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Marine Log

February 12, 2008

New York City to develop major ferry system

In her annual State of the City Address today, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn introduced a series of proposals that included development of a comprehensive, year-round New York City Ferry System.

Quinn said that the detailed plan for "what will be one of the most significant transit initiatives in recent New York City history" will be unveiled later this month,

Here's the relevant portion of her address:

New York must do more to make transportation throughout the city cleaner and more accessible.

While we boast the most extensive transportation system in the world--moving more than 1.5 billion people last year-- some of our neighborhoods still lack the basic transportation infrastructure to serve a growing City.

And I mean growing--we are looking at adding 1 million more New Yorkers, many of them new immigrants, by 2030.

With some neighborhoods more than three quarters of a mile from a subway station we need to examine other modes of transportation.

It's only natural to look at our natural highways--our water ways -- to move New Yorkers efficiently and sustainably.

That's why we are proposing and the Mayor has agreed to begin developing a comprehensive five-borough, year-round New York City Ferry System.

Once again, this is an idea that came straight from listening to New Yorkers. At a hearing that my colleagues Joe Addabbo, John Liu and I held in Broad Channel, we heard complaint after complaint about commute times from local residents.

Soon after, we began exploring the concept of a pilot ferry service for the Rockaways--got a commitment from the Mayor to fund it--and that service should be up and running by this summer.

But why limit ourselves to Rockaway?

Imagine getting on a ferry in Hunts Point for a day trip to Coney Island.

Or commuting from Astoria to downtown without having to brave the traffic at the Triboro Bridge. Or traveling from Brooklyn to Queens--without waiting for the G train.

And think of how it will enhance our infrastructure, open up our waterfronts and create jobs.

Later this month, we'll unveil a detailed plan for developing what will be one of the most significant transit initiatives in recent New York City history.

Before we do, I'd like to thank the Mayor, my colleagues, and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, for helping us make this vision a reality--and for working with us to keep our city moving forward.

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