From the 1900s through 1930s, New York City streets were filled with trolleys. They were then phased out in favor of cars and buses. Now a plan to bring trolley cars back to Brooklyn may be, excuse the pun, “back on track.” The city is using a grant from 2005 in order to study the possibility of running a trolley or light rail line from Atlantic Avenue (at the edge of the newly opened Brooklyn Bridge Park) to the Red Hook waterfront.
Additional modes of transportation from downtown Brooklyn to Red Hook are greatly needed. With the additions of Fairway, Ikea, and the Brooklyn Cruise terminal, not to mention numerous other stores such as BJ’s down the pike, Red Hook has become a bustling neighborhood. However, it is incredibly difficult to get to. Currently, the F and G lines are the only subway lines that service Red Hook at the Smith-9th Street stop on the outskirts of Red Hook. Further, the B61 bus is the only bus that runs between downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook. In order to get to Red Hook, many New Yorkers are dependent upon the Ikea bus shuttle that runs from Brooklyn Borough Hall and the Ikea water taxi that runs from Pier 11.
A trolley from downtown Brooklyn to Red Hook has the potential to connect the neighborhoods and allow for greater access to Red Hook. The study to determine the feasibility of the proposed trolley is starting now and should last about five months. We’ll all have to keep an eye out for the results and hope to see a trolley between downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook in our future.