BY EMMA MILLER
The new Amazon headquarters in Long Island City could put pressure on an already struggling transportation system.
One of Amazon’s requirements for their new headquarters was access to mass transit routes. Long Island City meets this need with eight subway lines and 13 bus lines as well as access to the East River Ferry and Long Island Rail Road. However, some wonder if it will be enough.
Tri-State Transportation Campaign said in a statement that the new Amazon site is good news for Long Island City’s economy, as it will bring new jobs and residents to the area. However, it will also “put even more pressure on the city’s struggling transportation network,” they said.
The subways are already at max capacity, especially the 7, and traffic slows down buses more often than not, the organization said. They went on to encourage lawmakers to find new funding sources such as congestion pricing to fund the MTA’s Fast Forward plan.
LIC subway lines like the 7 and M are expected to be extra full after the L train is shut down for tunnel work on Apr. 27, 2019. The line will be closed for 15 months. The MTA is planning to add more buses as well as upwards of 1,000 roundtrips on seven different subway lines during the shutdown. The M train will also have extended weekend service.
The MTA has not yet formed a plan for the extra traffic once the Amazon headquarters arrives.
Some local lawmakers have also expressed concern about transportation in the wake of the Amazon announcement. Newly elected Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not support the company building in Queens.
“The idea that [Amazon] will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here,” she said on Twitter.
Long Island City has stops along the 7, E, F, M, G, R, N and W subway lines. The QM1, QM2, QM3, QM4, QM5, QM6, QM10, QM12, QM15, QM16, QM17, QM18, QM20, QM 21, QM 24, QM31, QM32, QM34, QM35, QM36, QM40, QM42, QM44, x63, x64 and x68 buses have routes through LIC. This includes the 32, B32, 39, 60, B62, 66, 67, 69, 100, 101, 102, 103 and 104 bus lines.
Naeisha Rose contributed to the report.