The Future of New York City’s Transportation

New York's subway system has been under strain in recent times | © Pixabay
New York's subway system has been under strain in recent times | © Pixabay
Photo of Peter Ward
Tech Editor23 March 2018

Traveling around New York City can be problematic. The trains are a challenge, the traffic congested, and even walking can be difficult. But there is hope, as a raft of new transportation plans emerge on the horizon.

There are several projects underway in New York right now that will change the way people navigate the city. Some are further along than others, but all of them have the goal of making commuting and traveling more pleasant for everyone.

The New York subway system has been criticized heavily in recent years, and plans to improve it are still being drawn up or executed. Most of those involve heavy maintenance of the existing lines rather than grand openings of new ones. But there are some projects that will be more visible than behind the scenes infrastructure changes.

Current subway cars are old, run-down, and almost always extremely crowded. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that runs New York’s subways, announced in 2016 it would be bringing in centipede-like subway cars that have no doors and should improve capacity by up to 10%. New York hopes to test prototypes of the new cars by 2020. Similar subway cars are used already in Toronto and Paris.

In another attempt to ease the daily stress put on the subway system, a proposed new rail line would accommodate people who want to travel around New York City without going into Manhattan. The Triboro rail line would be a 24-mile line between Co-op city in the Bronx and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. This would be an above-ground line, and would connect with subway lines along the way. Estimates indicate that 100,000 people would use the Triboro rail line daily if it were to be built.

There have been other attempts by city officials to make it easier to get from one neighborhood to another. Some areas are woefully underserved by the subway, and ambitious solutions have been put forward. One of these is the Brooklyn-Queens Connector, a proposed 17-mile streetcar that would connect the waterfront neighborhoods on the two boroughs. Real estate companies with property in those areas are unsurprisingly behind the project, as is Mayor Bill de Blasio. However, as of the end of 2017, the project has reportedly hit difficulties, with some saying it’s financially unviable.

Roosevelt Island tramway may not be the only aerial transport over the East River in the future | © Pixabay

At some point in 2019, the L train, which runs across 14th street on Manhattan and to Williamsburg and beyond in Brooklyn, will shut down for maintenance. That’s going to be more than an inconvenience to the thousands of commuters who use it every single day, and has spawned countless possible remedies. One of the more interesting proposals is the East River Skyway, which would involve a high speed gondola shuttling passengers over the river between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This solution has the advantage of being pollution-free, quiet, and quick to build. But whether it gets approved before the L line shuts down remains to be seen.

A lot of these projects have not even been given approval, so will be scant consolation to the commuter stuck waiting for a train in Manhattan. But the future does hold hope for a modernized, diversified travel system in the city, and when it comes, the Big Apple should, hopefully, be much easier navigated.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"