U.S. Markets

NYC to fund $2.5 billion Brooklyn-Queens light rail via bond issue

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City will issue bonds via the creation of a non-profit agency to fund a $2.5 billion light rail system between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, officials from the mayor’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Officials said that when the 16-mile system is “fully built-out, it could serve almost 50,000 passengers per day, making it one of the biggest urban streetcar systems in the nation.” Construction is planned to start in 2019-2020.

The city did not give a time frame for the fundraising but said it expects to pay off the debt by capturing a percentage of the property tax revenue from the increase in real estate values along the rail corridor.

Fares from riders are expected to cover approximately two-thirds of yearly operating costs, the mayor’s office said. To make up the remaining cost the city said it will look at other revenue streams, such as advertising.

Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon