Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Largest Municipal Passenger Carrying Ferry Service Coming To NYC - Roosevelt Island To Be Stop On New Astoria East River Ferry Route
... we’re launching a new citywide ferry service to be open for business in 2017. New ferry rides will be priced the same as a MetroCard fare, so ferries will be as affordable to everyday New Yorkers as our subways and buses. …. so residents of the Rockaways and Red Hook and Soundview will now be closer to the opportunities they need.and added:
And beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new citywide ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs....
... Launch a Five-Borough Ferry SystemThere was no mention of the new East River ferry service including Roosevelt Island so I asked the Mayor's Office this afternoon:
To make sure there is new transportation to accommodate growth, the City will launch a new Citywide Ferry Service that will knit together existing East River routes with new landings and services to Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview and the Lower East Side. Pegged to the cost of a Metrocard, service will launch in 2017 and will be supported by City operating support and a $55 million capital commitment. Further expansion to Stapleton and Coney Island will constitute a second phase of expansion, pending additional funding....
... No mention of Roosevelt Island ferry service.Former RIOC Officials At Oil Dock in November 2009 Watching NY Water Taxi Ferry Pass
Is Roosevelt Island included in the new East River ferry service?....
The Mayor's Office replied that Roosevelt Island will be part of a new:
Astoria route: Astoria, Long Island City – North, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street, Pier 11 / Wall StreetTo be most useful, the Astoria route should include long Island City's Hunter's Point South stop so that Astoria and Roosevelt Island are connected to the Brooklyn waterfront without having an extra trip back and forth to 34th Street in Manhattan.
Images From Mayor's Office
Here's a 2013 East River Ferry trip from LIC's Hunter's Point South to Greenpoint Brooklyn.
The Mayor's Office reported (Source NYC Economic Development Corporation City Wide Ferry Study 2013):
The City of New York is investing in a major expansion to its waterway transit system, which at completion will result in the largest municipal ferry service in the United States by number of passengers carried. The new Citywide Ferry Service will increase the number of routes from one to six (excluding Staten Island Ferry) by the end of 2018, with a proposed additional route for later phase-in.Following the announcement from Mayor de Blasio that New York City will see expanded ferry service by 2017, combining existing routes with new stops, Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos released the following statement:
The Citywide Ferry Service will provide transit connections to waterfront communities around the city and will unlock development in transit challenged areas, increase resiliency, generate significant economic impact, and increase equity for New Yorkers. 460,000 people live within ½ mile of the planned landings, 44% (202,000) of whom are residents of low or moderate income. Additionally, there are 15,000 NYCHA units within ½ mile of landings. All boats are fully accessible to wheelchair-bound passengers.
The creation of the Citywide Ferry Service builds on ongoing work to reconnect New Yorkers to the more than 520 miles of waterfront in the five boroughs. This work has helped job growth emerge outside of Manhattan’s traditional central business districts to places like Long Island City, DUMBO and Sunset Park. For the cost of a MetroCard ride, Citywide Ferry Service will support this growth and connect people and businesses across the city.
New routes will be the cost of a subway ride; East River Ferry will remain $4 until 2019 (end of existing contract)
- The City will immediately start procurement for landing design and construction, as well as ferry operators
- Three routes to launch by 2017: Astoria, Rockaway and South Brooklyn
- Two routes to launch by 2018 including Lower East Side and Soundview
- A proposed future route would service Stapleton (SI) and Coney Island
East River Ferry service has generated considerable economic impact, including:
- South Brooklyn route: Bay Ridge, Red Hook, Atlantic Avenue / Pier 6, Fulton / DUMBO, Pier 11 / Wall Street
- Astoria route: Astoria, Long Island City – North, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street, Pier 11 / Wall Street
- Rockaway route: Rockaway, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Pier 11 / Wall Street
- Lower East Side route: Long Island City – North, East 34th Street, East 23rd Street, Grand Street, Pier 11 / Wall Street
- Soundview route: Soundview, East 90th Street, East 62nd Street, Wall Street / Pier 11
- Coney Route (proposed): Coney Island Creek and Stapleton
- Ridership is projected at 4.6 million trips per year in the initial planned system
- City investment: $55 million in capital investment for initial routes (excluding potential Stapleton/Coney Island route)
- Anticipated City operating subsidy of $10-$20 million annually
- Private ferry operators to provide service
- Property value increase of 8% for properties within walking distance of stops (.125 miles) over comparable property values further from stops
- $24 million in new annual tax revenue to the City
- Faster-paced residential developments near stops
We're taking back the waterfront and improving commutes through expanded ferry service for New Yorkers. Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio for investing in our waterfront and transportation through ferry service which I have been proud to advocate for following the leadership on a Federal level by Senator Chuck Schumer and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney.The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) discussed locations for ferry docks during November 2012 Operations Advisory Committee meeting following a study on subject by Ocean Engineering which concluded:
- Council Member Kallos advocated for ferry service during his campaign, testifying before the City Planning Commission to encourage Roosevelt Island Ferry Service and terminal,
- Expanding ferry service through the "Nerd Boat" was part of his 2013 Policy Book,
- Council Member Kallos successfully advocated for ferry service investment to be included last year's preliminary budget response,
- Council Member Kallos urged the redevelopment of the 90th Street Ferry Terminal through Public-Private Partnerships.
