FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2013
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES EXTENSION OF ROCKAWAY AND BROOKLYN FERRY SERVICE THROUGH JANUARY
Weekday Ferry Service Will Continue to Assist Rockaway and Brooklyn Residents Impacted by Hurricane Sandy
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that weekday ferry service between the Rockaways and Lower Manhattan, with a stop in Sunset Park, will continue to operate through January 31, 2014. Ferries will continue to depart from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive, where the New York City Economic Development Corporation has installed a temporary landing, and stop at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park and at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan, with free transfers between Pier 11 and East 34th Street in Midtown. The service, operated by Seastreak, will continue to operate on its current schedule, with one-way fares remaining $2.00. The ferry service has allowed for more than 120,000 passenger trips since its initial launch after Hurricane Sandy in November.
"Ferry service has proven to be a popular and effective mode of transportation for Rockaways and Brooklyn residents," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Extending the service through January will allow riders to continue taking advantage of this quick, enjoyable and sustainable transit option."
"The Bloomberg Administration has expanded transportation options across the city, and ferry service from the Rockaways and Brooklyn is another example of our efforts to connect all New Yorkers," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "The service will also continue to be a critical piece of our plan to build back stronger from Hurricane Sandy and ensure that communities hard hit by the storm can fully recover."
"We are pleased that the Rockaway ferry service has been extended through the fall, providing continued support to neighborhoods in need of additional transportation options as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, including the Rockaways and Sunset Park," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. "Strong demand for the continuation of the ferry service demonstrates its value both to commuters seeking convenient and sustainable transportation to their jobs, as well as to visitors, who generate critical economic activity for these communities."
"I'm thrilled that we were able to extend this vital transportation link for residents from the Rockaway peninsula in Queens to the neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn," said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "Ferries are a smart, fast and green way to get around New York City and a needed alternative for commuters who must wait 14 months for the return of the R train. As the repair work of tunnels damaged by Sandy continues, the extension of this ferry service will help some of the 65,000 subway riders a day to find another way to get to and from work. I thank Mayor Bloomberg, EDC and my Council colleagues for their work on this issue."
"Today's announcement is wonderful news for the many in the Rockaways who have come to rely on the ferry to provide quick, reliable and affordable access to Manhattan," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. "The residents of the Rockaways have had to deal with a lot during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but having a convenient and environmentally friendly ferry service to Manhattan has helped make their lives a little bit easier. The service has proven to be very popular and I am sure it will continue to be so for as long as it remains in operation, which will hopefully be for a very long time."
"I'm thrilled that ferry service from the Brooklyn Army Terminal will be extended to continue providing alternative commuting options for New Yorkers between Brooklyn and Manhattan," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "The closing of the R train tunnel this August would have left commuters adrift, so ferry service was imperative. I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and Council Members Gentile, Recchia and Gonzalez for continuing ferry service so that transit riders can 'chart their course' away from subway crowding and longer commute times. Ferry service from this stop is so popular it may become a permanent fixture on the Brooklyn waterfront, promising smooth sailing for commuters, and for that I say, 'aye, aye, captain!'"
"Mayor Bloomberg's announcement today that weekday ferry service from Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive to Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan will be continued through the end of January 2014 is great news," said Congressman Gregory Meeks. "This assures that residents of the Rockaways will continue to have this crucial option for getting to work, shopping, sight-seeing, and visiting friends and family in the other boroughs. It will also give New Yorkers and visitors from out of town an efficient way to visit the Peninsula's great beaches, terrific restaurants, and notable landmarks. Based on its track record of previous extensions, I have every hope that the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which is coordinating the expanded service, will make every effort to continue weekday service beyond the January 2014 date."
"This is fantastic news. Just as we expected, this ferry service has been very popular," said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile. "I encourage people to skip the subway crowds and use the ferry which will get you to Wall Street in 15 minutes for just $2! I thank Mayor Bloomberg, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and SeaStreak for recognizing this ferry service as a valuable alternative to commuters affected by the R train tunnel closure and working with me to extend it through next year."
