transit connections. We need a high-speed rapid transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with stops at new hubs like Long Island City and the Navy Yard, and residential areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.”

On July 19, the MTA announced that along with service restorations in and around the city, it also proposed the establishment of two new routes: the Brooklyn Tech Triangle route, set to connect DUMBO with Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, as well as the Williamsburg Waterfront route.

The Triangle route intends to service a growing technology hub centered around DUMBO, and is set to grow service for commuters into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. This is particularly important because dozens of tech companies are already on the waiting list for new Navy Yard office space, and NYU is proposing a tech campus in the old Jay Street MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn.

Cornell is also planning a major tech campus on Roosevelt Island set to open in 2017, and Long Island City is seen by many as a new techhub in the making.

Schumer urged the MTA to plan for the transit needs of the Cornell- Technion campus as they consider new routes to cover the Tech Triangle and Williamsburg waterfront. Connecting these two proposed lines, and extending them northwards to Long Island City and Roosevelt Island when construction is completed will create a proposed “nerd bus” express route to service key points in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as Roosevelt Island.

The senator added that, until the Cornell Tech campus is built on Roosevelt Island, the MTA should also consider making the campus’ temporary location at Google’s New York City Headquarters in the Meatpacking District part of the route. Schumer argued that connecting these neighborhoods would be a great boon for the tech industry, providing easy transportation between the emerging tech hubs and connecting industry with education and viceversa.