The MTA finally released the Rockaway Beach LIRR Restoration study on the eve of Yom Kippur, hoping no one would notice.
It was dated September 2018. Perhaps they did not want to embarrass elected officials who supported the project by releasing it just prior to the November 2018 General Election?
In any case, the contents confirmed that the financial cost for implementation is prohibitive. The study concluded the cost would be $6.7 billion for the railroad and $8.1 billion for a subway connection, far exceeding even the conservative estimate of between $600 million to $1 billion.
It is time to read the tea leaves, regroup and look for other low cost easier to implement solutions. Here are three that deserve consideration:
• Up until the 1970's, NYC Transit extended E line service during rush hours to the Rockaways. Why not resume this service to supplement the A line?
• The Far Rockaway LIRR branch has plenty of empty seats to accommodate additional weekend riders. There is no good reason why Rockaway residents should not be able to join their other Queens neighbors in purchasing a $4.50 City Ticket on weekends.
• It is time to reopen the still intact Woodhaven LIRR Station that was closed in 1976. It would require a minimum amount of work to resume service.
R.I.P. restoration of LIRR service on the old Rockway Beach branch.