Senator Diane Savino, Assembly Members Alec Brook-Krasny, Steven Cymbowitz and Nicole Malliotakis and Councilman Vincent Gentile have come together to reexamine previously proposed plans for waterway transportation alternatives.
They are looking at the success of similar projects in communities with waterway access, such as the East River Fast Ferry. They noted that the East River Fast Ferry service transported more than one million New Yorkers in the first year.
That’s one million New Yorkers off of the congested subways and highways during peak driving and commuting hours.
“It has always been my goal to enhance our relationship with the water and the ways in which we can use it. Right now, our waterfront is a tragically underutilized asset hidden in plain sight…I’m excited to have my colleagues aboard,” Gentile said. “We need to find a way to revive these plans and reignite this spark. The time has come – it is much-needed and long overdue.”
The pols hope this service plan can be enacted closer to home at the the 69th Street pier. Coney Island is also in the running to become a Southern Brooklyn ferry site.
Borough President Marty Markowitz addressed the ferry issue earlier this year. He expressed a desire to “push for the expansion of city ferry service to connect Manhattan to Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, the Canarsie Pier and the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge.”
“Lest we forget New York City was founded because of its access to deep navigable waterways, in these times of increased traffic and decreased funds for infrastructure improvements it behooves City leaders to follow your return to the traffic free blue arteries that have served New Yorkers so well for centuries and a million New Yorkers in the last year alone. These benefits can and should now be reaped by South Brooklynites,” said Savino.
Launching ferry service could utilize the waterways in a commuter friendly way and create alternative transportation options, relieving aging MTA infrastructure and jam packed highways.
No dates are set for any decision deadlines; however, it is possible that future New Yorkers could be more prone to wearing “I Heart NY” life jackets on their way to work.