Posts tagged with "Ferry Service":

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NYC Ferry seeks approval to build docks for two new routes

New York City’s ferry service, which has seen a surge of popularity amidst the city's current transportation crisis, is looking to add two new routes that will cater to the Lower East Side, the Bronx, and Queens, by next summer, as first reported by DNAinfo.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) filed an application with the Army Corps of Engineers earlier this month to expand the NYC Ferry service by building docks along the Soundview and Lower East Side route.

The Soundview route will stop at Clason Point, East 90th Street, East 62nd Street, and terminate at Wall Street’s Pier 11. The Lower East Side route will make stops at Long Island City, East 34th Street, Stuyvesant Town, Corlears Hook, and also end at Wall Street. The application also included a request to construct 22 floating docks for a “homeport” and boat barge at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a site that is going under extensive redevelopment.

The Army Corps is seeking comments and suggestions for the proposed new docks, one of which at the South Bronx landing is nearly 58 feet long. The responses will then be used to “issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit,” according to DNAinfo.

The ferry system is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $55 million plan for a five-borough network that focuses on connecting residential areas to Manhattan’s business districts, as well as bringing increased transportation access to the city’s underserved communities. Rides are operated by Hornblower, a Californian company that has previously operated in New York before, and cost the same amount as a subway ride ($2.75). Current routes include an East River, Rockaway, and South Brooklyn. An Astoria ferry route is slated to begin on August 29.

This second phase of expanding NYC Ferry’s services, which only launched in May, comes after reports revealed the system had hit the one million rider mark in July. Both routes, if the application is approved, will begin next summer.

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NYC’s new Citywide Ferry Service will be based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released major details concerning the new Citywide Ferry Service, whose new routes are coming online the summer of 2017 and 2018. The Brooklyn Navy Yard, already the hub of extensive development, will be the Service's "homeport" and feature a 56,000-square-foot storage and maintenance facility with berths for 25 ferries. This is where ferries will be cleaned, restocked, repaired, and fueled, and will also serve as a new stop on the East River route that runs from E. 34th St. to Wall St./Pier 11. In a press release, the Mayor's office added that the new facility will be elevated to comply with FEMA flood standards and fully operational by 2018. The Citywide Ferry Service is part of a broader plan from the Mayor's Office to increase underserved New York City communities' access to Manhattan and create an overall more robust and evenly-spread public transportation system. New routes will run from Manhattan to: Southview in the Bronx, Astoria and the Rockaway in Queens, and Bay Ridge and Red Hook in Brooklyn (just to name a few). The Mayor's Office estimates that the Service's 20 ferries, working across 21 landings and six routes, will make 4.6 million trips per year. “A more connected city—and the jobs that come along with it—are just on the horizon,” stated Council Member Stephen Levin in a press release. “I applaud the Mayor taking the challenge of transportation and turning it into an opportunity. The new homeport at the Brooklyn Navy Yard continues the trajectory of Brooklyn as a leader in innovation and inclusive economic development. Whether it’s more jobs or better transportation options, Citywide Ferry has the potential to substantially improve our community.” Job seekers and transportation enthusiasts alike will also be excited to hear that the homeport brings with it 200 new openings for captains, deckhands, concessions operators, and other related roles. Applicants can inquire through the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Employment Center or Workforce1 Career Centers. The best news of all? The Citywide Ferry will be just $2.75 a ride. “For the price of a subway ride, Citywide Ferry service will connect millions of riders to jobs and homes all along New York City’s waterfront. As we prepare to launch this summer, we are focused on the finishing touches, and hiring captains, deckhands, engineers and maintenance workers who will operate these boats,” said Mayor de Blasio. (It should be noted, however, that riders will have to purchase tickets separately and cannot use their MTA cards.) For more details on the Citywide Ferry Service, see their website here.  
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New York Water Taxi bought out, but will continue to run

Famed for donning its iconic yellow and checkered livery, the New York Water Taxi service and routes will stay afloat despite the company's selling all its boats to New York Cruise Lines.

In May last year, owners of the business that run shuttles to Ikea in Redhook, the Statue of Liberty, and the West Side claimed they would be forced to close if they lost out on Mayor de Blasio's ferry service scheme. Californian company Hornblower Cruises won de Blasio's favor and now New York Water Taxi has stayed true to their word.

In a statement from 2016 (published by DNA Info) the firm said: "New York Water Taxi can no longer continue to operate in a market where the city subsidizes its competitors and promotes the Staten Island Ferry as a free service to see the Statue of Liberty." Speaking to Crain's New York, however, de Blasio responded there was "plenty of room for everyone in this harbor," adding, "I think they should take a positive view and a view that conforms with competition and continue to build their business."

