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Ferry Service is Coming to Grand Street on the Lower East Side

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File photo: East River Ferry.
File photo: East River Ferry.

Ferry service is coming to the East River at Grand Street.  The announcement was embedded in Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City address, which he delivered earlier today.  Here are the scant details from his speech:

Today, we announce that we’re launching a new citywide ferry service to be open for business in 2017. New ferry rides will be priced the same as a MetroCard fare, so ferries will be as affordable to everyday New Yorkers as our subways and buses. …. so residents of the Rockaways and Red Hook and Soundview will now be closer to the opportunities they need. And beyond connecting residents to jobs in Manhattan, our new citywide ferry system will spur the development of new commercial corridors throughout the outer boroughs.

A news release from the mayor’s office explained a bit more about the initiative:

To make sure there is new transportation to accommodate growth, the City will launch a new Citywide Ferry Service that will knit together existing East River routes with new landings and services to Astoria, the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, Soundview and the Lower East Side. Pegged to the cost of a Metrocard, service will launch in 2017 and will be supported by City operating support and a $55 million capital commitment. Further expansion to Stapleton and Coney Island will constitute a second phase of expansion, pending additional funding.

In a statement, Council member Margaret Chin confirms that the new ferry location on the Lower East Side will be situated at the end of Grand Street:

I was… pleased today to learn that Mayor de Blasio will be moving forward with plans for a Grand Street ferry stop. My local elected colleagues and I have advocated for a Grand Street ferry stop because we know it will create a much-needed transit connection for Lower East Side residents — especially the thousands in public housing — who have been generally underserved when it comes to public transportation. As the Lower East Side community continues to grow, particularly with the forthcoming Essex Crossing development, we must continue to provide new options for affordable, accessible transit. A Grand Street ferry stop will be great step forward in making that kind of positive community impact, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for hearing our call on this issue.

In May of 2013, local residents started an online petition in support of a Grand Street ferry location. The Lower East Side phase of the new project is scheduled for 2018.

Ferry Map by The Lo-Down

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  1. Although great to finally have a ferry stop on lower east side, Grand St is really not the best option. This is a big win for the residents of the East River/Grand St. co-ops in that transit desert but that location lacks any real connectivity to the rest of the lower east side-especially public housing. It takes forever to get walk to that location. I can’t see it as a real commuter option but the sports teams that use those nearby fields will be happy as they are probably the biggest winners. The pier points that are further south would have been a far more logical, resilient (storm evacuation) choice as they are located directly in the heart of public housing and closer to the subway line. Hope ridership numbers allow it to stay afloat otherwise it’ll wind up like the M14. Politics considered though, it’s no surprise.

  2. Why not off Pier 36? Its already set up for this and would cost a lot less taxpayer $$$. I’m excited regardless, I hope it can take us up to 116th Street/Costco mall :)

  3. That chart is a little misleading given the average distances involved in the trips.

    The average subway or local city bus ride is only a couple miles, so the total subsidy “per passenger” may be significantly lower for subway or bus than for ferry, but the subsidy differential “per passenger mile” likely isn’t nearly as big as that chart makes it look. That chart makes it very clear that it costs way more to get someone from Far Rockaway to Manhattan by ferry than to get someone from the Lower East Side to Midtown by subway. But it’s not really clear how much more it costs to do the same trip by ferry vs. subway/bus.

  4. This is excellent news. Hopefully, a Grand Street ferry stop will invigorate Grand Street businesses, which could certainly it. And with three bus lines already stopping at Grand and FDR, this ferry stop certainly makes sense for commuters.

  5. I just want to thank the Lo-Down for publicizing my petition on this, thus drawing crucial support of major political representatives and making this so.

Comments are closed.

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