As the 2013 Strategic Plan pointed out, it is easier to get to Manhattan from Downtown Brooklyn than it is to other parts of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. As such, the report outlined a number of transportation recommendations to help strengthen connections in the Tech Triangle.
In September 2013, the MTA expanded service on the B67 bus route to run through the Brooklyn Navy Yard and link it to area transit hubs, not only improving mobility within the Tech Triangle but reducing commute times for employees who live in surrounding neighborhoods like North Brooklyn and Vinegar Hill. The expanded service connects South Williamsburg to Downtown Brooklyn via the Navy Yard and DUMBO—extending the current line running from Kensington to Downtown Brooklyn.
The launch of Citi Bike in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan in May 2013 brought more transportation options to the area. Since the program’s launch, approximately 1.4 million rides have started or finished at one of the 30 docking stations spread throughout the Tech Triangle. Couple this with the number of Brooklynites who commute on their own personal bikes, and the high ridership underscores the importance of bike lane improvements highlighted in the Strategic Plan.
In his 2015 State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio announced plans for a citywide ferry service. Building on the success of the existing East River Ferry that serves parts of the Tech Triangle waterfront today, this expanded ferry service will link the greater Downtown Brooklyn area to emerging innovation hubs like the Brooklyn Army Terminal in southern Brooklyn and improved east-west access to Manhattan. Beginning in 2017, Citywide Ferry Service will provide a new, affordable way to travel between waterfront communities throughout New York City.
Especially in and around the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where the workforce increased by 1,200 people between 2012 and 2015, the need for better connections to area transit hubs is acute. In the face of dramatic job growth projections over the next few years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be strengthening connections to the local subways and implementing an efficient, tech-enabled and demand-driven shuttle service. Routes will ensure minimal head time in peak hours and increase predictability and efficiency, helping workers get more easily to and from work.
This past spring, BNYDC launched a survey of 450 employees to help determine existing travel patterns, and how travel patterns vary by tenant type, location of origin, and work schedules. The results of these surveys, in combination with qualitative data, will help the Yard formulate a transportation plan to address four primary goals:
The full study will be complete this fall, with roll-out of the plan to occur in phases soon thereafter.