It's not all doom and gloom, though. A deal struck last week means all services run by the New York Water Taxi service will continue to run (fear not IKEA lovers) and none of the 144 employees will lose their jobs. New York Cruise Lines, who runs the Circle Line sightseeing cruises, now owns 25 ships—acquiring two ships from Circle Line Downtown and the 10 New York Water Taxi vessels—all of which will be in operation. "The addition of New York Water Taxi and Circle Line Downtown fleet and staff within the New York Cruise Lines family gives us the geographic scope and capacity to expand the world-famous Circle Line sightseeing business," said Chairman and CEO of the firm, Samuel Cooperman, to Crain's.
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NYC to expand ferry service and bring new landing to Long Island City in 2017

With the Citywide Ferry Service on track to launch next summer, city officials announced last week that a new ferry landing will arrive in Long Island City as part of the first phase of expansion seeking to better connect outer borough residents to Manhattan. Metal Shark and Horizon shipyards have been contracted to build the ferries in Louisiana and Alabama, and they will be operated by Hornblower Inc., a California-based water transit company that’s been operating in New York harbor for nearly 10 years. The initiative was announced early in 2015, spearheaded by New York Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) and the city government.  Next summer’s expansion will include three new routes, known as the Astoria route, the Rockaway route, and the South Brooklyn route. The Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street; the Rockaway route will connect to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street; the South Brooklyn route will connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook, Brooklyn Bridge’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional connection to Governor’s Island. In the following year, ferry service will be expanded into the Bronx, with additional landings to be offered on the Lower East Side. The Citywide Ferry Service will carry an estimated 4.6 million passenger trips per year when it is fully operational in 2018. Additional upgrades for Staten Island are currently part of a third, yet-to-be-funded phase of expansion, connecting Coney Island, Stapleton, and lower Manhattan. Each of the new boats will be 85-feet-long, offer free wi-fi, heated decks, and the capacity to carry 150 passengers, with additional room for bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs. Although Hornblower will charge $2.75 for a one-way ride—the same cost of a subway ride—integration with subway payment systems will be delayed several years, given that the MTA is in the early stages of replacing the MetroCard with new payment technologies, as reported in AM New York. Hornblower has been in New York City since 2007 as the only mode of transportation to Ellis Island and Liberty Island, but the Citywide Ferry Service will be its first commuter operation. It will compete directly with New York Water Taxi, which boasts a fleet of 12 vessels, and has operated for 15 years. “The City is creating a government-subsidized monopoly that will force us out of business, stifle competition, and have tremendous leverage against the City in any future negotiations,” New York Water Taxi executive vice president Peter Ebright told Gothamist back in March. New York Economic Development Corporation (NYEDC) president Maria Torres-Springer responded to the threats by proposing that the city would work to help displaced workers find new jobs in the expanded Citywide Ferry Service network in the event that NYWT goes out of business.
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Mayor de Blasio’s $2.75-per-ride ferry service to begin summer 2017

Expanding on the East River Ferry system, Mayor de Blasio will see his $55 million plan for a five borough ferry network come to fruition summer 2017.  At $2.75-a-ride, the system will be managed and operated by a California company, Hornblower, that has a proven track record in the industry, having run services in New York for ten years. Currently, the ferry caters to Manhattan residents and those on the shoreline between DUMBO, Brooklyn and Long Island City, Queens. The network will be expanded to escort people to Astoria, Queens; Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; and the Rockaways, Queens. Come 2018, Soundview will service the Upper and Lower East Side. Another proposal looks to extend the service further to Staten and Coney Island, though no completion date has yet been penned in. The cost of a ferry trip will align with the price of a single subway ride. Bicycles may be carried on for an extra dollar. This is less than half of what it costs for a standard weekend ferry fare at the moment. Such a pricing scheme is no accident, either, as de Blasio has his eyes on integrating the network with the rest of the MTA system. According to de Blasio, commuters will be able to enjoy the "fresh air, harbor views, and a fast ride on the open water" on the 20-minute journey between Astoria and Manhattan's East 34th Street, as well as being able to make the most of the ferry on the hour-long commute between the Rockaways and Wall Street. “Today I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his $55 million capital commitment to a 5-borough ferry system and declaring that New York City’s waterfront will be open for all. The ripple effect from this service will be felt throughout the entire city from Bay Ridge to Bayside; from Staten Island to Soundview,” said Councilman Vincent Gentile. “Access to a true 5-borough ferry system will be just another jewel to add to our crown here in southwest Brooklyn, one that will be a boon to small businesses and real estate alike.”
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Eavesdrop> Ferry Fiasco: Ice shuts down ferry service on New York City’s East River

