Sunday, July 12, 2009

The future of ferries in Queens

Dear New Yorker,

In May of 2008, the New York City Council and Mayor Bloomberg presented a three-phased plan to better utilize New York City's waterways. The first phase of our plan introduced ferry service between Rockaway, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan (Wall Street). Phase 1 also included constructing a dock to complete the South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, landing to facilitate privately subsidized ferry service.

Now, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have begun a six-month Comprehensive Citywide Ferry Study. This study aims to further expand ferry service around New York City and identify areas in each borough that are suitable for new ferry landing sites.

If you care about this issue as much as I do, please join us at a Queens Town Hall Forum and let your voice be heard!

When: Tuesday, July 21st at 11 a.m.

Where: Borough Hall, Room 213, 12055 Queens Boulevard, Jamaica

Host: Borough President Helen Marshall

Co-Hosts: Council Members John Liu, James Sanders, Jr. and Peter Vallone Jr.

About: New Ferry Service in Queens

The NYCDEC and NYCDOT have identified potential landing sites in Queens (map is attached).

As a member of the Queens community, your input on these and additional landing sites is vital to creating the best possible ferry service for all New Yorkers. Get involved as we transform our extensive waterways into "blue highways" for all to enjoy!

Christine C. Quinn
New York City Council

(Not sure why they're calling areas that already have ferry docks "potential landing sites" but let's humor them.)


Anonymous said...

I hope that we can add ferries to the transportation mix whenever possible. This is an old method of transportation in New York and could be lifesaving in the event of another terrorist disaster.

Thousands were evacuated by New York Waterways, Water Taxi and Staten Island ferry after 911, and water rescue (along with superb airmanship) played a part in saving lives during the recent plane downing in the Hudson.

Missing Foundation said...

How about improving bus service and adding more trains.

How about more subways for Queens?

And good God, the 2nd Ave subway.

All the ferrys do is divert our taxes once again for the Tower People who are taking the waterfront away from communities, and diverting desperately needed resources away from long term residents.

Remember, they had electricity while the rest of western Queens fried.

Anonymous said...

Many Queens residents work IN Queens. Transportation within Queens must improve first with any available resources used to better existing bus routes and develop new ones. Ferry routes to Manhattan should be secondary to improving transportation WITHIN Queens.

Anonymous said...

Far be it from me, a working class Queens resident, to favor perks for the rich, but the reality is that the roads will only accept so many vehicles.

By all means make peak bus efficiency and train efficiency a priority, but we cannot ignore our waterways.

When the sh*t hits the fan, they save lives. Everyone who fled on 911 was not a "tower person" and we would be foolish not to accept the remote possibility of a repeat performance by terrorists or the inevitable reality that we will outstrip our current resources unless we utilize all reasonable ideas.

Anonymous said...

WTF is Vallone involved? No one lives at the waterfront and I take the N/W train.

Its a mess - its always crowded.

Anonymous said...

Ferry service will not work in most cases since the price of a ticket will be quite expensive for most Queens residents (even the well heeled residents of "Queens West" had their ferry service drastically cut due to lack of riders)and the waterfront in most cases is almost as difficult to get to as Manhattan itself.
Although ferry service to the airports is a great idea and I think it would take off if properly advertised.
As previous commentors stated what Queens really needs is north to south rail service which means new outer borugh dedicated subways (extremely unlikely) or converted freight rail lines into above ground MTA lines. Above grund rail lines although not free would be much more cost effective then even attempting to gain support for a new subway and much more reliable than any bus service could provide.
Freight rail converted into commuter rail (especially abandoned lines)could be a real possibility and everyone should support it. The only problem would be in cerain cases connecting to the rest of the coomuter system.

Anonymous said...

Converting abandoned (or not abandoned) freight rail lines is the most cost effective solution and would be the most useful way to go.

Ferry service will not work when it is almost as difficult for Queens residents to get to the waterfront as it is to get to Manahttan.

Anonymous said...

Whitestone queens would be perfect for a ferry even college point give norhteasten queens a chance

i do agree the need for more subway service in queens

traveling around queens can be a drag at times

Anonymous said...

another bloombergs plans to get everyone into manhattan like the 2nd ave subway REALLY? was it worth it for the past 70 years did it cause anything not

Anonymous said...

A dumb plan that is destined to sink. The city could not even run the LIC ferry, and poured millions into the hole. Ferries in Queens? Are you kidding me??? At $15 a pop??!!! During a recession?? Forget it Helen Marshall-- do some real work for your constituents for a change.
Drop it now!!! There are more important task at hand that Queens needs help with!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Why exactly is it so expensive to provide Ferry service, and is there any way to make it cost effective?

Anonymous said...

Why is it so expensive to run a ferry service??? Equipment, maintenance, fuel, insurance, legal fees, transportation licenses, staff compensation, security, docking fees, dock maintenance, dock staffing, dock security, utilities.....there you go, $15 a pop!
And if you don't get a bare minimun of passengers to just break even,you can kiss the ferry service goodbye. Do you really think Rockaway residents can afford $600 a month to take the ferry to work???

Anonymous said...

Several of these sites (including the airports) have been studied and re-studied, and rejected each time because they just couldn't see a way to make them work financially.

And Whitestone? Not unless you build an amusement park there.

Anonymous said...

Why exactly is it so expensive to provide Ferry service


Anonymous said...

Clearly Rockaway residents cannot pay $600.00 a month to go to work. This could only work for wealthy people. All of those fees cited are serious obstacles.

And yet, subways are costly, yet they run every day, and we do have a 100 year history of servicing the city successfully by water.

If we could drive those costs down and at least institute service in niche markets where it could be carried economically, it could be an excellent aid to public safety.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please bring up above ground north to south rail service at the town hall meeting. Please!

Anonymous said...

There is no waterfront area that is populated enough in Queens to support dedicated ferry service. The most populated waterfront area Queens has is QueensWest and the ferry service all but failed there. There are now only four full length commuter runs a day (two in the AM and two in the PM) and the only reason why they still exist is because if they stopped those two runs they would have to close the beach bar and give back the tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

Right. Which means other potential ferry passengers would be driving from elsewhere and parking on our streets unless sufficient free parking were to be available on site at terminals. OOH...that's the plan, less cars to Manhattan. Put 'em in Qns.

Anonymous said...

If it werent for the Great Depression, Queens wold have had a fantastic subawy system.

Imagine taking a subway to College Point, Bayside, Little Neck, LGA?

how about a train line from Queens blvd, and being able to go SOUTH, not just east and west????

It almost happened!

Anonymous said...

little neck or bayside will never have a subway service ever not even in 20 years

like the locals would allow that

college point maybe cause its turning into a new corona

whitestone maybe cause bronx whitestone bridge

thats would be nice to have a train to the bronx with out going into manhattan
whitestone bound train i guess