NEW YORK CITY — A nonprofit that developed the initial 2015 plan to build a streetcar system connecting Brooklyn and Queens has appointed its first executive director, the group announced Thursday.
Ya-Ting Liu will be the new leader for The Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, a group that supports the mayor's $2.5 billion BQX streetcar proposal to connect waterfront neighborhoods from Astoria to Sunset Park.
Liu will oversee operations of the organization as well as help engage communities that "will be better served by the creation of the streetcar," according to the announcement.
The Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, founded in 2014, developed the study that was "pivotal" in getting the city to invest in a streetcar plan for New York, the nonprofit said. It expects to play a "crucial role in supporting the City’s efforts and ensuring this exciting concept becomes a reality."
The city is set to kick off neighborhood meetings to discuss the proposal with local communities, starting May 9 in Astoria.
“I’m thrilled to be leading the effort to bring reliable, modern transportation options to underserved communities in Brooklyn and Queens,” Liu said in a statement.
Liu added that she would be working with the city as well as with community leaders.
“This is just the beginning of an inclusive and extensive process, working closely with the City, to better understand the transportation challenges facing residents in communities like Astoria, Ravenswood, Red Hook and Sunset Park."
She previously served as director of the New York League of Conservation Voter's New York City Sustainability Program; director of transit and government affairs at Transportation Alternatives; and federal advocate at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, according to The Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector. She has a masters in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Last month, the city posted a job listing for a principal project coordinator for its Brooklyn Queens Connector project.