Levin: Ferry can’t resume until ramp collapse probe complete

February 14, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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In the wake of the collapse of a gangplank at the Greenpoint ferry, Councilman Stephen Levin said ferry service cannot resume “until we have full knowledge of what caused the ramp to collapse.”

The city is investigating the incident, which took place Thursday morning at the Greenpoint Pier. New York Waterway, which operates the East River Ferry, announced that service on the ferry has been suspended until further notice.

Gothamist posted the ferry company’s statement. “East River Ferry service to and from the Greenpoint Pier is suspended until further notice as we continue to assess the cause of a gangway that detached this morning. A team of engineers will be sent to investigate the cause and repairs will be made as soon as possible. The safety of our passengers and the waterfront community is our number one concern and thankfully no injuries were reported,” the statement read.

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No one was injured in the mishap, but the New York Daily News reported that the incident was a near-miss. The collapse took place moments after ferry riders had used the ramp to board the ferry. Commuters had crossed the gangplank at about 9 a.m. at the East River Ferry service’s Greenpoint terminal when the ramp suddenly collapsed into the icy East River, the News reported.

The incident is troubling, according to Levin (D-Greenpoint-Williamsburg), who said lives were at risk.

“The East River Ferry is an important transportation option for an underserved community in Greenpoint, but residents need to have complete assurance that their trip will be a safe one. I have been in touch with the NYC Economic Development Corporation and will be in close conversation with them as they investigate what happened this morning in Greenpoint,” Levin said in a statement.

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has jurisdiction over the city’s waterfront.

Also in the wake of the ramp collapse, state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights-Greenpoint) said the city should be looking at alternative means of transportation for ferry riders who are now going to be without a ferry service for the foreseeable future.

“I also urge NY Waterway and the city to work together to immediately provide an alternative means of transportation for the many Greenpoint residents and businesses who rely on the ferry. Greenpoint is already drastically underserved when it comes to public transit, and a shutdown of ferry service only exacerbates the problem. A shuttle bus to the nearest ferry stop would go a long way for the community,” Squadron said in a statement.



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