Transport Workers Union Local 100 endorses Brooklyn-Queens Connector
The 42,000-member strong Transport Workers Union Local 100 on Monday endorsed the Brooklyn-Queens Connector streetcar project.
The streetcar will give a powerful boost to the city economy, create good union jobs that can sustain working families and provide mass transit to transit-starved neighborhoods, Local 100 and TWU of America International President John Samuelsen said.
“Mass transit is the economic lifeblood of the city,” said Samuelsen. “A streetcar along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront will attract more businesses to the area, including manufacturers, and increase job opportunities. We see this as a vitally important project.”
Samuelsen said Local 100 would marshal its membership and political resources to lobby elected officials in support of building the BQX in order to achieve the following goals:
Expand NYC’s mass transit system with an integrated fare with MTA subway and buses.
Spur economic development, including a supply-chain of manufacturers producing equipment and parts for the streetcar.
Prioritize community hiring and provide job opportunities for high school students opting not to pursue a college degree immediately after graduation.
“Too often the people who most need a reliable transit option are the same people who lack a voice, and for whom a shorter and easier commute can make the biggest difference,” said Ya-Ting Liu, executive director of Friends of the BQX. “The men and women of the TWU know better than anyone how much of a difference transit can make in the lives of New Yorkers, and we’re so grateful for their support.”
TWU made the announcement at NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses East to underscore the impact the BQX will have on low-income residents, many of whom have their job options limited because of a lack of public transportation.
“There are 44,000 people who live in NYCHA housing along the BQX’s route, and many of us have lived most of our lives far from good transit options,” said Frances Brown, president of Red Hook East Houses Residents Association. “I’m so excited that the TWU has joined me and my neighbors to help bring the BQX to our communities.”
The BQX will run along the 14-mile corridor from Sunset Park to Astoria and serve the 400,000 people who live and 300,000 people who work along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront, including 600 TWU members and 44,000 public housing residents.
—Information from Friends of the BQX