On Wednesday, February 28, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the expansion of his NYC Ferry system to bringing service to resident of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Administration officials and local politicians joined de Blasio in celebrating the start of construction of a NYC Ferry pier at Corelears Hook in East River Park. He promised that residents in the neighborhood would soon enjoy a nine-minute ferry ride to Wall Street and a 17-minute trip to East 34th Street. However, the exact date of when this service will begin was not given.
The mayor did boast that close to 1 million commuters would be serviced by the ferry annually. Another 400,000 will travel from Soundview in the Bronx on a river boat.
De Blasio said, “Neighborhoods like the Lower East Side haven’t had the transit options they deserve. We can’t wait to launch two new ferry lines that will help New Yorkers get to work and to school, and to connect with their city.”
The creation of the Lower East Side and Soundview lines will make a total of six ferry circuits. The mayor emphasized that the new Corelears Hook stop, like the other NYC Ferry stations, is near existing and planned New York City Housing Authority developments; 8,000 of such resident are housed in the vicinity of Corelears Hook.
According to Crain’s New York, “This contrasts with demographic data showing that the bulk of people living within walking distance of current and proposed ferry stops earn more than the city’s median income, thanks to the growing number of luxury developments along the waterfront. The administration’s own estimates show that taxpayers subsidize the ferries to the tune of $6.60 a trip, less than the public doles out for every express bus ride but far more than it pays per subway fare. The city is responsible for the boat operation, while de Blasio’s arch-rival, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, controls the trains. The mayor has sought to create more locally controlled public transit options as delays and breakdowns on the subways mount, and as the governor has pressured the city to chip in more funds toward his Metropolitan Transportation Authority.”
By Rebecca Gold