2005-08-18 / Community

Weiner Outlines Plans For Fast Ferry Service

Equipped with $15 million dollars in federal funding, Representative Anthony Weiner announced on August 13 his plans to expand ferry service in New York City. The first step is to have a ferry line from Rockaway to Brooklyn to Manhattan, he says.

Weiner, who held the press conference at South Street Seaport’s Pier 11, said, “New Yorkers have some of the longest commutes to and from work in the nation. That’s especially true of residents of Rockaway. Rockaway residents coming into Manhattan are forced to choose between dilapidated express buses, an hour and a half on the A train, or gridlock on the Belt Parkway.”

A member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Weiner secured $15 million dollars for the city to purchase three fast ferries, which could dramatically cut transportation time from places like Rockaway. A ride from Riis Landing in Fort Tilden to Pier 11 near Wall Street in Manhattan could take as little as 25 minutes, he said. Under the Weiner plan, ferries would run the Rockaway route only during peak hours (the morning and afternoon rush), and be made available for other routes during off hours. The three smaller-class ferries in the plan would carry no more than 400 passengers. The Weiner plan faces obstacles, however, particularly from the city. As with all federal transit programs, in order to receive the $15 million dollar stipend, NYC must provide a 20 percent match, which would be $3.75 million. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated that he does not want to provide the matching funds, Weiner charged.

“Now we have the funding to do that, and to cut commute times for residents of Rockaway and Brooklyn, take a bite out of gridlock, and take some of the pressure off of our subways. But the Mayor must act,” said Rep. Weiner.

Over the past four years, Weiner has secured $1.7 million to build a ferry landing at the old Ft. Tilden Coast Guard station.

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