East Side Officials Applaud the Mayor's Ferry Service Plans

February 3, 2015
 CONTACT: Sarah Anders
SAndersatBenKallos [dot] com

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New York, NY -- Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Council Member Ben Kallos, State Senator Liz Krueger, and Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright applauded the Mayor’s proposal for new ferry service in New York City today, including locations to connect Roosevelt Island with Astoria, Long Island City and 34th Street in Manhattan, and to connect East 90th Street and East 62nd Street with lower Manhattan and the Bronx.

East Side officials have been advocating for ferry service for years with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and city and federal governments.

Congresswoman Maloney has long been an advocate for expanded ferry service. In 2008 she helped to secure $4.4 million in federal funding ferry service in NY. She has been a strong supporter for ferry service along the waterfront from Western Queens to North Brooklyn, w
hich has experienced strong demand that exceeded expectations.  Rep. Maloney also encouraged swift restoration of ferry service to the India Street/Greenpoint ferry landing this summer.   She has been a strong advocate for expanding ferry service to Roosevelt Island and Astoria Cove, in her district.  Most recently, she held a discussion of the importance of opening the 90th Street ferry pier.

In 2010, the NYC EDC completed a comprehensive study of New York City ferry service and determined that there was strong demand for it.

As a candidate and then as an elected official, Council Member Ben Kallos has been pushing for expanded ferry service for years. He advocated for ferry service during his campaign, testifying before the City Planning Commission to encourage Roosevelt Island Ferry Service and terminal development. As part of his 2013 book of policies, he advocated for the “Nerd Boat” proposed by Senator Schumer to connect Astoria, Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Once elected to the City Council, Kallos proposed revitalizing the East River Esplanade and successfully for ferry service investment to be included this year's City Council preliminary budget response.

“We are a city of islands, but we make incredibly poor use of our waterways,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Ferries relieve congestion on our over-crowded subways and roads, and provide increased access to our beautiful waterfront. This expanded ferry service will connect major hubs on Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, Astoria, and Midtown Manhattan. I want to extend my thanks to Mayor de Blasio for recognizing the importance of investing in this environmentally friendly mode of transportation and maximizing use of our waterways.”
“We're taking back the waterfront and improving commutes through expanded ferry service for New Yorkers," said Council Member Ben Kallos, whose district will be receiving ferry service in three locations. "The 'Nerd Boat' will connect tech hubs of Cornell NYC Tech on Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, Astoria, and Midtown Manhattan. Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio for investing in our waterfront and transportation through ferry service which I have been proud to advocate for following the leadership on a Federal level by Senator Chuck Schumer and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney."

"Expanding ferry service is an excellent initiative and one that I fully support. Increased connectivity up and down the East River and between all five boroughs will ease the burden on existing mass transit, and facilitate transportation in transit barren portions of the city's waterfront," said State Senator Liz Krueger.

"With Cornell Tech’s groundbreaking just around the corner, the Mayor’s proposal could not come at a better time.  The addition of ferry services to Roosevelt Island will provide much needed relief to the existing transportation systems connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan and Astoria.  It is my hope that Cornell Tech’s first freshman class will be moving into their dorms with the assistance of a ferry!" said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.