New York

Everything You Need to Know About NYC's New Interborough Express Train

A new mass transit line would connect Brooklyn and Queens.

CHOONGKY/Shutterstock
CHOONGKY/Shutterstock
CHOONGKY/Shutterstock

The outer boroughs can often feel like an afterthought when it comes to the New York City subway system. The oft-forgotten G Train is currently the only subway line running directly between Brooklyn and Queens, but Governor Kathy Hochul is hoping to change that with a plan for a new mass transit line dubbed the Interborough Express (IBX).

Although there are many funding and construction hurdles to clear before the IBX could get the chance to whisk its first passengers across the city, the initiative appears to have fairly broad support from local politicians and community groups. So here’s what you need to know about what could become NYC’s newest transportation line.

Who Will It Serve?

The IBX would run on a pair of pre-existing right-of-ways called the Bay Ridge Branch and the Fremont Secondary, which stretch from South Brooklyn to central Queens. They haven’t carried passenger rails since 1924, although freight trains still run there. The plan outlines stops in neighborhoods like Bay Ridge, Borough Park, Flatbush, Canarsie, Brownsville, and Bushwick in Brooklyn, as well as Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, and Jackson Heights in Queens. It would connect to as many as 17 subway lines (2,3,5,7,A,B,C,D,E,F,J,L,M,N,Q,R,Z), and would run from end to end in less than 45 minutes.

The neighborhoods the IBX would serve are over 70% non-white. Half of all residents in these areas don’t own a car, and one in four have limited fluency in English. Several of the neighborhoods are considered transit deserts, and the MTA estimates the line would attract around 85,000 riders per day.

Versions of the plan have existed since the late ’90s and have at times attempted to continue service through Astoria into the South Bronx. However, according to the MTA, recent feasibility studies found that the Hell’s Gate bridge between Queens and the Bronx-already used by Amtrak and MetroNorth-can not handle the additional capacity that the IBX would generate.
 

Image courtesy of the MTA
Image courtesy of the MTA
Image courtesy of the MTA

What Kind of System Will It Be?

The MTA’s current plan outlines three possible systems: a conventional commuter rail akin to the Long Island Railroad or MetroNorth, a light rail system more like a subway train, or a bus rapid transit system. Each has its drawbacks, and the MTA has yet to commit to a specific mode.

Due to federal regulations, only traditional rail is allowed to share tracks with freight trains, necessitating parallel or “flyover” tracks for any light rail system. Bus lanes running parallel to existing railroad tracks would have their own engineering challenges, while traditional rail would be the slowest of the three options.

How Much Will It Cost?

The real question on everyone’s mind is the cost. The MTA is famous for its ballooning budgets, with projections for Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway recently coming in at $3.5 billion per mile. While the IBX will have to contend with the same high labor costs, it benefits from the existing infrastructure.

The line is almost entirely separated from the surrounding community with embankments or trenches, and there are already rail tracks in place. The MTA has not released a specific cost estimate yet. Still, experts told StreetsBlog New York that-depending on station designs and engineering challenges related to bottlenecks-the price tag could be much lower, in the “single-digit billions” range for the entire 14-mile build-out.

When Will It Open?

New York isn’t exactly known for its speedy transit construction timelines, as anyone waiting for the Second Avenue Subway can tell you. In early January, Governor Hochul revealed her IBX plan during her State of the State Address and announced last week that it had passed a feasibility study. The project must now go through community outreach, environmental review, engineering, and design processes, and secure funding before construction could begin. NYC could be looking at a potential IBX opening closer to the end of the decade.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Chris Mench is an editor focusing on NYC News at Thrillist. You can follow him on Twitter for more of his work.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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