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February 14, 2001

Ferry loop for Manhattan?
One hundred years ago it was possible to access all of the sprawling miles of the New York region's waterfront—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey—by ferry. Now, ferry routes are again crisscrossing metropolitan waters. But, they primarily serve commuters and first-rank tourist attractions.

The New York Waterfront Alliance, a non-profit civic organization, has proposed a public/private partnership for a 25-stop loop. It would create a waterfront access servicenot seen in New York City since the 1960's.

According to Carter Craft, the Alliance's program director, a 20 minute- frequency service utilizing eight 99-passenger boats could be on line in a year or two if the city and private and governmental property owners along the route cooperate.

The $14 million needed for vessel construction and start-up costs and the $5 million annual operating expenses would come from both private interests and the city, Craft said.

According to Craft, many private operators have shown interest.

The city should apply and would qualify for TEA-21 funding, he noted.

The Alliance is presently talking to the city about just that.

"What we're asking them, is to buy the ferries (using TEA-21 financing) then lease them to private operators," Craft said. "The city is spending $85 million to rebuild the Staten Island ferry terminal and $100 million in Whitehall (the Manhattan terminal). This project should fit right in."

BV works on tanker safety initiative
Classification society Bureau Veritas is to work within IACS to develop tanker safety initiatives proposed by OCIMF and Intertanko.

OCIMF and Intertanko have held a series of individual meetings with leading classification societies ABS, BV, DNV and LR to discuss industry proposals for

  • improved transparency,
  • better conduct of surveys,
  • enhanced investigation of casualties and
  • enhanced inter-class co-operation.

Bureau Veritas supports these initiatives and has undertaken to help develop them within IACS.

"BV is pleased to work closely with our industry partners to help make tanker shipping safer, cleaner and more transparent," says Bernard Anne, head of BV's marine division. "We agree with the principle of OCIMF's and Intertanko's proposals, and we will do all we can to get those proposals implemented across all IACS societies. BV's philosophy is very clear. We believe that shipping can only get safer and cleaner if all parties follow a co-operative approach. The leading class societies should do just that, lead from the front, and help others to improve. One big class society improving its performance at the expense of pushing out others will not help shipping overall. Putting the technical resources and strength of the major societies behind efforts to improve across the board will raise standards globally. That is what we are committed to working for."

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