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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #06-23a

Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033
Chris Gilbride

Spirit of America Sets Sail

Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall today joined Borough President James P. Molinaro and City Council Members James S. Oddo and Andrew J. Lanza on the inaugural run of the $40 million Spirit of America, the newest addition to the Staten Island Ferry Fleet. The 4,400 passenger Spirit of America made the 5.2 mile journey from the Saint George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island to the Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan at 10:00 am and was open to members of the public.

"In just a couple of years we have completely modernized the Staten Island Ferry service," said Commissioner Weinshall. "The Spirit of America is the icing on the cake for commuters and visitors who already enjoy her sister ships, the John J. Marchi and Guy V. Molinari, and our two new beautiful terminals."

The 310-foot vessel, built by the Manitowoc Marine Group in Marinette Wisconsin, is equipped with the latest in marine technology including radar, collision avoidance, communications and GPS navigation systems and has been designed to meet the unique operating requirements of New York Harbor.

The Spirit of America is the last of three new Staten Island Ferry boats that will replace the Kennedy class ferries, which have been in operation for more than 40 years.

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