New York City area commuters soon will see expanded ferry service in midtown and the upper east side of Manhattan thanks to a $9.5 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta announced today. The grant was awarded to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) for its East River Landings Project.
“The President has made rebuilding New York’s transit systems a priority, and today we again deliver on that promise by connecting workers to jobs, families to homes, and peace of mind to countless concerned commuters,” said Secretary Mineta.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City, ferry services became an increasingly important part of the region’s transportation system. In response to emergency situations, ferry services proved crucial in the evacuation of lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001; in providing alternate transportation during the shut-down of the PATH downtown line from September 2001 through November 2003; and in providing rides home during a major blackout in August 2003. With this grant, the Bush Administration has awarded nearly $64 million in funding so far, out of a total commitment of $78 million in emergency transportation recovery support.
The East River Landings Project is part of an initiative to increase ferry service along the East River to accommodate shifts in commuting patterns resulting from the 9/11 attacks. NYCDOT will use the funds to expand ferry service at East 34th Street and at East 90th Street along the East River. Not only will the new projects provide expanded service, but they will also provide alternate transportation in the event of an emergency situation, Mineta said.
The East 34th Street location will serve midtown Manhattan, one of the most vital business districts in America. The project includes building a new passenger terminal and new docks. The terminal will include ticketing and waiting areas, and dock capacity will increase from two vessels to four.
The fire-damaged East 90th Street ferry landing will be rehabilitated to provide increased ferry service for Upper East Side neighborhoods. The project will include building sheltered passenger areas and dock capacity will be increased from one vessel to three.
When complete in June 2006, the two ferry sites will offer direct trips to lower Manhattan, LaGuardia Airport, and Yankee and Shea Stadiums. In addition, the ferries will connect to locations throughout the five boroughs and New Jersey including Brooklyn Army Terminal, Staten Island, Jersey City, Weehawken, Hoboken and Monmouth County.