The borough’s first ferry service in the 21st century is right on schedule.
Community residents and public officials got a sneak peak at the ferry terminal at Clason Point Park on Monday, April 9.
The NYC Economic Development Corporation now says it will be operational by this summer.
The new ferry line linking Soundview and Manhattan includes stops at East 90th Street, East 34th Street and Wall Street in Manhattan.
James Patchett, EDC president, signed a ferry bumper with a Sharpie marker in a symbolic gesture at the Monday, April 9 event, as community leaders got their first look at the landing area.
An EDC spokeswoman estimated recently that the site was about 70 percent complete.
Touring the construction site were Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.
Diaz said he thanked NYCEDC and he also added that he looks “forward to bringing this service to other Bronx communities in the future.”
“Soundview is the perfect community to host new ferry service, and it is my hope that this new transit option will not only ease commutes for Bronx residents, but will provide travelers with a new way to visit and explore the Bronx.” said Diaz.
Crespo thanked the EDC and Mayor de Blasio for bringing ferry service to the borough that will cost only $2.75, the same fare as riding a subway or bus.
The assemblyman said it is something that can help expand employment opportunities or allow commuters to spend more time with their families.
“Over the last few years, the borough of the Bronx has seen a wave of positive change, and with the expansion of ferry service in Soundview we take yet another leap forward in improving the transportation options and quality-of-life of our residents,” said Crespo.
William Rivera, Community Board 9 district manager, said there would be a town-hall meeting with residents in Soundview about a month before it becomes operational.
Rivera said that on Tuesday, April 10 CB 9 met with ferry officials at a parks committee meeting where the board got an update on the timeline, the boats and amenities.
The discussion included bathrooms, bicycles, expanding bus stops to reach the launch and security concerns.
“We have had these conversations for the past two years, but obviously it is almost game time,” said Rivera, adding that he is thrilled CB 9 is hosting the borough’s first ferry service, that will launch in late summer.
Marlene Cintron, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation president, said that she believes that the ferry stop in Clason Point could spur development in the community as well as raise property values.
Anthony Chiodi, a Throggs Neck resident who commutes to Manhattan, said that ferry service in his community, should the line be expanded, would provide ancillary benefits addressing the borough’s revitalization.
These include keeping current residents and attracting new ones, spurring investment in public and private schools, and supporting local hard-working merchants that operate businesses, while strengthening the tax base.
“Ferry service to Manhattan makes the Bronx a geographic contender for professionals looking for a stable, family-oriented community with a reasonable commute to work,” stated Chiodi.