  As AN reported, it will be quite difficult for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to pull off his plan to launch a five-borough ferry system. There are, of course, the obvious issues surrounding subsidies, ridership, operators, and dock placement that could all cause major headaches down the road. While the mayor starts charting his path through these details, another potential problem came to the fore: winter weather. https://vimeo.com/119709319 Specifically, a partially frozen East River. Just weeks after de Blasio announced his five-borough ferry plan, Gothamist reported that the East River Ferry had to discontinue service at least once because boats could not make it through the ice. On its website, New York Waterway, which operates the East River Ferry, explained that the river (technically an estuary) is extremely unpredictable over the winter and that conditions can change within minutes. This, it said, can disrupt the schedule and lead to the temporary closure of certain stops. “We hope that you can understand,” it wrote on its site, “and won’t hate us forever.” It is not you we hate, East River Ferry operator, it is this never-ending winter. https://twitter.com/eastriverferry/status/567044595859869696 https://twitter.com/eastriverferry/status/569922481802375168
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In second State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio focuses on New York City housing

Last year, in his first State of the City address, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would use every tool at his disposal to address economic inequality. He twice repeated a campaign refrain that New York had become a "Tale of Two Cities" where the wealthy do extraordinarily well and everyone else struggles to get by. To change that, the new mayor laid out a host of legislative priorities including an ambitious affordable housing plan that would build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. One year later, we have an update. With 17,300 affordable units already financed (1,300 more than scheduled), the mayor came back before New Yorkers to say he would do even more to try to keep their rents in check. Most notably, De Blasio plans to boost the city's overall housing supply by creating a taller, denser New York. In addition to his 200,000 unit affordable housing plan, he aims to build 160,000 market-rate units to decrease overall demand. "We are not embarking on a mission to build towering skyscrapers where they don’t belong," De Blasio, who will certainly face development backlash down the road, said today. "We have a duty to protect and preserve the culture and character of our neighborhoods, and we will do so." A key piece of creating new units, both affordable and market-rate, will be rezoning neighborhoods. The mayor said his administration plans to do just that "from East New York to Long Island City; from Flushing West to East Harlem; from downtown Staten Island to the Jerome Avenue Corridor in the Bronx." Per the mayor's mandatory inclusionary zoning requirement, all new market-rate development would have to include affordable housing as well. What percentage of units would be designated affordable has not yet been announced. Along with these rezonings, the mayor said he will continue working with local stakeholders to study ways to build a 200-acre, mixed-use development on top of a rail yard in Sunnyside, Queens. And without offering many specifics, he also called to reform the Department of Buildings to speed up development overall. As part of his push for increased development, de Blasio directly addressed concerns about gentrification. "If you ask 8.4 million New Yorkers what they think of gentrification, you’ll get 8.4 million different answers," he said. To limit the type of displacement that is currently occurring in New York City, the mayor will continue to push for stronger rent laws at the state level. Barring cooperation from Albany, De Blasio said the city will act on its own. "In any of the areas in which the city rezones, if we find evidence that tenants are being harassed, we will supply those tenants with legal representation, at no cost, to take their case to Housing Court," he said. Along with new development, the mayor wants to see big investments in transportation, including a citywide ferry service that will be operational in 2017. For the cost of a Metrocard swipe, said the mayor, residents of the Rockaways, Red Hook, and Soundview could take a ferry ride to Manhattan. The mayor also said his administration plans to complete 20 bus rapid transit routes over the next four years.
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New York City Looks to Extend East River Ferry Service Through 2019

After launching a year-and-a-half ago, New York City's East River Ferry service, has wildly surpassed ridership estimates and Mayor Bloomberg is looking to extend the initial three-year trial period to 2019. So far, more than 1.6 million passengers have paid the $4 fare (or $5 if you take your bike) to ride on the fleet of 149-passenger and 399-passenger boats along the East River between Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Governors Island (the NYC Economic Development Corporation predicted that 1.3 million would ride the service in its entire three-year pilot). The ferry pilot program was launched to promote economic development along the city's waterfront, and has been seen as a boon to such waterfront projects as the Williamsburg Edge. The city has issued an RFP for a future ferry operator to take over once the current contract with BillyBey Ferry Company expires in 2014.