"The extension of ferry services is clear evidence of the strong recovery and economic growth in the area devastated by Hurricane Sandy," said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. "This is very encouraging news that will capitalize on the stream of new visitors coming to the Rockaways as well as bring back much needed economic activity. I applaud the Administration for leading this vital effort to serve the business community and ensuring its vitality."
"Today's news couldn't have come at a better time. Ferry ridership is bursting at the seams and the demand is only growing. Rockaway residents are truly grateful for the fast and reliable commute to lower Manhattan that the ferry provides and local businesses are also benefiting from the fact that more and more New Yorkers are discovering Rockaway as one of the city's premier tourist destinations. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for once again extending this service and improving transportation for my constituents," said Councilman Eric Ulrich.
"I am thrilled to know that Rockaway Ferry Service has been extended through January 31, 2014," said Council Member Peter A. Koo. "The extension of this service will continue to provide for an easier commute and an economic boost, especially for those in areas still recovering from the effects of Super Storm Sandy. Furthermore, the extension highlights the continuing success of ferry service throughout the City and I hope that we continue to utilize our network of waterways to better serve the commuters, residents and tourists of this great City.
"Once again, I am proud to have stood with my community, colleagues and advocates in a successful fight for improved transit options in my District," said Council Member Sara Gonzalez. "Ferry service is a popular and sensible way to alleviate hardship caused by R train service disruption and I am grateful that this service will be extended at the Brooklyn Army Terminal until next year at least. I have personally taken the ferry from Sunset Park to Manhattan and look forward to continuing to do so alongside so many of my neighbors in the coming months."
"I would like to commend the city for once again extending the Rockaway ferry service," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "This ferry has provided relief for our residents during an extremely trying time. For many people on the peninsula, the Rockaway ferry has become the preferred method of transportation to Manhattan."
"I commend the city for extending this vital means of transportation for our communities struggling to recover nearly 10 months after Sandy," said Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder. "The ferry is not only a smart and efficient means of travel, but it will provide our communities in Southern Queens and Rockaway with much needed transit options to help our small-businesses thrive and boost our local economy. This is another great step for our community and I will continue to fight until the Rockaway ferry service is made permanent."
"Immediately following the devastation Hurricane Sandy, SeaStreak partnered with the City of New York to assist the residents of Queens by establishing high-speed ferry service between the Rockaways and Manhattan," said James A. Barker, President of Seastreak. "Recently, that route was expanded to provide the residents of Brooklyn with service between the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Manhattan. The recent expansion incorporating stops at the Brooklyn Army Terminal has increased ridership, enabling SeaStreak to introduce its 141 foot 505 passenger catamarans, the largest and fastest in New York harbor, to the service. The City of New York, through its Economic Development Corporation, has extended the service and SeaStreak is proud to be able to provide high speed ferry service with stops in Manhattan, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Rockaways, through January 31, 2014."
"National Grid is committed to partnering with our customers and communities most impacted by Sandy to help them as they continue to rebuild," said Ken Daly, President, National Grid -- New York. "We are happy to work with the City to extend parking for the ferry service on the Rockaway Peninsula to help the community return to a strong vibrant area."
This is the third extension of the ferry service by the City of New York since its initial launch in November of last year. In May, due to strong demand, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and NYCEDC announced the first continuation of the weekday service which was initially set to expire. In early July, the weekday service was again extended due to strong demand to run until Labor Day. In addition to the service extensions by the City, in early August the Brooklyn Army Terminal landing - which is located at 58th Street in Sunset Park - was added to the existing Rockaway service provide further transit options for Brooklyn commuters impacted by disruptions to the R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The City will once again evaluate the service after January 31, 2014 to determine its future.
Existing parking at Beach 108th Street in the Rockaways - which is being provided by National Grid - and at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park will remain available to passengers. The expanded ferry service is being coordinated on behalf of the City by NYCEDC. A full list of schedules and fares can be found at www.seastreak.com.
Marc La Vorgna / Julie Wood (212) 788-2958
Patrick Muncie (NYCEDC) (212) 312-3523
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