To The Editor:
A proposal by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, State Sen. Leroy Comrie, State Assembly members Michelle Solages, David Weprin and Clyde Vanel, along with City Councilman Barry Grodenchik, to provide an intermodal transportation connection at Belmont Park, including park and ride with connections to the Long Island Rail Road or express bus services to Manhattan, is easier said than done.
It will be several more years before the Long Island Rail Road completes upgrading interlockings and signals adjacent to Jamaica Station. East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal will not be completed until 2023. New equipment to expand the current fleet needs to be delivered.
Until all three are completed, there is no capacity to support any new services. Shea Stadium Park & Ride serving potential customers from Northeast Queens two fare zones attracted few riders. Why would Belmont Park serving potential customers from Southeast Queens two fare zones not suffer the same fate? MTA, NYCT and MTA bus service have no current spare buses to provide new services. They would require several years to acquire new buses for fleet expansion. Who will provide the tens of millions in capital and operating assistance to pay for this?
(Larry Penner is a transportation historian and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration New York Region 2 Office) .