PHOTO: An exclusive New York Daily News report has revealed that several members of the City Council are worried that the de Blasio administration’s Citywide Ferry Service plan won’t work. File Photo
By Michael V. Cusenza
Members of the City Council whose districts would be impacted by the Citywide Ferry Service slated to set sail in 2017 penned a joint letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month to express concerns about the plan and its execution, according to an exclusive New York Daily News report.
The six stressed councilmembers said that the company that wins the bid to operate the service “must provide predictable and on-time service with a fleet large enough so that no one is left on the docks high and dry,” the News wrote in its story posted last Wednesday.
Asked for reaction to the legislators’ worries, City Economic Development Corporation Spokesman Ian Fried told The Forum, “We are currently in negotiations to secure a Citywide Ferry operator that would provide the highest quality service for New Yorkers at the lowest cost. New ferry service will link all five boroughs for the price of a subway fare. It will be a fast, convenient system that will knit together growing communities in need of new public transit options.”
De Blasio unveiled his vision of a new five-borough ferry system that would “knit together existing East River routes with new landings and services to Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview and the Lower East Side” during his State of the City address last February. Backed by City operating support and a $55 million capital commitment, the project is considered on schedule, with the first three routes set to open in 2017.
The service will consist of five new ferry routes in addition to the existing East River Ferry service, charging a fare of $2.75, according to the EDC. When CFS is fully operational in 2018, the six routes will carry an estimated 4.6 million trips per year. EDC is leading the project by building ten new ferry landings and renovating six others.
“Beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new Citywide Ferry System will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs,” de Blasio said last year.
“We’re serious about bringing new infrastructure and transportation to communities across the five boroughs,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “The new Citywide Ferry System will link together neighborhoods that haven’t had access to affordable and convenient public transit—connecting people and businesses to support the growth of emerging commercial corridors, while helping more New Yorkers access jobs in established business districts. This is an important new investment for our administration, and we’re proud to see it moving ahead rapidly.”