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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2012

SCHUMER CALLS ON MTA TO CREATE ‘NERD BUS’ ROUTE CONNECTING CORNELL TECH CAMPUS WITH BROOKLYN/QUEENS TECH COAST – BROOKYLN NAVY YARD, DUMBO, DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, WILLAMSBURG, GREENPOINT AND LIC



Schumer Calls On MTA To Plan a Connection for New Cornell NYC Tech Hub – First at Current Location at Google at then At Roosevelt Island Campus When It Opens – With Already Announced Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Williamsburg Waterfront Bus Routes as Well as Long Island City

‘Nerd Bus’ Would Connect All Points of NYC’s Tech Boom, Drive Growth in Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City, and Provide Better Access to Tech Hubs for Residential Williamsburg and Greenpoint

Schumer: You Don’t Need a PhD To Know The Nerd Bus Is A No-Brainer

 

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the MTA to connect its proposed Brooklyn Tech Triangle and Williamsburg Waterfront bus routes to Cornell’s tech campus hub, first at its temporary location in Google’s NYC headquarters in Manhattan, and then to Roosevelt Island, where Cornell is planning to construct its new major technology campus hub. The proposal, dubbed the ‘Nerd Bus,’ would connect all points of Brooklyn’s fast-emerging tech boom, including the existing tech hub in DUMBO with emerging centers in Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, north to the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City where many tech employees live and work, and to the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

“New York is seeing a major tech boom, with Brooklyn and Long Island City leading the way, and now the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is going to be a game changer that further cements New York’s position as a leader in tech,” said Schumer. “You don’t need a PhD to know that connecting these neighborhoods through a ‘Nerd Bus’ is a no-brainer. The only thing separating these neighborhoods in New York City is a lack of transit connections. We need a high-speed rapid transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with stops at new hubs like Long Island City and the Navy Yard, and residential areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.”

On July 19, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced that along with service restorations in and around the city, it also proposed the establishment of two new routes: the Brooklyn Tech Triangle route, set to connect DUMBO with Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, as well as the Williamsburg Waterfront route. The Triangle route intends to service a growing technology hub centered around DUMBO, and is set to grow service for commuters into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. This is particularly important because dozens of tech companies are already on the waiting list for new Navy Yard office space, and NYU is proposing a tech campus in the old Jay Street MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn. Cornell is also planning a major tech campus on Roosevelt Island set to open in 2017, and Long Island City in Queens is seen by many as a new tech-hub in the making.  As a result, it is vital that MTA create service routes that will meet the increasing demand for transportation from commuters as the tech campus continues to expand into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. 

Schumer urged the MTA to plan for the transit needs of the Cornell-Technion campus as they consider new routes to cover the Tech Triangle and Williamsburg waterfront.  Connecting these two proposed lines, and extending them northwards to Long Island City and Roosevelt Island when construction is completed will create a proposed ‘Nerd Bus’ express route to service key points in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as Roosevelt Island, creating a tech highway for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and local residents. Schumer noted that until the Cornell Tech campus is built on Roosevelt Island, the MTA should also consider making the campus’ temporary location at Google’s New York City Headquarters in the Meatpacking District part of the route. Schumer argued that connecting these neighborhoods would be a great boon for the tech industry, providing easy transportation between the emerging tech hubs and connecting industry with education and vice-versa.

A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below:

Dear Mr. Lhota,

I write to you today to ask that you explore an exciting proposal regarding the extension of bus services in Brooklyn in order to create a route connecting Brooklyn and Queens Tech Coast. As you know, on July 19 the MTA announced that along with service restorations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, it is proposing two new routes: the Brooklyn Tech Triangle route and the Williamsburg Waterfront route. I applaud the MTA for these extensions of service, and equally for its thoughtful consideration of future transit needs in the New York City area.

As you also know, these extensions are intended in part to service the growing technology industry in Brooklyn. DUMBO is already home to a major technology hub, which is set to expand into Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. Dozens of tech companies are already on the waiting list for new Navy Yard office space, and New York University is proposing a tech campus in the old Jay Street MTA building in Downtown Brooklyn. In addition Cornell University is  planning a major tech campus on Roosevelt Island, with the school temporarily housed at Google’s Chelsea offices while construction is being completed. The faculty and students there are precisely the innovators needed by the growing tech industry in New York City, and many will surely be ferrying back and forth between the Roosevelt Island campus and the neighborhoods in Brooklyn where young engineers will be living and working. In between these two centers, furthermore, are the residential neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, which the new Williamsburg Waterfront route intends to service, and the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, which many predict to be the next major location for tech start-ups and offices. 

I urge the MTA to consider the feasibility of connecting these two new proposed bus routes, and explore the ridership potential of extending into Long Island City and Roosevelt Island when construction is completed at the Cornell-Technion campus, to make an express route that has been called the ‘Nerd Bus’.  Until the Cornell Tech campus is built on Roosevelt Island, their temporary location at Google’s New York City Headquarters should also be considered as part of the route. Such a route would service key points in the neighborhoods of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Navy Yard, Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, as well as Roosevelt Island, creating a tech highway for students, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and local residents. Connecting these neighborhoods would be a great boon for the tech industry, providing easy transportation between the emerging tech hubs and connecting industry with education and vice-versa. I applaud the MTA in its current restoration and expansion of services, and urge it to consider the feasibility of this new proposal.

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