Little-noticed in the continued hubbub over Gov. Cuomo’s proposed gambling-conventioneering complex in Queens is the mass-transit part of it.
Genting, the company that Cuomo favors, has produced a fact sheet on its “New York Convention and Exhibition Center” that shines some light, or maybe not.
[Genting’s] RWNY and the state would work alongside the MTA to help fund and introduce uninterrupted subway service between Midtown Manhattan and the New York International Convention and Exhibition Center.
Take out your handy subway map, and notice what a long trip it is from Midtown Manhattan to Aqueduct. (The station has limited hours right now.) From the first stop in Brooklyn, it’s 20 stops on the A train. Nor do you save much by taking a different train and switching later. HopStop says it’s an hour and 12 minutes from Grand Central; it is likely longer on evenings and weekends.
The MTA can not just simply create a super-express train for gamblers and conventioneers; it could not bypass other trains, local and express, all along the rest of the route.
And as anyone who has ever endured a commute to a far outer borough knows, being dependent on just one train line is risky. When a line in Manhattan is down for whatever reason, it’s easy enough to walk to another one. Not so once you leave Manhattan’s density.
One presumes that the reason Genting wants subway access is so that its patrons can visit Manhattan easily and quickly when they’re not attending convention sessions of gambling.
But the long nature of this trip would make such excursions difficult. Conventioneers couldn’t take an hour to, say, see the Empire State Building, between sessions, or take in a Manhattan dinner with colleagues, without a good three-hour round trip.
And let’s hope it doesn’t snow.