Addabbo Praises Quinn On Ferry Plan
City Councilman Joe Addabbo, a longtime proponent of increased public transportation options for the Queens community, applauded Speaker Quinn's plan for ferry service expansion to all five boroughs.
Speaker Quinn's announcement at her State of the City on February 13, 2008, of the launching of ferry service to all five boroughs is consistent with demands Councilman Addabbo and other residents of Queens have been making for years. The communities of Rockaway have long sought relief from long commutes and transfer zones, but have had few public transportation alternatives. The expansion of ferry service to the region has been a hallmark issue of Councilman Addabbo's tenure.
"Traffic congestion, dramatic increases in fuel prices and the possibility of additional congestion pricing fees highlight the critical lack of public transportation in certain areas of New York City, especially southeastern Queens," commented the Councilman. "I applaud Speaker Quinn's initiative and Mayor Bloomberg's intention to bring ferry service to Rockaway as a critical step in helping to ease congestion and provide another viable transportation alternative."
In a year where Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan has brought increased scrutiny of New York City's aging infrastructure and increasing traffic, Speaker Quinn stressed the need for additional forms of public transportation.
"It's only natural to look at our natural highways, our waterways, to move New Yorkers efficiently and sustainably. That's why we are proposing a comprehensive five-borough, year-round New York City Ferry System." Citing the Transportation Committee hearing held in Broad Channel at the request of Councilman Addabbo, Speaker Quinn continued." We heard complaint after complaint about commute times from local residents. Soon after, we began exploring the concept of a pilot ferry service for the Rockaways. That service should be up and running by this summer."
Although Speaker Quinn did not say what the exact costs of the service would be, she did say that the Mayor had already agreed to fund the program, meaning the costs for local residents will remain low. Although the program will extend to all five boroughs, service to Rockaway, the pilot program, will begin this year.
"The Rockaway Ferry pilot program announced by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn is an innovative and much needed improvement to our transit infrastructure," said Councilman Addabbo. "It will bring not only an important alternative to our residents, but could also create other possibilities of promoting Rockaway in a more positive way."