Gentile praises de Blasio plan to expand city ferry service
Councilmember Vincent Gentile praised Mayor Bill de Blasio’s selection of a vendor to operate the city’s much anticipated expanded ferry service and said the choice sets the stage for a new era of transportation in New York.
On Wednesday, de Blasio announced that the Citywide Ferry Service is on track to launch next year, with the selection of Hornblower, Inc. as the operator.
The first citywide ferry system in more than 100 years will cost riders the same as a subway fare, the mayor said.
Hornblower, Inc. will operate from 21 landings across the city. The service is set to start in 2017 and become fully operational by 2018, making an estimated 4.6 million trips per year.
“I am ecstatic that Citywide Ferry Service will be ready to set sail in 2017 beginning with South Brooklyn!” Gentile said in a statement.
Gentile’s council district, Bay Ridge, will be one of the landing sites for the ferry.
“If you look at a map of New York, you’ll see a whole lot of blue. Indeed, before there was a city, there was a harbor. Right along with San Francisco and Hong Kong, New York City has one of the greatest natural harbors in the entire world — and now the waterfront of southern Brooklyn will be connected to it all! We must keep pace with New York City’s rapid growth and the five borough ferry service will not only generate jobs but serve as a catalyst for expansion in communities where housing and employment are rising,” Gentile said.
Hornblower, Inc. has operated in New York Harbor for a decade and carries 13 million passengers every year, according to city officials.
As part of the ferry service, Hornblower, Inc. will operate boats equipped with Wi-Fi.
All of the docks and boats will be accessible to people in wheelchairs and will be fully compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a press release issued by the de Blasio administration.
“It has been more than a century since this great coastal city has had citywide ferry services,” DNAinfo quoted de Blasio as saying at Wednesday’s press conference. “In the history of New York City, ferries are the way that people used to get around and it was part of everyday life. But in the last 100 years, ferry service declined and declined.”
The selection of Hornblower marks the culmination of a year-long competitive procurement by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Following the announcement of the Citywide Ferry Service in the mayor’s State of the City Address in 2015, EDC issued a request for proposals seeking operators to provide the ferry service. EDC received multiple responses and selected Hornblower, Inc. on the basis of its ability to provide the highest quality service at the most competitive price, officials said.
Here are the ferry routes:
South Brooklyn, Rockaway and Astoria routes scheduled to launch in 2017:
South Brooklyn route will connect Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Red Hook,
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Pier 6, and Wall Street, with an optional link to Governors Island.
Rockaway route will connect to Brooklyn Army Terminal and Wall Street.
Astoria route will connect to Astoria, Roosevelt Island (Cornell Tech), Long Island City, East 34th Street and Wall Street.
In addition, the Soundview and Lower East Side routes will launch in 2018, according to officials.
More than half a million New Yorkers live within a half-mile of one of the 21 Citywide Ferry landings, including 15,000 families living in NYCHA developments.
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