Wednesday, February 11, 2015

RIOC Says No Roosevelt Island Ferry Dock Construction Funding Sources Currently Identified For NYC Ferry System Announced By Mayor de Blasio - Will Cost $10 Million To Build Roosevelt Island Ferry Dock Says RIOC

As previously reported, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his February 3 State Of the City Address:

... 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....
Roosevelt Island will be part of a new Astoria route: Astoria, Long Island City – North, Roosevelt Island, East 34th Street, Pier 11 / Wall Street.

Images From NYC Mayor's Office

During the February 4 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting Public Session NYC Council Member Ben 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....

During the February 9 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast here),  I asked if RIOC was equally as comfortable as Council Member Kallos that funds will be available for the construction of a Roosevelt Island ferry dock.

RIOC President Charlene Indelicato said that they just found out about Roosevelt Island's inclusion in the Astoria ferry route "the other day". RIOC Directors Michael Shinozaki and David Kraut replied that they are not aware of any current funding source for the construction of a Roosevelt Island ferry dock. Mr. Kraut noted to me:
... So far its a pie in the sky concept that the Mayor has instigated and stop jumping on RIOC to respond instantly. We'll get there when we need to get there. We'll find the money when we need to find the money one way or another. Or maybe we won't and we'll need help....
Ms Indelicato said:
.... I don't think anybody would doubt that a ferry system would be very good... but nobody has identified any sources... 
of funding.

Ms. Indelicato added that the Roosevelt Island ferry dock is:
 ... going to cost at least $10 million....
Here's the RIOC Operations Advisory Committee Roosevelt Island ferry dock disucssion.

More on Roosevelt Island and NYC ferry route plan and November 2012 video discussing proposed Roosevelt Island ferry dock locations.


AGuyonRI said...

What a helpful and pleasant quote from David Kraut. Gives me tons of faith in RIOC's planning abilities.

CheshireKitty said...

In all fairness, either possible ferry dock location - the pier at the subway or the oil dock, would require a lot of money to restore/upgrade/reconfigure as an actual ferry dock.

The NYC initiative is a however the answer to the need for ferry service - even though RI is admittedly not as lacking in transportation options as points along the Queens/Brooklyn shorelines - especially Hallet's Cove which is quite a distance from the train. If NYC has recommended RI be included in the new ferry service, then RI should take advantage of this opportunity and make sure RI is included in funding the City, State, or Fed gov may make available to implement the ferry plan.

The initiative is not going to happen if lawmakers and gov agency officials sit on their hands for another few years, it's especially not going to happen if residents do not convey somehow their enthusiasm for the plan. Certainly, Queens West residents as well as the numerous people who have been essentially cut off from mass transit (other than buses) for years along the shoreline, will welcome ferry service. For RI, it will provide a convenient link to W. Queens/Brooklyn, points that are not that easy to get to without a bike, car, or use of a bus, or many transfers on the train to get to the closest train stations, some of which are not that close to the Brooklyn/Queens shoreline (which is certainly the case with Hallet's Cove and Williamsburg). The new shoreline parks in W. Queens and Brooklyn would become instantly accessible to us, and the thousands of new people in W. Queens and Brooklyn would in turn have a very convenient and easy way to access our parks/landmarks/recreational facilities. The big advantage would be for those who simply may wish to visit these newly-redeveloped areas, stroll in the parks, have a meal, and so forth. It would make the process of visiting so simple, and you would not need a car or bike, or transfer back and forth between various train/bus lines, to do so. Also, the ferry ride itself would be pleasant/exciting. The entire plan is a plus-plus-plus for the communities of W. Queens, W. Brooklyn, RI, also E. Manhattan communities that may be some distance from train lines in Manhattan.