In response to increased demand for full-time, roundtrip subway service in Southern Queens following the October 2011 opening of the Aqueduct Raceway and Resorts World Casino, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) has reached out to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota to call for expedited expansion of the Aqueduct Racetrack Station. Currently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) station only opens on racing days for Manhattan-bound service and construction at the facility will be necessary before full-time and southbound service can begin.
“The Aqueduct Racetrack and Casino is an incredible asset to our area – drawing thousands of paying visitors to Southern Queens every month from across the five boroughs,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “The fact that no adequate transportation exists only pushes potential commerce away from our area. An expansion of this rail station would provide a boost to Aqueduct and Resorts World, two of the largest tax-revenue generators and employers in our area, while increasing the number of patrons at other local businesses as well.”
MTA decision makers have withheld their approval for the construction needed to facilitate full-time operation along both directions of the line at Aqueduct station, the most significant of which is a second platform to service southbound trains from Manhattan. Without MTA approval, the proposed project cannot move forward.
Currently, Resorts World utilizes a shuttle-bus service to and from the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station to service passengers, but availability is limited noted Assemblyman Goldfeder.
“Resorts World has provided over 1,500 new jobs, many of which are held by Southern Queens residents,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “The complex is an important part of our community and with adequate transportation options; we can realize further benefits for our hardworking families. The stalling has gone on too long; it’s time to get this project moving forward.”
According to Assemblyman Goldfeder, the tax revenues generated by Resorts World help to pay for local schools and community improvement projects. He also noted that working families benefit from the new jobs the casino provides and businesses in the surrounding area get a boost due to the increased number of visitors in the borough.