By Kyiesha Kelly
As a business owner in the Navy Yard, I’m excited about the city’s proposal to build a light rail from Astoria to Sunset Park that will run through or very close to the Navy Yard.
The Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX), a modern light rail, would provide a reliable mode of transit to get to and from the Navy Yard. This would make a huge difference to employers like me trying to attract new talent and would be a game changer for so many already working in the Navy Yard.
I’m excited that the Navy Yard is changing and thriving. Being born and raised in this neighborhood and having a business here, I have witnessed the explosion of new companies gravitating to the area.
The sense of community has just gotten better, artists are hosting viewing parties, employees are taking part in monthly “happy hours” hosted by the Navy Yard, and nearby public housing residents are coming for job training and placement. The atmosphere is definitely changing for the better.
But too often I hear from clients or staff that the commute to the Navy Yard is nearly impossible. And that’s when the weather is nice! This shouldn’t be the case for a growing job center, which is why our biggest challenge here remains transportation.
The Navy Yard shuttles and planned ferry stop in 2018 are a step in the right direction, but employers like me are hopeful that we can create a more permanent solution so that the companies we build and the jobs we create in the Navy Yard will be sustainable. The BQX is the answer to a lack of transit to and from the Navy Yard.