The MTA’s principal excuse for selecting a Light Rail mode for the IBX transit line is that a tunnel at Metropolitan Avenue, extending approximately 500 feet under the Northern part of All Faiths Cemetery, is too narrow for separate transit and freight tracks. The MTA’s new tunnel concept, which could be used by subway-type railcars, was very expensive. The MTA’s proposed solution is to use Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) which would “leave the cut of the freight rail corridor and travel along the street for approximately two-thirds of a mile along Metropolitan Avenue, 69 Street, and 69 Place before returning to the corridor after Juniper Boulevard South.”

The biggest problem with this plan is its use of a section of Metropolitan Avenue, shown above in part of an MTA drawing, which I have rotated so North is at the top: The drawing shows Metropolitan Avenue from the NYC subway “M” line station to its intersection with 69th Street. The MTA has indicated its proposed LRV route by light blue dashed lines, turning right onto that street from an IBX station and running along Metropolitan Avenue about 650 feet to a left turn onto 69th Street, or vice versa. The comparative lengths of 3 LRV and 4 LRV trains is indicated in the Legend, which I have added.

John Pegram
New York, NY