... the optimum ferry location for Roosevelt Island was either the Observation/Subway Pier or the Oil Dock....Here's that discussion
and more on Roosevelt Island ferry service from the October 2014 NYC Planning Department's Western Queens Transportation Study.
Here's video of Mayor de Blasio's 2015 State of The City Address.
UPDATE 9:10 PM - Council Member Kallos sent out this press release with reactions from Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side elected officials to Mayor de Blasio's ferry plans:
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and Council Member Ben Kallos applauded the Mayor’s proposal for new ferry service in New York City today, including locations to connect Roosevelt Island with Astoria, Long Island City and 34th Street, and to connect East 90th Street and East 62nd Street with lower Manhattan and the Bronx.No word on who will pay for the Roosevelt Island ferry dock - RIOC or NYC.
East Side officials have been advocating for ferry service for years with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and city and federal governments.
Congresswoman Maloney has long been an advocate for expanded ferry service. In 2008 she helped to secure $4.4 million in federal funding ferry service in NY. She has been a strong supporter for ferry service along the waterfront from Western Queens to North Brooklyn, which has experienced strong demand that exceeded expectations. Rep. Maloney also encouraged swift restoration of ferry service to the India Street/Greenpoint ferry landing this summer. She has been a strong advocate for expanding ferry service to Roosevelt Island and Astoria Cove, in her district. Most recently, she held a discussion of the importance of opening the 90th Street ferry pier.
In 2010, the NYC EDC completed a comprehensive study of New York City ferry service and determined that there was strong demand for it.
As a candidate and then as an elected official, Council Member Ben Kallos has been pushing for expanded ferry service for years. He advocated for ferry service during his campaign, testifying before the City Planning Commission to encourage Roosevelt Island Ferry Service and terminal development. As part of his 2013 book of policies, he advocated for the “Nerd Boat” proposed by Senator Schumer to connect Astoria, Manhattan and Roosevelt Island. Once elected to the City Council, Kallos proposed revitalizing the East River Esplanade and successfully for ferry service investment to be included this year's City Council preliminary budget response.
“We are a city of islands, but we make incredibly poor use of our waterways,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Ferries relieve congestion on our over-crowded subways and roads, and provide increased access to our beautiful waterfront. This expanded ferry service will connect major hubs on Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, Astoria, and Midtown Manhattan. I want to extend my thanks to Mayor de Blasio for recognizing the importance of investing in this environmentally friendly mode of transportation and maximizing use of our waterways.”
"Expanding ferry service is an excellent initiative and one that I fully support. Increased connectivity up and down the East River and between all five boroughs will ease the burden on existing mass transit, and facilitate transportation in transit barren portions of the city's waterfront," said State Senator Liz Krueger.
"With Cornell Tech’s groundbreaking just around the corner, the Mayor’s proposal could not come at a better time. The addition of ferry services to Roosevelt Island will provide much needed relief to the existing transportation systems connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan and Astoria. It is my hope that Cornell Tech’s first freshman class will be moving into their dorms with the assistance of a ferry!" said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.
“We're taking back the waterfront and improving commutes through expanded ferry service for New Yorkers," said Council Member Ben Kallos whose district will be receiving ferry service in three locations. The 'Nerd Boat' will connect tech hubs of Cornell NYC Tech on Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, Astoria, and Midtown Manhattan. Thank you to Mayor Bill de Blasio for investing in our waterfront and transportation through ferry service which I have been proud to advocate for following the leadership on a Federal level by Senator Chuck Schumer and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney,” said Council Member Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).
UPDATE 2/5 - During February 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting Public Session, NYC Council Member Kallos spoke about the new ferry service coming to Roosevelt Island. Mr. Kallos said the Roosevelt Island ferry service was part of a deal that included the Astoria Cove development approval.
Asked how the ferry dock would be funded, Mr. Kallos said he did not know the exact details but was confident that money was already set aside by the Federal Government, NYC and RIOC to get it accomplished. Still to be decided is whether it would be a RIOC or NYC Economic Development Corp dock.
Here's what Mr. Kallos said.