The Leaders Post

The Student News Site of Leaders High School

The Leaders Post

The Leaders Post

The IBX & You

The transit system near our school can be a 10 minute trip for some, and an hour-long marathon for others (or both depending on the day if you take the bus), but the MTA’s plan will completely upgrade not just commuting to Leaders, but commuting from Leaders to the rest of the city.


Leaders High School’s placement in Bensonhurst creates a large variety in the commutes and neighborhood demographics in the student population. For those who are expected to commute on their own without a car, the bus, train, or both are the method of transportation for most. 


As far as trains go, most students live adjacent to a stop along the Q, D, N, F, and in some cases R. However, one of the problems with this system is it makes arranging meetups difficult. As somebody who lives along the Q, making plans with somebody else who takes the F train to school every day can be difficult, if not impossible thanks to the constant service changes on weekends, and the fact that the Q and F have practically two connections in all of Brooklyn that don’t require more than one transfer. 


This problem is somewhat alleviated by the variety of buses that pass by the building, but they create their own problems. The biggest is unreliability, due to being at the whim of local traffic, which does not bode well for morning rush hour. And on top of all of that, there are some students who, regardless of preference, cannot take public transit due to either accessibility failures, or being located in a transit desert neighborhood like Dyker Heights or The Flatlands. However, last year the MTA officially announced plans to build a light rail line called the IBX, that would run from Bay Ridge to Jackson Heights.

Map of the IBX’s route from the MTA website.

In total it makes connections with 18 other lines across the city, and serves as another line to bridge the obvious transit gap between Brooklyn and South and North Queens respectively, taking some of the burden off the frequently overcrowded G train.


However, unlike the rest of the subway system, the IBX is a light rail line. Better known as a tram. This means that it could occasionally have tracks running along roads and that it will rarely go underground, however it will have its own tracks similar to a regular train for some segments of the route. 



Where Leaders comes into this is what it means for the student body. After I – and most likely you – graduate, there could be a small influx of students from Queens neighborhoods attending this school. While Leaders is certainly far from Queens, it will make for a more direct route that doesn’t require taking the G or cutting through Manhattan, and we’ve already got a handful of students from Staten Island, so it’s not unfathomable. 

There will also be a lot of benefits for Leaders students not commuting through Queens. It offers a more consistent and reliable way to make connections to the other five lines that consist of a majority of South Brooklyn’s transit network. So making plans outside of school could become a lot easier, and also a lot more flexible. If one train line has issues, you can simply get on the IBX, and transfer to one of the other Coney Island-bound subway lines, since all of them bar the Q have subway stations within walking distance. (Yes, even the F train. Get off at Avenue X.)  

And lastly, it offers more unique opportunities for field trips, since ventures out into Queens will become suddenly more viable. Future classes could take trips to the Queens Botanical Gardens, The Museum of the Moving Image, Citi Field, and an elementary school-age favorite of mine – The New York Hall of Science. 


So while it doesn’t mean much now, Leaders’ class of 2027 or 2028 could make use of the IBX line someday, assuming the MTA actually completes it. They do not have a very good track record on promised expansions. See the T train’s 100-year-long history of delays, cancellations, un-cancellations, and cancellations again. But for now, it’s an exciting prospect. 


Also while we’re discussing it, let’s hope the MTA comes up with a better name for it.

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