FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATERSON, FEDERAL AND CITY OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDING FOR FERRY PROJECTS
Nearly $50 million for Upgrades and Maintenance of Ferry Boats and Piers to Improve Service, Reliability and Accessibility
Investments will Create or Retain 1,600 Jobs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Congressman Jerrold L. Nadler, Congressman Michael E. McMahon, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced $46.7 million in Transit Capital Assistance Grant funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will help support four upgrade and maintenance projects on ferry boats and piers to improve service and reliability, and increase accessibility for people with disabilities. The stimulus funding will fill significant budget gaps that existed for the ferry projects. The total value of the ferry projects benefiting from stimulus funding, including pre-existing City and federal funding, is more than $139 million and the projects are expected to create or retain 1,600 jobs according to the U.S. Department of Transportation job creation formula.
“We’ve worked to increase investments in mass transit needed to keep the City moving and keep the system in a state of good repair to prevent breakdowns,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The City’s ferry system is a vital link in our mass transit system, and the stimulus dollars will allow us to move four ferry projects forward that would have otherwise suffered due to funding shortfalls. I want to thank President Obama, Governor Paterson and our entire congressional delegation for bringing new dollars to our mass transit system.”
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is funding critical infrastructure improvements across New York State,” said Governor Paterson. “The rehabilitation and maintenance of these ferries is one such example of just how important these recovery funds are for our local communities. Without federal assistance, we would not be able to fund these vital upgrades, which will ensure that our ferries are safe and reliable. I applaud President Obama, our congressional delegation and Mayor Bloomberg for their work to secure these funds, which will now ensure a safer, more comfortable commute to and from Staten Island.”
“Today’s announcement that stimulus funds we passed in Congress will be used to upgrade New York City’s ferry infrastructure is great news for the city’s residents and the over 180,000 children who suffer from asthma,” said Senator Gillibrand. “By using this federal investment to upgrade ferry service and ensure it’s in a good state of repair, more commuters will be encouraged to leave their cars at home, which will help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer and the rest of the New York congressional delegation to fight for New York’s fair share of federal dollars.”
“I'm pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg in announcing this $50 million in federal stimulus funds for New York City's ferry infrastructure,” said Congressman Nadler. “This money will improve both ferry access and efficiency, particularly in the working waterfronts of lower Manhattan and Sunset Park within my district. In addition to boosting a truly sustainable and forward-looking form of transit, this funding will finance badly needed jobs in the transportation sector.”
“Ferries are a natural fit for our city of islands. I’m delighted that federal stimulus funding will help improve New York’s ferries, which have become crucial transit options for commuters in some of New York’s fastest-growing communities,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “This $50 million investment from the stimulus bill will help promote environmentally-friendly transportation and create jobs right here in New York City – a double win for our community. I’m proud to work with my good friends Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson and our entire congressional delegation to help deliver these improvements to our transportation network.”
“New York keeps benefitting from the stimulus,” said Congressman McMahon. “This new funding will provide for upgrades to our ferry boats and piers so that all those who live and visit our city can travel safely, especially those who are disabled. More importantly, this work will create more new jobs. I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his continued commitment to improving New York’s transportation system. “
“Long before we had the Westside Highway and the FDR Drive, New York City’s waterways were its highways,” said Speaker Quinn. “Today’s investment in this critically important part of our infrastructure will make sure that the highways of yesterday remain the highways of tomorrow. I want to thank the Obama Administration for this lifeline at a time when investment in and maintenance of our mass transportation infrastructure is of paramount importance.”
“The ferries aren’t just mass transit, they are a lifeline for passengers and for economic development in the City,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “We must strengthen transit and invest in our infrastructure if we’re going to meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. This funding accomplishes both and allows us to direct funding to other critical projects.”
Two ferry projects will receive direct stimulus funding, filling funding gaps for those two projects, which already had some City and federal funding in place. The existing funding in place for one of those projects will be used to support two additional ferry projects that also did not have adequate funding to move forward fully at this time.
In order to maintain accountability and transparency in the City’s use of stimulus funding, all federal stimulus dollars allocated to New York City can be closely tracked at www.nyc.gov on the “Stimulus Tracker.” Funding can be tracked from initial allocation through project completion and an interactive map plots the location of all stimulus projects throughout the City.
Projects Receiving Direct Stimulus Funding
Maintenance and Repair of Six Staten Island Ferryboats
In-House Maintenance Services for Staten Island Ferry
Projects Receiving Displaced Funding
Accessibility Improvements for Public Ferry
Rehabilitation of Pier 11 (Wall Street)
Stu Loeser / Marc LaVorgna (212) 788-2958