Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the announcement of a plan to dramatically increase ferry service throughout the city with local elected officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 12.
The City Council is dedicating approximately $500,000 toward an in-depth study to locate potential sites within the city’s five boroughs that are capable of supporting new ferry service.
While the locations of Riverdale, Orchard Beach, Ferry Point, Soundview and Hunts Point, are possible Bronx locations, the study will reveal the specific docking sites.
The study will also include an analysis of the ferry market, subsequently drawing the map for new routes that will connect the city’s underserved mass-transit areas with new transportation options.
Bloomberg said he hopes the new transit option will take pressure off crowded public transportation routes and congested roads. “Ferries are fast, affordable and environmentally-friendly,” he said.
Local elected leaders, who looked forward to the new mode of transportation, celebrated the announcement.
“As a lifelong resident of the northeast Bronx, I know that the average rush-hour trip to Manhattan is enough to give the calmest commuter agitation,” Councilman Jimmy Vacca said. “That’s why ferry service on the waterfront communities that I represent has long been a passion of mine.”
Vacca said he sees the service as a parallel to efforts to utilize green resources in the Bronx.
“This third mode of mass transit will not only reduce crowding on subways and buses but also make great use of our city’s most untapped resource: our waterways,” he added.
While the service will eventually benefit the borough, Bronx docking and launch sites haven’t yet been secured. The councilman assured the community that he, along with the appropriate city agencies, is working to make the service a reality.
“I look forward to working with the city and local community groups to find suitable locations for ferry landings in my district,” Vacca said.
Celebrating the benefits of maritime commuting Bloomberg said, “As our waterfront becomes even more dynamic; with new housing and open space in communities like Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Hunters Point, ferries are going to become an even bigger part of our city’s transportation network.
“That vision of a revitalized waterfront is an important element of PlaNYC,” he added, “and over the past year we’ve worked closely with Speaker Quinn and the Council to make it a reality.”
©2008 Community News Group