Chris Announces Plan To Expand Ferry Service For Millions Of Riders; Express Ferry Service Would Run Between Staten Island And Midtown Reducing Commute By Half Hour

As part of her effort to end commute times longer than one hour, Christine Quinn announced today a plan today to create a new express ferry service between Staten Island’s St. George Terminal and Midtown Manhattan’s Pier 79. In addition to greatly reducing commute times, the ferry service will help spur job growth and economic development on both Staten Island and on Manhattan’s Westside.

The express ferry service will provide riders with 20-minute direct access to midtown Manhattan. Current transportation options take a rider at least an hour to travel the same distance. Quinn’s proposed service also includes a midtown shuttle service and Citibike access for ferry riders.

This new ferry service will take advantage of increased demand resulting from several major development projects - the Wheel and outlet mall planned for the North Shore of Staten Island, and the new commercial, residential and retail space being developed at Hudson Yards in Manhattan.  It will also connect Staten Islanders to the 7-train extension, allowing faster access to the tech jobs Chris is working to bring to Long Island City.  Once proven successful, the new rapid ferry service will pave the way for potential additional ferry connections in other parts of Staten Island.

“Every New Yorker deserves a fair ride, and one that doesn’t take hours to get to and from their job. Our transit system can't exist to serve one industry or a couple of neighborhoods - we are five boroughs that make up one city and it's time our transit system reflected this,” said Speaker Quinn. “By making smart investments in infrastructure and service like this express ferry, we can cut travel times in half – or more. At the same time, we are tapping into two great potentials for spurring economic growth. It’s a win for riders, a win for jobs and a win for New York City.”

Chris Quinn has successfully delivered ferry services to riders on the East River, providing transportation options between Queens and Brooklyn and between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Ridership on the East River Ferry surpassed annual projections within the first six months of service. As of the end of the Ferry’s second year in service, it had served more than 2.1 million riders.

Today’s announcement is part of Quinn’s many proposals to end commute times longer than one-hour. In order to reduce transit times, Quinn has proposed adding select bus service routes; expanding East River Ferry service; improving the MTA with city control; expanding Metro North Service in the Bronx; and creating more local, community-based economic development opportunities.

President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Roland Lewis, stated, “A Staten Island to midtown ferry run makes good sense.  Using our blue highways to better connect the five boroughs is a cause Chris Quinn has long championed resulting in the hugely successful East River Ferry.  More ferry transit is good for commuters, good for the environment, good for the economy and in times like Sandy an absolutely necessary for us island people.”