Capital New York:
By de Blasio's estimation, New York City is a water-bound metropolis whose rivers and harbors are underutilized resources. It's a view shared by politicians representing water-proximate neighborhoods from the Rockaways to Red Hook to Brooklyn Heights.
Transit advocates, however, greeted his pronouncements tepidly.
"In the transit community that I am a member of, ferries are looked on as being as helpful as rowboats," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney at the Straphangers Campaign.
Jeffrey Zupan, a senior fellow for transportation at the Regional Plan Association who's a bit more ferry-positive than Russianoff, said that while it was a good thing to explore how best to further deploy ferries, caution is also in order.
"The idea of running ferry service has always been attractive ever since ferries stopped running, when we built all those bridges and tunnels," Zupan said.
But by his count, since 1986, ferry operators have tried roughly 70 different ferry routes to Manhattan, and only about 20 are still in place.
That's because most ferries move relatively few people and generally require more per-rider government subsidy than subway and bus operations.
In fact, the de Blasio administration made that very argument last year, when it decided to cancel ferry service to the Rockaways because it cost too much per rider.